Joe Biden Adopts a Trump Approach to Iran

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

An Analysis () by Lawrence Davidson

9 February 2021

Part I—Joe Biden, the Good Stuff

All right! Let’s hear it for Joe Biden! Our new president is leading us in the direction of domestic sanity, and there are even hints of progressive potential in his evolving agenda. Under his leadership, we might soon master the Covid-19 plague and dig ourselves out of our near-depression economic straits. This is terrific!

Some good news when it comes to foreign policy as well. You’ll remember that in Trump’s determination to “make “American great again” (MAGA), the former president decided that international organizations and cooperation were impediments to national greatness. Thus, he systematically withdrew from a number of alignments and also scorned international law. This approach appears to have been part of a MAGA scheme to subvert international order. Its nihilistic undertones were highlighted by the creepy leaders who seemed to warm Trump’s heart. He found men such as the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, along with a long list of dictators ranging from Rodrigo Duterte in Philippines to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inEgypt, to be really congenial. There was also Trump’s warm admiration for the Russian leader Vladimir Putin. 

President Biden has saved us from this sort of delinquency. He is now operating under new and saner marching orders: “diplomacy is back” and multilateralism is in. The U.S. has recommitted to the international effort to slow down global warming and has rejoined the World Health Organization. Biden has ended all participation in the immoral Yemen civil war and, so it is reported, told the Russians to keep their invasive cyber-fingers to themselves. 

At this point you might have the urge to celebrate what appears to be a full 180-degree turn from Donald Trump’s demented worldview. But hold on, that is not quite the case. Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, it appears that a residual lawlessness can be found in at least one the Biden’s foreign policies. We can recognize it in the game he is playing with Iran. 

Part II—Scuttling the JCPOA

Recall that in 2015 then-President Obama invested a lot of political capital, not to mention putting forth a remarkable display of good sense, in helping to negotiate a multilateral agreement with Iran. This is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and it was multilateral because it included not just the U.S. and Iran but also the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China as well as Germany (collectively referred to as the P5+1). Basically, the agreement stated that, under a regime of international monitoring, Iran would forgo any development of nuclear weapons and convert its nuclear facilities to peacetime pursuits. In exchange, the P5+1 would lift all nuclear-related economic sanctions, freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and the release of frozen assets. It was a rare display of effective diplomacy and it worked—until Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, unilaterally scuttled the deal. 

Trump withdrew from the agreement in early May 2018. By January 2020 he had increased the number of Iran-related sanctions to over one thousand. In 2019, Trump was suggesting that if Iran wanted to enter into new negotiations with the U.S., he would consider lifting some of the sanctions. Iran refused to begin the negotiating process over again with Trump. On 15 January 2021, five days before leaving office, Trump added new sanctions. Why did he display such maliciousness? Besides a bizarre hatred for anything Obama had achieved, and the disdain for international cooperation which supposedly stood in the way of his MAGA fantasies, there are other factors. Trump is a truly amoral schemer (we might think of him as a modern-day lawless Borgia). And so he almost naturally fell in with amoral regimes with active domestic lobbies in the U.S. (such as Saudi Arabia and Israel), as well as a “pay to play” approach for the votes and donations of Americans who have a grudge against or fear of Iran. Here we can name not only the Zionists, but also the wealthy Iranians who took refuge in the U.S. after Iran’s 1979 revolution. Many of these are Iranian monarchists who want to see regime change in Iran through the return of a shah (king).

Under the circumstances, the Iranian government reaction has been understandable: they see themselves as the aggrieved party. They had negotiated the JCPOA in good faith. They had met the conditions of the agreement to the satisfaction of international monitors. The other side had failed to respond as promised. Not only had the U.S. broke the agreement without cause, but it had then blackmailed its European allies into breaking their commitments under the agreement. This was done by the Trump administration declaring that any party that broke Washington’s sanctions against Iran would themselves be sanctioned.

After a year or so, Iran, noting that it was the only party paying attention to the deal and that the sanctions still applied, began to slowly back away from the nuclear agreement’s provisions. However, it was not until January 2020 that the Iranians announced they would no longer limit their number of centrifuges and thus their capacity to enrich uranium. Even then it was not the obscene number of American sanctions or the gross failure of the Europeans to abide by their promises that finally “broke the camel’s back.” It was Trump’s ordering of the murder of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on 3 January 2020—essentially an act of war, and certainly one in violation of international law.

Part III—Joe Biden, the Bad Stuff

Now Trump is gone and we have Joe Biden, who, by the way, has not done the right thing and affirmed that his administration would rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. Instead he declared that “I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” (my emphasis). Later he said that the subsequent negotiations would involve the Islamic Republic’s “violations of human rights and Iran’s role in the regional conflicts.” On its face, this is not an invitation to return to a stabilizing status quo ante, or even a supposed “credible path back to diplomacy.” It is a take-it-or-leave-it demand. This position is remarkably similar to that of Trump posturing for new negotiations back in 2019. And since, as of 7 February 2021, Biden has refused to lift sanctions on Iran—has refused to cease driving that country into poverty—these are no longer Trump’s sanctions. Biden now owns this horror show. Here are some of Biden’s fatal steps.

