With or without the Nuclear Program, if you thought that at any point in the past 40 years the US, or the UK for that matter, and all their allies wanted the Mullahs out of power, you are completely wrong.
You don’t last 42 years in power in the region, without some serious ‘invisible hand’ under you. Concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, when the US and its allies who originally sold nukes to Iran, is simply a charade. A farce. A subterfuge. A deception. Total hypocrisy.
The only purpose of Iran’s nuclear program is to maintain an excuse to contain and sanction Iran. That’s it. Yes, there are some issues with Iran’s black-market purchase of warheads from the Ukraine in 2003, during the height of the US-Iraq war, but that’s 17 years ago. A lot of water has flowed under that bridge!
Oh, American politicians will do a song and dance. They will run up their masquerade. They will take your money for their campaigns. They will grandstand on podiums with cheap rhetoric. Netanyahu will hold a poster of a nuclear ball. But that’s all Hollywood designed to fool the public. Its fearmongering for votes. Oh, and they will attack and humiliate the Mullahs, Iran, and Iranians. They will threaten and scare the Mullahs. They will stop Iranians from traveling. They will call Iranians liars. They’ll even slap mullahs occasionally. But fundamentally, the Mullahs have remained / will remain in power. And will continue to do so!
The true bullshit artists and liars are in fact within the US administration. This is the same administration that secretly dealt arms to Iran (for its drug running operations into the US) via the Iran-Contra affair. The same people that asked the Mullahs to hold hostages so they can win elections. The same people that worked secretly (with a ‘nuclear’ Iran) to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. The same people that engineered an international (UN ratified) agreement to denuclearize Iran, but then proceeded to break the very same agreement when it seemed Iran would break out economically and become an economic threat!
Their real goal simply: is to keep the Mullahs in power forever but at the same time impoverish Iranians i.e. contain Iran. They don’t want a competitor. So, they keep Iran and Iranians off the street. If you don’t believe me just check out how the US has kept Iranians from receiving life saving medicines, or even basic COVID related supplies and then have the audacity to tell me they really care for Iranians – as they profess in their speeches! Iranians are but meager ants to be stepped on in their pursuit of dominance.
A contained and sanctioned Iran is fundamentally to America, the UK and their regional allies’s economic and political benefit. A contained and sanctioned Iran is to the benefit of America’s Elites (i.e. Jewish-American Oligarchs). A contained Iran pays huge dividends. You don’t believe me, well here’s a list of 10 benefits (in no order):
- Huge Arms Sales: By making Iran such an evil enemy, the US and its allies have sold arms to the Saudis, Emiratis, etc. And the US has kept up its regional forces. All this has been literally to the tune of Trillions of dollars. Saudi Arabia – a country with a population of less than 35 million – has one of the world’s largest military budgets. To put this into perspective, in 2017 Saudi Arabia purchased $110 Billion in arms from the US, having spent $350 Billion the prior 10 years. Who is the enemy? Why Iran, of course. Add UAE, Bahrain, etc. and you have “Iran” (with a miniscule $13 Billion Defense Budget) triggering literally Trillions of dollars of arms sales! If Iran did not exist, arms merchants would create one.
- Maintain the Military-Industrial-Complex: Iran is the perfect ‘non-enemy’ enemy in the U.S. context too. US has spent almost between $500 Billion and $1 Trillion per year for the last 20 years on defense. The US has 35 bases encircling – evil Iran (again with a minuscule $13 Billion Defense Budget). Again, if Iran did not exist, the Military-Industrial-Complex would create one.
- Oil Market Control: Oil is a commodity. Much like other commodities, its price is set by a complex relationship between demand and supply. Iran has huge oil reserves, and historically (before Sanctions) was one of the world’s major oil exporters. Choking off Iran’s supply, reinforces oil prices. This was crucial immediately after the Iran Revolution, because both the US and UK needed high prices to justify extraction of ‘very expensive’ Alaskan and North Sea fields. Indeed, the Iran-Iraq war provided the pretext to eliminate massive volumes of oil exports (and thus set high prices) for almost 10 years. This hasn’t changed. Other exporters such as Saudi Arabia, stand to gain by eliminating Iran from global oil markets – and maintain high prices. “Getting Iran off the street” has tremendous value.
