2018/05/10

Iran and aggression

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The Iran deal had three objectives as far as I can tell:

1) keep Iran from getting nukes, as nuclear proliferation is considered to be bad regardless of how friendly or unfriendly the aspiring power is

2) keep Israel, the U.S. (and possibly the Arabian peninsula kleptocracies as well) from attacking Iran with air strikes

3) lessening or ending the economic sanctions that did hurt Western economic activity as well

The negotiated deal was such a Western success that I was astonished. I had not expected such a thorough success, hadn't really considered it possible. The West got practically everything it could reasonably ask for. All warmonger/idiot trash talk aside, it was likely the biggest diplomatic success of the U.S. during all eight Obama administration years.

The warmongers fumed. They hadn't meant the sanctions to force Iran into concessions regardless of how much they had pretended it. They meant the sanctions as a tool in setting a narrative of Iran supposedly having violated rules* and being the bad guy.

Now we're back at a point where aggression against Iran by Western or supposedly Western nuclear powers is not unlikely.

Diplomats, think tankers and politicians of Europe wonder how to deal with this - the original three intents still appear to apply.

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There's a very, very simply way how Europe (or Russia) could decisively act and ensure that there's no such aggression: The old school way. Issue a guarantee of sovereignty (promising to answer to an aggression with violence against the aggressor) or enter an alliance with Iran outright.
I have wondered for a long time why Russia and Iran didn't do this years ago, but I suppose the relationship is complicated. The Russians probably don't want to be drawn into the Mid East mess
beyond their control and the Iranians may fear that such a big brother would become too dominant in the relationship.

Anyway, it's almost certainly not going to happen. The current crop of European politicians isn't capable of such actions. They are much more focused on being mere administrators, not used to bold moves and major changes. They're also struggling with how to keep U.S.-European relations intact despite the moron in chief and with keeping Turkey more or less in the Western camp. They're not going to do anything bold or daring.

But Europe certainly could do resources-wise. Israel could not dare to attack a treaty ally of Europe's major powers, as it could be strangled to unconditional surrender by a blockade within a year. The U.S. would lose way too much by turning on Europe, especially considering that there's practically nothing to be gained by attacking Iran and most Americans appear to understand this.

S O

P.S.: For readers who understand German: Here is a (as far as I can tell 95% accurate) summary of the Iran-U.S./Israel/Saudi-Arabia conflict.


*: There's still no evidence that Iran actually violated the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty - the official nuclear cannot claim such a thing because of its article VI. Iran didn't attack any country in well over a hundred years either (it's unclear whether there are Iranian advisors in Yemen in Syria are there with or without toleration by the Syrian regime - that's the one borderline exception).
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10 comments:

  1. There are not only iranian advisors in syria, but outright thousands of iranian troops. The mercenaries that fill up the ranks of assads armies (ofthen afghans of hazara origin) also come from iran. Also there are iranian special forces and advisors working in iraq and in jemen. But this does not mean an iranian aggression against the west tm, it is the usual chess against the sunni arabs, especialy saudi arabia. Moreover the iranian troops are not only tolerated by assad, but highly welcomed.

    But this sad i completly agree with you in everything else, that the iran deal was a extreme success and that it is an extreme problem that it now failed.

    The European Union of the Sheeple will of cause stand by israel if israel will now attack the iran withhin the next years and the us of cause too.

    War is imo inevitable now between the western tm states and iran. It is only a question of time now.

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    1. I wrote and published this too hastily. The Iranian involvement in Yemen should have been mentioned as the borderline case, so I fixed that.

      The accusations against Iran by the U.S. and Israel are still utterly hypocritical considering their habitual aggressions in that region alone.

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    2. Of cause they are, but what does this change ? The accusations against the iraq were wrong too, and so obviously wrong that everyone has known that even before the war startet - and the results were the same, as they will be now. War is inevitable now.

      But i wonder as always about your ideas about the european union of the sheeple: a guarantee of sovereignty (promising to answer to an aggression with violence against the aggressor) or enter an alliance with Iran outright ?! Seriously ?! The EU of the sheeple ?!

      The european union and especially germany declared the very existence of israel as staatsräson (reason of state) under all circumstances to citate the chancellor merkel.

      And a war against iran would lead to millions of refugees which would then seek shelter and asylum in the european union and especillay in germany. This would weaken the eu and germany, esepcially would weaken the eu as concurrents of the USA economically and the economies of europe will decline and perhaps even collapse which is highly in the interest of the us.

      The us on the other side would not have much costs because they would not occupy the iran and wage guerilla warfare there and the us forces they are there anyway so the costs for them the usa have still brought up. To not use them would mean to have wasted the moeny (so the usa thinking). So the usa will use them against iran anyway, destroy this country and hand over the power in the region to the saudi / sunni arabs which would be extremly thankful to that and further on completly dependend on us and our weapons supply and millions of refugess will collapse the economy of germany and the eu etc.