It was about nine days into the new administration that Biden’s officials began to reference foreign policy and Iran. First appeared Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, who told the U.S. Institute of Peace that “a critical early priority has to be to deal with what is an escalating nuclear crisis as they [Iran] move closer and closer to having enough fissile material for a weapon.” One wonders if Sullivan got his start in advertising, because his description is a purposeful mischaracterization of the situation. The descriptor “escalating nuclear crisis” is a woeful exaggeration. If there is any “crisis” at all, it is because Washington has failed to meet its commitments under the 2015 agreement. The Iranians have repeatedly made it clear that they have no interest in nuclear weapons. And, one can imagine the only thing that could change their mind is an existential outside threat. To date, the only ones that pose such threats are allies of the U.S.: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Then stepped up Tony Blinken, Biden’s new secretary of state, to continue the new administration’s maneuvers. To wit, Blinken stated “Tehran must resume complying with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal before Washington would do so.” This sort of statement is a rather childish, you-go-first challenge. Blinken then explained that if Iran returns to the deal, Washington would seek to build what Blinken called a “longer and stronger agreement” that would deal with other “deeply problematic” issues. He did not name these, but Biden for his part has drawn attention to Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxy forces in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

It took the Iranians no time at all to recognize this gambit for what it is, an effort to enlarge restrictions on Iranian military capacity beyond the scope of the original 2015 agreement. Almost immediately, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, responded that the U.S. position was not practical and will not happen and then added in an op-ed in Foreign Affairs,“once a party leaves an agreement, then that party has no authority demanding others’ compliance to that agreement.”

The Iranians did come back with a more doable proposal to deal with the “who goes first” dilemma. Teheran proposed a timed, mutual U.S. and Iranian return to the original agreement. In an interview with CNN, the Iranian foreign minister said “both countries should synchronize their JCPOA-related moves under the supervision of the European Union”—in other words, achieve the goal with a step-by-step coordinated process. The Biden administration said no to Zarif’s offer, and sane minds, noting the rejection, could hear eerie Trump-like snickering in the surrounding ether. 

Part IV—Conclusion

We have already asked why Trump decided to act in such a malicious manner toward Iran. Now we can ask why Joe Biden has decided to mimic his predecessor and continue a callous, hard-line approach to that same country. As it turns out, the answer is not all that different. Biden is subject to the same lobby pressure from groups to which he has a demonstrated sympathy. Among these are some of the well known suspects mentioned above, but first and foremost are Israel and its Zionist supporters (a rundown of these can be found in a full-page ad in the 5 February 2021 New York Times). 

We can also add one other grouping to this list—various civil rights organizations who would use the moment to pressure Teheran to increase the level of civil liberties allowed in the country. However, as Behrooz Ghamari Tabriz, writing in  Counterpunch notes, “It is a hard sell for those who are genuinely concerned with the question of human rights to ask the American government to be the agent of that change. So long as our government supports the region’s most oppressive regimes, it is hard to imagine that it has any moral authority or political capital to spend on issues of human rights in Iran.”

It is hard to know what exactly is going on inside Joe Biden’s head on this issue. We can assume that it is nothing really analytical. His administration’s actions have, so far, run counter to the other precedents he is laying down in the areas of international cooperation and leadership. They also go against logic. One can imagine no better way to move the Iranians toward nuclear weapons capability than the policies now being pursued. Until Biden acts, in terms of Iran, in the interests of achievable nuclear restraint and stability, that is in the real interests of the country he leads, rather than this or that interest group, he will carry around the residual chains of Donald Trump’s miserable legacy. 

Why Israel is joining the Pentagon’s ‘Arab Nato’ لماذا تنضم “إسرائيل” إلى القيادة المركزية الأميركية

Israel’s inclusion in Centcom will further harm the Palestinian cause, drive a wedge between Arab states and raise the heat on Iran

Flags of the US, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem’s Old City in celebration of Israeli normalisation deals with the UAE and Bahrain, 15 September 2020 (AFP)
Jonathan CookJonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net

Jonathan Cook

2 February 2021 12:21 UTC 

With none of the usual fanfare associated with such a momentous decision, the Pentagon announced last month a major reorganisation to bring Israel – for the first time – inside its military command in the Middle East alongside the Arab states.

Until now, Israel has belonged to the US military’s European command, or Eucom, rather than the Middle Eastern one, known as Central Command, or Centcom. The decision effectively jettisoned the traditional wisdom that Israel’s inclusion in Centcom would increase friction between the US and Arab states, and would make the latter more reluctant to share intelligence or cooperate with the Pentagon. 

Those concerns were felt especially keenly when the US had large numbers of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back in 2010, David Petraeus, then Centcom’s commander, expressed fears that the price of too-overt military collusion with Israel could be exacted on US forces stationed in the region. 

But Israel’s long-standing goal has been to force the Pentagon to restructure Centcom, and pressure had mounted from pro-Israel lobby groups in Washington in the final months of the Trump administration. The decision looked very much like a “parting gift” to Israel from President Donald Trump as he stepped down.

Military ‘normalisation’

Israel’s formal transfer to Centcom has not yet taken place, but the move was cemented last week with the first visit to Israel by General Kenneth McKenzie, the current head of Centcom, since Joe Biden entered the White House. Alongside Israel’s military chief of staff, Aviv Kohavi, McKenzie planted a tree – officially to mark the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat but symbolically representing a new era in their strategic partnership. 

The decision to bring Israel inside Centcom is best viewed – from Washington’s perspective – as the culmination of efforts to push the Arab states into public ‘normalisation’ with Israel

On Friday, after a meeting with the US general, Benny Gantz, Israel’s defence minister, issued a statement praising the Pentagon’s reorganisation, saying it would “afford Israel opportunity to deepen cooperation with new regional partners and broaden operative horizons”.