- Gas Market Control: Natural gas is another commodity where Iran also has huge reserves. With the shut down of Europe’s nuclear power plants, Natural Gas has become critically necessary for electricity generation. Adding to Europe, economic growth in India and China has also led to large increases in Natural Gas demand. Again, “Getting Iran off the street” has tremendous value for Iran’s competitors.
- Aircraft sales: There are something like 700 Airbus planes in service with airlines in the Persian Gulf region. And there are over 1500 planes on order. Boeing is in a similar position. Given that one year’s production for each company is roughly 800 aircraft, you can imagine how significant these orders are for these companies (and the nations they operate in). But, Iran, is a far better commercial hub for commercial aviation. Its fully 1000 km closer to Europe and the Far East. And it has a huge volume of technicians for operations. Bottom-line, keeping Iran sanctioned is a lifeline (its existential) for these other airlines that operate in the Persian Gulf – like Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airlines, etc. No one has a greater interest in continuing Iranian ‘containment’ than these airlines, their key airports (like Dubai), and the Royal families that own massive stakes in these Airlines. They want Iran off the street.
- Maintain Critical US and European Export Relationships: Iranians are very talented. Iranians are capable. If Iran was not sanctioned, Iran would be exporting cars, appliances, services etc. to the rest of the region. Take one look at Iraq or Afghanistan and multiply it by 12. After the US invasion of these countries, it was in fact Iran that provided electricity, tires, cement, kerosene, appliances etc. to Baghdad, or Basra, or Baqubah. It should be noted that Saudi Arabia and UAE are significant markets for US companies like GM and Ford. In Egypt, GM is the largest automotive producer. Other major companies like Disney, Cummins, GE etc. have major presence in those markets. Japanese, Chinese and Korean companies may have penetrated the US, but American products are still valued around the Persian Gulf. And Iran would be one more competitor in this high value market. So, the idea is, let’s keep Iran out.
- Keeps Arabs in check (and dependent): All these Arab governments are dictatorships. There is no democracy in Saudi Arabia or the UAE, or Bahrain, or Qatar or Jordan, or Egypt etc. The ruling families are in fragile governments. Not only Iran, but the presence of Iran-Inspired Shia minorities (or majorities) in most of these states scares the living daylights out of these governments. And neighboring states, such as Yemen and Iraq who do have Shia led governments also scare America’s Arab allies. Iran plays a very useful role. By using Iran, to scare these governments, the US keeps these allies in check. It keeps them dependent on US military security. It allows the US to maintain bases in the region. Iran is the pretext. Iran is the mechanism used to ‘control’ these governments and keep them dependent.
- Forced massive Brain drain: Since the Iranian revolution, something like 5 Million Iranians fled Iran. This emigration has coincided with huge drops in birth rates in Europe and North America. Iranians are model immigrants. Most of these expatriate Iranians have advanced degrees and work incredibly hard. This is not inconsequential. Iranians have buttressed many large technology driven enterprises, and led to the creation of literally Trillions of dollars in new economic output – not only as rank-and-file employees, but also as key leaders, key founders in many companies like Google, Ebay, Uber etc. Without Iranian expatriates, it is safe to say, the US and many European nations, would not have established their new ‘economies’ in the way it did. It is NOT a coincidence, the tech revolution happened within a few years of the Iranian revolution. Iranian immigrants by the way are among the most successful immigrants the US has ever had.