      (and / or they will lead to an extreme right wing movement in whole of europe far over what we are looking now at which will also weaken the eu economies heavily and also their power in the world through the scattered regionalism which would then rise)

      So whatever the results, they would be highly in the (long term) interest of the usa and of israel and of the saudis / sunni arabs (the last named want also to make the eu a islamic area and invest much moeny and efforts for that and the muslim refugees offer the possibility for that).

      Why does the usa not want that deal now ? Mainly because the iran would deal further on mostly with the eu and this will be a gread benefit for the power and the economy of the eu. To weaken the eu is the main interest of usa politics. And a war against iran is therefore coherent as it would weaken the eu further.

      As so much powers want this war, it will come now within the next years, i guess even before 2020. And the results will be disastrous esepially for the eu and germany.

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  2. Putin met with Netanyahu yesterday. Russia is allied with Israel. Drone sales, deconfliction, sharing of intel, handing codes and freqs of Iranian air defence network to Israel. They arent going to do anything.

    Saudi is asking, and paying, the US to attack Iran. The US wants to pull out of the middle east. If they left Saudi as the sole undisputed hegemon 'everyone' wins.

    Europe isnt going to do anything. Even though they could probably force an almost immediate reaction by arranging a seemingly massive series of comprehensive talks with China.

    China, who was eyes on the middle east for geographic reasons, has no interest in the establishment of a unipolar region.

    The UK are saying one thing currently, they are going to do something different. As soon as the US growls they will come to heel.

    I see this going like Libya. Provoke and support, arm an internal revolt. Use the crack down against that revolt as a justification for a standoff campaign. Watch as the country atomises.

    Iran has been on the list. Its the last one left on the list. Yes Iraq2 was a mistake. Yes Libya was a mistake. Yes China is rising. Yes we are not going to allow China to supplant us. But. The middle east is already a mess. Whats wrong with one little meddle before we pull out for good? What is the difference between 300 million people destabilised and 380 million people destabilised? Same difference. Close enough. Who cares?

    This might end in Shia genocide over the course of the next 20 years without a centre of gravity. Iran first, then Lebanon can be taken out politically after that whats left?

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    1. Putin is most certainly not Israel's ally. Nor is he Iran's ally. He's trying to woo Israel because he is worried about an Israeli-Iranian war that would almost inevitably lead to international humiliation.

      If Russian troops (not mercenaries, but uniformed soldiers) were killed by Israeli bombardment of Iranian and Syrian positions, the result would be a terrible choice between doing little, thus looking weak, or retaliating against Israel, thus risking a war (escalation control, as always, is an oxymoron; a better term would be escalation poker) with both Israel and the US.

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    2. I disagree with your comment in a general way but I'll try to keep this tight.

      How many 'little green men' were killed in Ukraine? How many paid up, currently on the role, soldiers and members of the Russian military died in Ukraine?

      Do you know? No one else does. Why do you think that is?

      Could it be. Maybe. Perhaps. Possibly. That Russia has no reason at all to release casualty lists that are not beneficial to their polictical situation and no one can force them? And thats what you use as the central reason for Russian strategy in the middle east?

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    3. The difference is the Russia is officially at war in Syria. It publicly acknowledges that its men are present.

      The central pillar of Russian strategy in the Middle East has every appearance of being to increase the Russian state's prestige and impress the public at home. And if Putin appeared to give in to intimidation from Israel, this would spoil all the hard-won prestige from the Syrian War.

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  3. Compared to every other country that has been invaded since 9/11 became a pretext for Iraq, this is the largest chunk. It has the combined population of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. It's technologically very advanced in comparison to the others. As the global Shia power, they do indeed face an extermination threat, so resistance could be correspondingly for years.
    Furthermore, Russia considers Iran part of their envisioned Eurasian Union. So for strategic reasons Russia might be willing to help similar to the situation in Ukraine, although that's also Russkiy Mir and not only Eurasian Union land to them.

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  4. "Israel could not dare to attack a treaty ally of Europe's major powers, as it could be strangled to unconditional surrender by a blockade within a year."

    Well this would require the use of a navy to bully a weaker nation, something you have strongly advocated against.

    Also what would the EU have to gain in doing so and thus alienating the US and Israel?

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    1. You have overlooked that it would be a case of collective defence (thus self defence by Charter of the United Nations), not bullying.

      I did argue (years ago) against entering alliances that do not benefit your country. That's the real issue. Why lean out of the window so much just to keep partial peace in the Mid East?

      The blog post wasn't a "what we should do" guide. It's a reminder about how wide the freedom of action and how great our power really is. We keep choosing not to use it, but that's not the same as not having it.

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