The decision to bring Israel inside the US military command in the Middle East is best viewed – from Washington’s perspective – as the culmination of efforts to push the Arab states into public “normalisation” with Israel. 

Military normalisation can now be added to the political, diplomatic and economic normalisation that formally began last September when two Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, signed the so-called Abraham Accords with Israel. Morocco and Sudan have also announced their own peace deals with Israel, and other Arab states are likely to follow suit once the dust settles with the incoming Biden administration. 

Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, the UAE has been forging strong trading ties with Israel and has helped to establish the Abraham Fund, designed to finance the infrastructure of occupation Israel has used to deprive the Palestinians of statehood. When flights to Dubai were launched in November, Israeli tourists poured into the UAE to take advantage of the new friendly relations and escape lockdown restrictions back home. 

In fact, it is widely reported that such visits have become one of the main ways Israel has imported new variants of Covid-19. Last week, Israel effectively closed its borders – except to General McKenzie – to keep the virus in check. 

Growing confidence

On the face of it, Israel’s desire to move into Centcom – a kind of Middle East Nato covering several Arab states with which Israel still has hostile relations – appears counter-intuitive. But, in fact, Israel will make major strategic gains. How Gulf states became business partners in Israel’s occupationRead More »

It will align US security interests in the region even more closely with Israel’s, at the expense of its Arab neighbours. It will aid Israel’s continuing efforts to crush the national ambitions of the Palestinians, with many Arab states’ either explicit or implicit cooperation. It will accentuate political tensions within the bloc of Arab states, further weakening it. And it will help to build pressure on recalcitrant Arab states to join the broader consensus against Israel’s one remaining significant regional foe: Iran.

It is significant that Washington’s long-standing concern about Israel’s presence in Centcom damaging US relations with the Arab states has apparently evaporated. 

Once, the US was careful to distance itself from Israel whenever the Pentagon got deeply mired in the region, whether it was the US Gulf war of 1990 or the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Those calculations no longer seem relevant.

The move demonstrates a growing US confidence that the Arab states – at least those that matter to Washington – are unperturbed about being seen to make a military accommodation with Israel, in addition to political and economic engagement. It underscores the fact that the oil-rich Gulf states, alongside Israel, are now the key drivers of US foreign policy in the region and suggests that the most important, Saudi Arabia, is waiting for the right moment to sign its own accord with Israel. 

Move out of the shadows

Israel, it is expected, will continue to conduct military exercises in Europe with Nato countries, but will soon be able to build similar direct relations with Arab armies, especially those being rapidly expanded and professionalised in the Gulf using its oil wealth. 

US Marine Corps General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. (L), Commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), shakes hands with Saudi military officers during his visit to a military base in al-Kharj in central Saudi Arabia on July 18, 2019.
US General Kenneth McKenzie (L), commander of US Central Command (Centcom), shakes hands with Saudi military officers on 18 July 2019 (AFP)

As the Israeli scholar Jeff Halper has noted, Israel has shown how effective it is at translating its military and security ties with armies and police forces around the world into diplomatic support in international bodies. 

The Middle East is not likely to be different. Once Israel has become the linchpin of more professionalised armies in the region, those states dependent on its help can be expected to further abandon the Palestinian cause.

Regional divide-and-rule

Another dividend for Israel will be complicating Washington’s relations with the Arab region. 

Not only does Centcom operate major bases in the Gulf, especially in Bahrain and Qatar, but it leads the proclaimed “war on terror”, with overt or covert operations in several Arab states, including Iraq and Syria. 

With Israel inside Centcom, the US and its most favoured Arab states are also likely to be more directly implicated in Israel’s major military operations against the Palestinians, such as the repeated ‘wars’ on Gaza

It will be harder for the US to disentangle itself from Israel’s own openly belligerent operations, including air strikes, in both countries, that are conducted in flagrant violation of international law. Tensions between the US and Baghdad have in the past escalated over Israeli air strikes in Iraq, with threats to limit US access to Iraqi airspace.  

With Israel inside Centcom, the US and its most favoured Arab states are also likely to be more directly implicated in Israel’s major military operations against the Palestinians, such as the repeated “wars” on Gaza. 

This will pose a significant challenge to the region’s cooperative institutions such as the Arab League. It is almost certain to drive an even deeper wedge between pro-Washington Arab states and those accused of being on the wrong side of the “war on terror”.

The result could be a regional divide-and-rule policy cultivated by Israel that mirrors the decades-long, disabling divisions Israel has generated in the Palestinian leadership, most pronounced in the split between Fatah and Hamas.

Anti-Iran front

The biggest bonus for Israel will be a more formal alliance with Arab states against Iran and shepherding more ambivalent states into Israel’s orbit. 

That appears to have been the purpose of the recently well-publicised reconciliation between the UAE and Saudis on one side and Qatar on the other, achieved in the dying days of the Trump administration. One of the chief causes of the lengthy blockade of Qatar related to its insistence on maintaining political and economic ties with Tehran.

the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami (R) watching a launch of missiles during a military drill in an unknown location in central Iran
Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami (R), watches missiles being launched during a military drill in central Iran on 15 January 2021 (AFP)

Israel’s aim is to force the Biden administration’s hand in continuing Trump’s belligerent anti-Iran policy, which included aggressive sanctions, assassinations and tearing up the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran signed by Barack Obama. That deal had given inspectors access to Iran to ensure it did not develop a nuclear bomb that might neutralise the strategic clout Israel gains from its nuclear arsenal.