- Huge Campaign Donations: Bibi Netanyahu figured it out. Stigmatizing Iran has political value. Again, if Iran did not exist, he would create one. Iran is a convenient enemy. It generates fear. It garners votes. Not to be overlooked, is the fact that Elections in Israel are very narrow margin endeavors. After the Iranian revolution, something like 200,000 Iranian-born immigrants went directly to Israel. They have families, they have friends. Attacks on Iran, and anti-Iranian rhetoric can draw something like 500,000 votes in Israel. These are all voters who would place the ‘security’ of Israel (i.e. Iranian scare mongering) ahead of other issues. So having neutralized Egypt, and Jordan, Netanyahu (a very cunning politician) has declared Iran as the ‘new’ enemy. In turn, this has led to many Jewish-American and Israeli American donors to also prioritize anti-Iran policies in US as a key element of who they provide political contributions to. Many major contributors like Sheldon Adelson (rip) have said as much. Literally billions of dollars of campaign contributions are linked to anti-Iranian policies. And by the way, these contributions transcend into US media and US journalists who also have owners that peddle Israel’s agenda. Let’s be clear, this is NOT American patriotism. This is Israeli patriotism in play. These donors are placing loyalty to Israel, ahead of America.
- Reinforces Israel’s regional role: Anti-Iranianism has led to renewed diplomatic relations between former enemies: Israel-Saudi Arabia, Israel-UAE, Saudi Arabia-Qatar etc. Not only has there been rapprochement, but these relationships have massive economic value to Israel (and these Arab states). Exports, Imports, security arrangements, new sales offices, new commercial hubs etc. are all new possibilities. By labeling Iran as an evil state former enemies have been united. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”! Again, if Iran didn’t exist, Israel would create one.
But with time, the risks of containing Iran have mounted. The US has unknowingly thrown the baby out with the bath water. It’s all been so short sighted. Because, a contained Iran also poses massive disbenefits to the U.S. It might suit Israel, but is this policy – on balance – in US interests? Has it blown-back? So, consider this:
- Iran is a huge market on its own: Iran provides a relatively large (80 Million +) population in contrast to its relatively small neighbors. Just look at the demographic data, and its clear that Iran (alone) provides a massive – much larger – market than Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar etc. ALL PUT TOGETHER. With a massive industrial base, Iran can not only be a market for Cars, or Planes, but also technology, industrial machinery, software etc. to feed its industrial base. This is a massive opportunity that the US has basically foregone and handed to its competitors like China. An unsanctioned Iran would provide a new high growth rate economic engine to the world. We are screwing ourselves, and handing opportunities to our competitors. Why? How does this serve US interests?
- Iran sits as a node in the middle of Central Asia with critical connectivity: Iran sits squarely in the heart of Central Asia. Go to Iranian wholesale markets (Bazaars) not just in Tehran, but also places like Tabriz and Mashhad. In Mashhad you see Afghans, Turkmens, Uzbeks, etc. who come there to buy wholesale products to sell in their own countries. Mashhad is roughly 100 Kilometers from Herat (Afghanistan’s second largest city) and Ashgabad (Turkmenistan’s capital). The Tabriz bazaar supplies northern Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan. I was surprised when I visited Azerbaijan, to hear from so many Azeris about their visits to Iran on business. It’s a simple fact. If the US doesn’t participate in Iran’s economy, it won’t participate in these other regional economies too. This is a completely separate region to US’s Persian Gulf allies like Saudi Arabia or UAE. To be outside Iran, is to be outside Central Asia. 120 Million people in Iranian neighboring states speak Persian. Add to this other neighboring countries that have large Shia populations, like Iraq, Syria and Lebanon (that do not speak Persian), but have critical connectivity with Iran. Iran has vast historical and cultural linkages in the region. And, by the way, this region will be one of the fastest growing regions on the planet. Iran is crucial to regional dominance. China knows this. America’s politicians don’t.
- Iran provides critical connectivity to Europe for China: China is spending literally a Trillion dollars building roads and railways from China to Europe. A Chinese manufacturer will be able to load a rail car in China, and have it transported directly to Europe by passing the China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean directly over land. None of these roads and railways would connect China to Europe without traversing Central Asia, and Iran or Russia. Iran’s geographic importance is crucial to China connecting economically to Europe. By working together Europe and China will dominate the next century economically – and therefore politically. An integrated “Sino-sphere” is massively important. By containing, and sanctioning Iran, the US is basically providing a carte-blanche to China and Europe. We are ‘connecting’ our competitors by throwing Iran into their lap. It may be too late. But, if the US re-builds its relationship with Iran, it can use Iran to reverse the flow and use Iran as a launching pad for its own exports to China and Europe – i.e. use Iran’s connectivity for its own strategic economic interests. Iran could be a US hub, assembling GM cars and then have them sold in Europe and China.