Once Israel has become the linchpin of more professionalised armies in the region, those states dependent on its help can be expected to further abandon the Palestinian cause

Inside Centcom, Israel will be able to work more closely with Gulf allies to sabotage any efforts inside Washington to revive the nuclear accord with Tehran. That point was underscored last week when an online security conference, hosted by Tel Aviv University, was attended by two Gulf ministers.

At the conference, Kochavi, Israel’s military chief of staff, issued an unprecedented public rebuke to Biden over recent statements that he wished to revive the nuclear deal. Kochavi called the agreement “bad and wrong strategically and operatively”, claimed that Iran would launch nuclear missiles at Israel once it had them, and declared that a go-it-alone attack by Israel “must be on the table”. 

Bahrain’s foreign minister, Abdullatif al-Zayani, observed that Israel and the Gulf states would have a better chance of preventing any US conciliation towards Iran if they spoke in a “unified voice”. He added: “A joint regional position on these issues will exert greater influence on the United States.” 

That view was echoed by Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s foreign affairs minister.

Middle East bogeyman

In a sign of how the Biden administration is already fearful of taking on a broad Middle Eastern alliance against Iran, the new president’s pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said last month it was “vitally important” to consult with Israel and the Gulf states before re-entering the deal.Is the UAE plotting with Israel against Palestinian refugees?Read More »

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, desperate to bolster his electoral fortunes and deflect attention from his looming corruption trial, has every incentive to prise open that chink. 

Ensuring Iran remains the Middle East’s number one bogeyman – the focus of western hostility – is in the joint interests of an Israel that has no intention of ending its decades-old obstruction of Palestinian statehood and of Gulf states that have no intention of ending their own human rights abuses and promotion of Islamic discord.

Mike Pompeo, Trump’s departing secretary of state, planted a landmine last month designed to serve Israeli and Saudi interests by highlighting the fact that a number of al-Qaeda leaders have found shelter in Iran. That echoed the Bush administration’s – in this case, entirely fanciful – claim of ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein as a pretext, along with non-existent WMD, for the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

With Israel’s arrival in Centcom, the lobbying for a repeat of that catastrophic blunder can only grow – and with it, the prospects for renewed conflagration in the Middle East.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition

“ميدل إيست آي”: لماذا تنضم “إسرائيل” إلى القيادة المركزية الأميركية

المصدر: ميدل إيست آي
11 شباط 12:24

إن انضمام “إسرائيل” إلى القيادة المركزية الأميركية سيزيد من إلحاق الضرر بالقضية الفلسطينية وسيدق إسفيناً بين الدول العربية ويزيد من حدة التوتر مع إيران.

صورة تجمع ماكينزي بغانتس وكوخافي خلال زيارته

كتب جوناثان كوك مقالة في موقع  “ميدل إيست آي” البريطاني قال فيه إن البنتاغون أعلن الشهر الماضي عن إعادة تنظيم كبيرة لإدخال “إسرائيل” – لأول مرة – داخل قيادتها العسكرية في الشرق الأوسط، القيادة المركزية الأميركية ، إلى جانب الدول العربية، وهذا القرار الخطير لم يحدث أي من الضجة المعتادة.

وأضاف: حتى الآن، تنتمي “إسرائيل” إلى القيادة الأوروبية للجيش الأميركي، أو ، بدلاً من القيادة في الشرق الأوسط، المعروفة باسم القيادة المركزية . لقد تخلص القرار بشكل فعال من الحكمة التقليدية القائلة بأن إدراج “إسرائيل” في القيادة المركزية الأميركية من شأنه أن يزيد الاحتكاك بين الولايات المتحدة والدول العربية، وسيجعل الأخيرة أكثر إحجاماً عن مشاركة المعلومات الاستخباراتية أو التعاون مع البنتاغون. فقد تم الشعور بهذه المخاوف بشكل خاص عندما كان للولايات المتحدة أعداد كبيرة من القوات في العراق وأفغانستان. في عام 2010، أعرب الجنرال ديفيد بتريوس، قائد القيادة المركزية الأميركية آنذاك، عن مخاوفه من احتمال دفع ثمن التواطؤ العسكري الصريح مع “إسرائيل” على القوات الأميركية المتمركزة في المنطقة.

لكن هدف “إسرائيل” الطويل الأمد كان إجبار البنتاغون على إعادة هيكلة القيادة المركزية، وقد تصاعد الضغط من جماعات الضغط المؤيدة لـ”إسرائيل” في واشنطن في الأشهر الأخيرة من إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب. وكان القرار يشبه إلى حد كبير “هدية وداع” لـ”إسرائيل” من ترامب أثناء تنحيه.

تطبيع عسكري

وأوضح الكاتب أنه لم يتم الانتقال الرسمي لـ”إسرائيل” إلى “سنتكوم” بعد، ولكن تم تعزيز هذه الخطوة مع أول زيارة الشهر الماضي إلى “إسرائيل” من قبل الجنرال كينيث ماكنزي، الرئيس الحالي للقيادة المركزية، منذ دخول الرئيس جو بايدن البيت الأبيض. إلى جانب رئيس أركان الجيش الإسرائيلي، أفيف كوخافي، زرع ماكنزي شجرة، رسمياً بمناسبة العيد اليهودي لتو بيشفات، لكنها تمثل رمزياً حقبة جديدة في شراكتهما الاستراتيجية.

وبعد اجتماع مع الجنرال الأميركي، أصدر بيني غانتس، وزير الأمن الإسرائيلي، بياناً أشاد فيه بإعادة تنظيم البنتاغون، قائلاً إنه “سيوفر لإسرائيل فرصة لتعميق التعاون مع شركاء إقليميين جدد وتوسيع آفاق العمل”.

وقال الكاتب إن قرار إدخال “إسرائيل” داخل القيادة العسكرية الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط – من وجهة نظر واشنطن – يعتبر تتويجاً لجهود دفع الدول العربية إلى “التطبيع” العلني مع “إسرائيل”. وأضاف: يمكن الآن إضافة التطبيع العسكري إلى التطبيع السياسي والدبلوماسي والاقتصادي الذي بدأ رسمياً في أيلول / سبتمبر الماضي عندما وقعت دولتان خليجيتان، الإمارات العربية المتحدة والبحرين، ما يسمى بـ”اتفاقات إبراهيم” مع “إسرائيل”. كما أعلن المغرب والسودان عن اتفاقيات السلام الخاصة بهما مع “إسرائيل”، ومن المرجح أن تحذو دول عربية أخرى حذوها بمجرد انتهاء الغبار مع إدارة بايدن.

وتابع كوك: منذ توقيع اتفاقات إبراهيم، أقامت الإمارات علاقات تجارية قوية مع “إسرائيل” وساعدت في إنشاء صندوق إبراهيم، المصمم لتمويل البنية التحتية للاحتلال الذي استخدمته “إسرائيل” لحرمان الفلسطينيين من إقامة دولة. وعندما تم إطلاق الرحلات إلى دبي في تشرين الثاني / نوفمبر، تدفق السياح الإسرائيليون على الإمارات للاستفادة من العلاقات الودية الجديدة والهروب من قيود الإغلاق في الوطن. ويُقال على نطاق واسع إن مثل هذه الزيارات أصبحت إحدى الطرق الرئيسية التي استوردت بها “إسرائيل” أنواعًا جديدة من  فيروس كوفيد -19 الشهر الماضي، إذ أغلقت “إسرائيل” حدودها فعلياً – باستثناء استقبال الجنرال ماكنزي – لإبقاء الفيروس تحت السيطرة.

ورأى الكاتب أنه في ظاهر الأمر، فإن رغبة “إسرائيل” في الانتقال إلى “سنتكوم ، وهو نوع من حلف شمال الأطلسي في الشرق الأوسط يغطي العديد من الدول العربية التي لا تزال “إسرائيل” لديها علاقات عدائية معها، تبدو غير بديهية. لكن في الواقع، ستحقق “إسرائيل” مكاسب إستراتيجية كبيرة. وستعمل على مواءمة المصالح الأمنية الأميركية في المنطقة بشكل أوثق مع مصالح “إسرائيل”، على حساب جيرانها العرب. وسوف تساعد جهود “إسرائيل” المستمرة لسحق الطموحات الوطنية للفلسطينيين، مع تعاون العديد من الدول العربية سواء بشكل واضح أو ضمني. وسيزيد من حدة التوترات السياسية داخل كتلة الدول العربية، ويزيد من إضعافها. وسيساعد على زيادة الضغط على الدول العربية المتمردة للانضمام إلى إجماع أوسع ضد العدو الإقليمي الوحيد المتبقي لـ”إسرائيل”: إيران.

وقال الكاتب “إن من الأهمية بمكان أن قلق واشنطن الطويل الأمد بشأن الوجود الإسرائيلي في القيادة المركزية الأميركية الذي يضر بعلاقات الولايات المتحدة مع الدول العربية قد تبخر على ما يبدو. فذات مرة، كانت الولايات المتحدة حريصة على إبعاد نفسها عن “إسرائيل” كلما غرق البنتاغون بعمق في المنطقة، سواء كانت حرب الخليج الأميركية عام 1990 أو غزو العراق واحتلاله عام 2003. هذه الحسابات لم تعد موجودة. فقد أظهرت هذه الخطوة ثقة الولايات المتحدة المتزايدة في أن الدول العربية – على الأقل تلك التي تهم واشنطن – غير منزعجة من أن يُنظر إليها على أنها تقدم تسوية عسكرية مع “إسرائيل”، بالإضافة إلى المشاركة السياسية والاقتصادية. إنه يؤكد حقيقة أن دول الخليج الغنية بالنفط، إلى جانب “إسرائيل”، أصبحت الآن المحركين الرئيسيين للسياسة الخارجية الأميركية في المنطقة، وتشير إلى أن أهمها، المملكة العربية السعودية، تنتظر اللحظة المناسبة لتوقيع اتفاقها الخاص مع إسرائيل”.

وأضاف: من المتوقع أن تستمر “إسرائيل” في إجراء التدريبات العسكرية في أوروبا مع دول حلف الأطلسي (الناتو)، لكنها ستتمكن قريباً من بناء علاقات مباشرة مماثلة مع الجيوش العربية، وخاصة تلك التي يتم توسيعها بسرعة واحترافها في الخليج باستخدام ثروتها النفطية. ومن المحتمل أن يخرج الضباط الإسرائيليون قريباً من الظل ويقومون بتدريب الجيوش الإماراتية والسعودية وتقديم المشورة لهم كجزء من أدوارهم المشتركة في القيادة المركزية. إن خبرة “إسرائيل” الخاصة، التي تعتمد على عقود من المراقبة والسيطرة والقمع للفلسطينيين، ستكون مطلوبة بشدة في دول الخليج التي تخشى المعارضة الداخلية أو الانتفاضات.