- We are forcing Iran into the hands of Foes: China, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea and Russia: Politically, its not simply a matter of economically isolating Iran, but we are actively pushing Iran into the hands of our competitors and in some cases even our enemies. A separate, economic eco-system is being created without the use of US dollar for trade. A separate alliance is being established by these countries – unified by their anti-Americanism. In fact, this anti-Americanism is filtering into other US allies – the Europeans, the Latin-Americans, Africa… we are forcing our adversaries to unite against America… by sanctioning and containing Iran. Iran is uncontainable. Sanctions have not worked. Iranians are incredibly creative and will find ways to survive at the expense of the US, with new partners.
- We are keeping Iran out of the global forums: If immigrant Iranians can add Trillions of dollars of new enterprise in the US, what about new generations of Iranians providing their ideas to the future of the world? The rate of Iranian emigration has fallen. At the same time, Iran has one of the highest rates of STEM graduates per capita. Iranians are being kept out of global forums. There are travel restrictions. There are also, restrictions on Iranians being able to go to graduate schools outside Iran. Some US schools actively discriminate against Iranians because of Sanctions.
- We are forcing Iran to become self-sufficient economically and a potent competitor: The joke in Iran is, that without sanctions, major Iranian industries would not exist. Free trade would have undermined Iran’s economy. Even with a smaller (contained) economy, Iran now produces millions of cars and has an auto-industry that has led to factories in Iranian allied nations like Belarus, and Syria. Iran produces highly advanced engineered products, and even operates oil and gas fields independently – without the aid of foreign (US or UK based) oil services companies.
- We have forced Iran to become self-sufficient militarily: Sanctions with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war led to Iran quickly developing its own indigenous military-industrial-complex. Iran quickly developed its own parallel military (Islamic Guards) force. Iranians copied US engineered armaments. Iran now is not only producing its own armaments but exporting it. Iran was so ‘cornered’ that it started a clandestine nuclear program before 2003. Sanctions and containment have made Iran more potent, more dangerous.
- This keeps the US entangled with dogs: Let’s be clear, America’s regional allies are evil (MBS, MEK, Netanyahu …). They are undemocratic, yes even Israel. They are murderous, yes even Israel. Sleep with dogs, you get up with flees. The US is sleeping with some of the worst governments in the world, with huge human rights issues. Let me add that it is in fact these “Allies” that have been deeply involved in undermining US democracy, by backing Trump financially, but also crucially with under-handed components to allow Trump’s election. Israeli interference in US elections is no secret. Sheldon Adelson’s billions of campaign contributions is managed by his Israeli wife. And Saudi Arabia, we now know, paid off Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev (on behalf of Putin) for Hillary’s stolen emails. Why the US has selected ‘these’ allies over Iran – is frankly a mystery.
- We have alienated Iranians (everywhere): The US has not only contained and sanctioned Iran, but also humiliated Iranians. When Israeli backed journalists twist facts in their articles about Iran, they do not call out Iran’s government i.e. the mullahs, but they attack “Iranians”. Iranians are being glopped with the Mullahs. Harsh visa and travel requirements. Harsh rhetoric leading to polarization, and open anti-Iranianism is rampant even in America. There are consequences to this. Joe Biden won Nevada by 4000 votes, and Georgia by 11,000 votes. Trump was so openly anti-Iranian, that he ‘pushed’ Iranians to vote for the Democrats. Are there 4000 Iranians in Nevada, or 11,000 votes in Georgia? This is not good.