وكما أشار الباحث الإسرائيلي جيف هالبر، أظهرت “إسرائيل” مدى فعاليتها في ترجمة علاقاتها العسكرية والأمنية مع الجيوش وقوات الشرطة في جميع أنحاء العالم إلى دعم دبلوماسي في الهيئات الدولية. ومن غير المحتمل أن يكون الشرق الأوسط مختلفاً. فبمجرد أن تصبح “إسرائيل” العمود الفقري للجيوش الأكثر احترافاً في المنطقة، يمكن توقع أن تتخلى تلك الدول التي تعتمد على مساعدتها عن القضية الفلسطينية.

فرّق تسد 

ورأى الكاتب أن المكاسب الأخرى لـ”إسرائيل” ستكون تعقيد علاقات واشنطن مع المنطقة العربية. إذ لا تقوم القيادة المركزية الأميركية بتشغيل قواعد رئيسية في الخليج فقط، وخاصة في البحرين وقطر، ولكنها تقود “الحرب على الإرهاب” المعلنة، مع عمليات علنية أو سرية في العديد من الدول العربية، بما في ذلك العراق وسوريا. وسيكون من الصعب على الولايات المتحدة أن تنأى بنفسها عن عمليات “إسرائيل” العدائية العلنية، بما في ذلك الضربات الجوية، في كلا البلدين (سوريا والعراق)، والتي تتم في انتهاك صارخ للقانون الدولي. 

وأضاف: تصاعدت التوترات بين الولايات المتحدة وبغداد في الماضي بسبب الضربات الجوية الإسرائيلية في العراق، مع تهديدات بتقييد وصول الولايات المتحدة إلى المجال الجوي العراقي. لكن بوجود “إسرائيل” داخل القيادة المركزية الأميركية، فمن المرجح أيضاً أن تكون الولايات المتحدة والدول العربية المفضلة لديها أكثر تورطًا بشكل مباشر في العمليات العسكرية الإسرائيلية الكبرى ضد الفلسطينيين، مثل “الحروب” المتكررة على غزة. سيشكل هذا تحدياً كبيراً للمؤسسات التعاونية في المنطقة مثل جامعة الدول العربية. ويكاد يكون من المؤكد دق إسفين أعمق بين الدول العربية الموالية لواشنطن وتلك المتهمة بالوقوف في الجانب الخطأ من “الحرب على الإرهاب”.

وخلص الكاتب إلى أنه يمكن أن تكون النتيجة سياسة “فرق تسد” الإقليمية التي ترعاها “إسرائيل” والتي تعكس الانقسامات التي دامت عقوداً، والتي عطلتها “إسرائيل” في القيادة الفلسطينية، والتي تجلّت أكثر في الانقسام بين حركتي فتح وحماس.

الجبهة المناهضة لإيران

وأوضح الكاتب أن المكافأة الأكبر لـ”إسرائيل” ستكون تحالفاً أكثر رسمية مع الدول العربية ضد إيران ورعاية دول أكثر تردداً في فلك “إسرائيل”. ويبدو أن هذا الأمر كان الغرض من المصالحة التي تم الإعلان عنها أخيراً بين الإمارات والسعوديين من جهة وقطر من جهة أخرى، والتي تحققت في الأيام الأخيرة لإدارة ترامب. فمن الأسباب الرئيسية للحصار المطول على قطر إصرارها على الحفاظ على العلاقات السياسية والاقتصادية مع طهران. وتهدف “إسرائيل” إلى إجبار إدارة بايدن على مواصلة سياسة ترامب العدائية المناهضة لإيران، والتي تضمنت عقوبات صارمة واغتيالات وتمزيق الاتفاق النووي لعام 2015 مع طهران الذي وقعه الرئيس باراك أوباما. وقد سمح هذا الاتفاق للمفتشين بالدخول إلى إيران للتأكد من أنها لم تطور قنبلة نووية قد تكسر النفوذ الاستراتيجي الذي تكسبه “إسرائيل” من ترسانتها النووية. 

وتابع الكاتب: داخل القيادة المركزية -سنتكوم، ستكون “إسرائيل” قادرة على العمل بشكل أوثق مع حلفاء الخليج لتخريب أي جهود داخل واشنطن لإحياء الاتفاق النووي مع طهران. فقد أصدر كوخافي، رئيس أركان الجيش الإسرائيلي، توبيخاً علنياً غير مسبوق لبايدن بشأن التصريحات الأخيرة التي قال فيها إنه يرغب في إحياء الاتفاق النووي. ووصف كوخافي الاتفاق بأنه “سيء وخاطئ استراتيجياً وعملياً”، وادعى أن إيران ستطلق صواريخ نووية على “إسرائيل” بمجرد امتلاكها، وأعلن أن هجوم “إسرائيل” بمفردها “يجب أن يكون على الطاولة”.

وأشار وزير خارجية البحرين، عبد اللطيف الزياني، إلى أن “إسرائيل” ودول الخليج ستكون لها فرصة أفضل لمنع أي تسوية أميركية تجاه إيران إذا تحدثت “بصوت موحد”. وأضاف: “الموقف الإقليمي المشترك بشأن هذه القضايا سيكون له تأثير أكبر على الولايات المتحدة”. وكرر هذا الرأي أنور قرقاش وزير الخارجية الإماراتي.

وفي إشارة إلى كيف تخشى إدارة بايدن بالفعل الدخول في تحالف شرق أوسطي واسع ضد إيران، قال انتوني بلينكين، وزيرة الخارجية الأميركي، الشهر الماضي إنه من “المهم للغاية” التشاور مع “إسرائيل” والخليج قبل العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي.

رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو، اليائس لتعزيز ثرواته الانتخابية وصرف الانتباه عن محاكمته التي تلوح في الأفق بالفساد، لديه كل الحافز لفتح هذه الفجوة، وذلك لضمان أن تظل إيران البعبع الأول في الشرق الأوسط – محور العداء الغربي – في المصالح المشتركة لـ”إسرائيل”، التي لا تنوي إنهاء عوائقها المستمرة منذ عقود للدولة الفلسطينية، ودول الخليج التي لا تنوي إنهاء انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان وتعزيز الانقسام الإسلامي.

مايك بومبيو، وزير خارجية ترامب، زرع لغماً أرضياً الشهر الماضي مصمماً لخدمة المصالح الإسرائيلية والسعودية من خلال تسليط الضوء على حقيقة أن عدداً من قادة تنظيم القاعدة وجدوا ملاذاً في إيران. وردد ذلك صدى ادعاء إدارة الرئيس جورج بوش الإبن – الوهمي تماماً – بوجود روابط بين “القاعدة” وصدام حسين كذريعة، إلى جانب أسلحة دمار شامل التي لم تكن موجودة، لغزو العراق واحتلاله عام 2003.

وختم كوك تحليله بالقول إنه “مع وصول إسرائيل إلى القيادة المركزية، فإن الضغط لتكرار هذا الخطأ الكارثي يمكن أن ينمو فقط، وتنمو معه احتمالات تجدد الحرب في الشرق الأوسط”.

ترجمة بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم

Iran to nuclear weapons … a serious option إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…خيار جدّيّ

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Iran to nuclear weapons … a serious option

Photo of إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…
خيار جدّيّ

Nasser Kandil

–In years, as Iran advances nuclear technology and establishes advances in missile technology, even reaching the advanced range, Iran has succeeded in letting America gasp behind, while Iran’s political point of view is neither nuclear nor missile. On the political level, Iran’s nuclear program is a twin, the first is aimed at economic and social progress using nuclear technology in multiple areas, but it has a high strategic value in the Eyes of the United States because of the opportunity to turn into a military nuclear program, and the second to protect progress in the first, Iranian missiles are the shield and fort to protect the nuclear program, by making the thinking of striking this program militarily out of research, especially since the missile program If Iran’s nuclear program is strategically in the eyes of Washington, and Iran’s missile program is a shield against targeting, what is the strategy in Tehran’s eyes?

–During the decades of progress on the nuclear program and subsequently the missile program, Washington has been negotiating and halting negotiations, and discovering when it returns to negotiations that the Iranian program has made qualitatively new progress with which the terms of the negotiations have changed, according to former U.S. President Barack Obama, based on his call not to risk returning pressure and withdrawing from negotiations without signing a possible agreement. Whenever Washington imagined that releasing Iranian funds and lifting sanctions would ensure that Iran would abandon Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, or abandon Ansar Allah in Yemen, it would discover the opposite, until the Obama administration reached the conviction that it agreed with this strategy and wagered to contain its escalation by engaging in localised settlements in the arenas of engagement that would satisfy the local parties, before the administration of former President Trump reached a bet on returning to pressure in response to Saudi-Israeli commitments to turn the table, to result in the Trump mandate the birth of new conditions for negotiation, what are they?

– President Obama said that he was informed by a trusted mediator with Iran that relying on Imam Ali Khamenei’s fatwa prohibiting the production of nuclear weapons to continue pressure on Iran may lead to changing the fatwa to allow the production of nuclear weapons and limiting their use to defending Iran against a nuclear attack, and what the Iranian Minister of Security said before two days about the possibility of Iran going to produce a nuclear weapon, will be taken very seriously, because when Iran announces a hypothesis, it does not do so in negotiation unless it has acquired all of its components, and the scenario for its implementation becomes available, this is an additional significance of the twinning of the nuclear program with the missile program, to form together a project that obtains strategic value in Tehran’s eyes in this case. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is reluctant to quickly return the nuclear deal without amendment and without additional conditions, and to push for the lifting of sanctions.

If the confrontation follows this scenario, to which Tehran seems well prepared, the negotiations, according to Obama, will become more complicated, and no one will be able to talk to Iran with less negotiating offers than linking the end of Iran’s nuclear weapons program to the end of Israel’s military nuclear program. This is the new strategic value that Iran is preparing to achieve, which Washington gives legitimacy whenever it makes way to return to the original agreement, which Iran cannot refuse if America returns to it with the lifting of sanctions, under the heading of the return of the parties to the pre-Trump actions that paved Iran’s path to this stage of power.