- Most importantly we have forced the creation of an IRAN-CURTAIN: Last, but not least, this policy of containment and sanctions, has created a separate world – behind a curtain that falls from Israel’s border with Lebanon to Basra to Dubai… This world uses an alternate currency to the US dollar. This world undermines the US politically. This world is like Eastern Europe and the alternate world behind the Iron-Curtain before the Berlin wall dropped. This curtain also marks the wall between the Sino-sphere and Anglo-Sphere. With Arabs being firmly in the pockets of the US and UK, Iran marks a separate domain. While in the past, with communists behind the Iron-Curtain, US always had a compelling anti-communist ideology. US had the better system. But these Arab-Allies, and Israelis in the Anglo-sphere are dictators. They are the ‘evil’ ones. We are on the losing side of the argument. And China is rising. We’ve created the IRAN-CURTAIN and we are on the wrong side of it.
All in all, it’s been 40 years of stupidity, upon stupidity. And, now, to please his Oligarch backers, Trump has basically pissed on everything. He has revealed the whole plan. As his administration has so eloquently put it, Pompeo: “we don’t want regime change, we just want to contain Iran (to stop its regional activity)!” And if Iran is not contained, what’s the backup plan? They have none.
In the end, much like what happened to Britain in 1953, the US empire may win this near-term battle to contain Iran, but inadvertently create the conditions for its own systematic decline with its treatment of Iran (and Iranians). Yes, the Brits did ‘win back’ some oil concessions in Iran in 1953, but Mossadegh did show the world how to stand firm in the face of “British dictates”. Not long afterwards, Nasser came to power in Egypt and Suez was gone, half of Africa rose and declared independence and Iran became the model of how to take on Britain’s colonial power.
The whole world has watched and discovered that it is INDEED possible to stand up to aggression, sanctions and containment. Country upon country has aligned with Iran – China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia etc. – even the Europeans – all willing to endure hardships (like Iranians) by pushing back against a series of very stupid US foreign policies and directives. This group by the way is more than half of the world’s economy. They are NOT united by an ideology – like communism. They are united by their anger against American dictates. The US is on the wrong side of the IRAN-CURTAIN, allied with evil regimes. We are on the losing side of the argument. The Mullahs are not saints, but MBS and Netanyahu are far worse, because of one reason: they have interfered and bought off US politicians at the expense of US interests.
Oh, yes, the Chinese and Europeans are straddling the fence, trying hard to please both sides. But make no mistake about it, rank and file folks inside China and Europe are really pissed off at America and its policies. This anti-American alliance will ONLY get stronger.
A new IRAN-CURTAIN is going up that will in the end define the end of the US empire if we don’t change our approach. Some people call this the Sino-sphere. But the ‘border’, the ‘IRAN-CURTAIN’ if you will, is very much defined by Iran. The 21st Century will be marked by the rivalry of the Anglo-sphere vs the Sino-sphere, and there will be an Iran-Curtain to demark the boundary.
Let it be clear, a whole separate economic system is being created or has been created. A separate eco-system exists of ‘anti-Americanism’ – with no ideological foundation, but united by simply pushing back against American policies. Brash arrogance, a cowboy mentality, simple bullying does have consequences. The US has pissed off one too many allies. Created its own silent and secret enemies.
How did we get ourselves into this situation, where so much of the world hates us?
Either we get rid of the Mullahs, or we find a way to work with them. The Mullahs have outlived their usefulness. But US policy has also outlived its usefulness too. We have cornered Iran, to a point where Iran and Iranians are now spearheading a new alternate sphere – trading among its allies – outside the grip of US sanctions and control. Iran is un-containable. Sanctions have not worked.
After the fall of the Soviet Union and the drop of the iron-curtain, WE HAVE NOW CREATED AN IRAN-CURTAIN. A domain where there will be a systematic undermining of US economic and political influence. It will mark a very systematic decline of the US, and the US dollar as a reserve currency. Note that during Trump’s ‘reign’ the US dollar has lost 1% per year in reserve status for 4 years. Will this process continue? Our polices have not worked, why do we keep pursuing them?
How stupid can we get?