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إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…خيار جدّيّ

Photo of إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…
خيار جدّيّ

ناصر قنديل

خلال سنوات نجحت إيران، وهي تتقدّم في التكنولوجيا النووية وتؤسس للتقدم في تكنولوجيا الصواريخ، حتى بلغت فيها المدى المتقدم، بأن تدع أميركا تلهث وراءها، بينما وجهة إيران السياسية ليست نووية ولا صاروخية. فعلى الصعيد السياسي يشكل البرنامج النووي والبرنامج الصاروخي لإيران توأمين، الأول هادف للتقدم الاقتصادي والاجتماعي باستخدام التقنية النووية في مجالات متعددة، لكنه صاحب قيمة استراتيجية عالية في العيون الأميركية لما يوفره من فرصة للتحول الى برنامج نووي عسكري، والثاني لحماية التقدم في الأول، فالصواريخ الإيرانيّة هي الدرع والحصن لحماية البرنامج النووي، بجعل التفكير بضرب هذا البرنامج عسكرياً خارج البحث، خصوصاً أن البرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني الذي بلغ مراحل القدرة على إصابة كل المواقع الأميركيّة المنتشرة في دائرة شعاعها 2000 كلم، هو البرنامج ذاته الذي تنتقل تقنياته الى قوى المقاومة والذي يجعل مع الصواريخ الإيرانية أمن كيان الاحتلال والحكومات التابعة لواشنطن في دائرة الخطر، فإذا كان البرنامج النووي الإيراني استراتيجياً بعيون واشنطن، والبرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني درع حمايته من الاستهداف، فما هو الاستراتيجي بعيون طهران؟

خلال عقود التقدم في البرنامج النووي وتالياً البرنامج الصاروخي، كانت واشنطن تفاوض وتوقف التفاوض، وتكتشف عندما تعود للتفاوض ان البرنامج الإيراني حقق تقدماً جديداً نوعياً تغيّرت معه شروط التفاوض، وفقاً لما قاله الرئيس الأميركي السابق باراك أوباما، مستنداً الى ذلك في دعوته لعدم المخاطرة بالعودة للضغوط والانسحاب من التفاوض دون توقيع الاتفاق الممكن. وخلال هذه العقود كان ولا يزال الهم الإيراني الاستراتيجي الأول هو بناء طوق صاروخي متين لقوى المقاومة قادر على حصار كيان الاحتلال. وكلما توهمت واشنطن أن الإفراج عن الأموال الإيرانية ورفع العقوبات سيتكفلان بتخلي إيران عن طريق طهران بغداد دمشق بيروت، أو بالتخلي عن أنصار الله في اليمن، كانت تكتشف العكس، حتى وصلت إدارة أوباما إلى الاقتناع بالتساكن مع هذه الاستراتيجية والرهان على احتواء تصاعدها من خلال الانخراط بتسويات موضعية في ساحات الاشتباك، تحوز رضى الأطراف المحلية، قبل ان تصل إدارة الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، الى الرهان على العودة للضغوط تلبية لتعهدات إسرائيلية سعودية بقلب الطاولة، لينتج عن ولاية ترامب ولادة شروط جديدة للتفاوض، فما هي؟

قال الرئيس أوباما إنه تبلغ من وسيط موثوق مع إيران، بأن الاستناد إلى فتوى الإمام علي الخامنئي بتحريم إنتاج سلاح نووي لمواصلة الضغط على إيران قد يؤدي لتغيير الفتوى بالسماح بإنتاج سلاح نووي، وحصر استخدامها بالدفاع عن إيران بوجه هجوم نوويّ، وما قاله وزير الأمن الإيراني قبل يومين عن احتمال ذهاب إيران لإنتاج سلاح نووي، يؤخذ على محمل الجدّ لأن إيران عندما تعلن عن فرضية لا تفعل ذلك تفاوضياً إلا وقد امتلكت كل مقوّماتها، وبات سيناريو تطبيقها متاحاً، وهذا مغزى إضافي لتوأمة البرنامج النووي مع البرنامج الصاروخي، ليشكلا معاً مشروعاً ينال القيمة الاستراتيجي بعيون طهران في هذه الحالة. حالة تردّد إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن في العودة السريعة للاتفاق النوويّ من دون تعديل ومن دون شروط إضافية، والمبادرة الى رفع العقوبات.

في حال سلكت المواجهة هذا السيناريو، الذي تبدو طهران قد أعدّت له جيداً، يصير التفاوض وفقاً لما قاله اوباما، أشد تعقيداً فلن يكون متاحاً لأحد عندها الحديث مع إيران بعروض تفاوضيّة أقل من ربط إنهاء البرنامج العسكريّ النوويّ الإيراني إلا بالتزامن مع إنهاء البرنامج النوويّ العسكري الإسرائيليّ. وهذه هي القيمة الاستراتيجية الجديدة، التي تستعدّ لتحقيقها إيران، والتي تمنحها واشنطن المشروعيّة كلما عقدت سبل العودة للاتفاق الأصلي، الذي لا تملك إيران أن ترفضه إذا عادت إليه أميركا مرفقاً برفع العقوبات، تحت عنوان عودة الطرفين الى ما قبل إجراءات ترامب التي مهدت لإيران طريق بلوغ هذه المرحلة من الاقتدار

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Iran-America: A Nuclear File or Beyond That? إيران – أميركا: ملف نوويّ أم أبعد من ذلك؟

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Iran-America: A Nuclear File or Beyond That?

Brigadier General Dr. Amin MohammedHatit*

On the 42nd anniversary of its victory, and at a time when the Islamic Revolution in Iran boasted of its distinct and multi-heading achievements, including strategic, political, scientific, economic, and military, etc., it faces important challenges that are not the issue of the economic war waged against it or the blockade and sanctions related to the Iranian nuclear file and the international agreement around it, at least.

Iran has chosen, since the success of its revolution and its orientation to build a truly independent state, the state enjoying its sovereign rights and investing its wealth outside the major blocs, protected by self and allied power.

On the other hand, the West viewed the Iranian independence approach as a departure from the “international order” imposed on the world after the Second World War, which is based on the idea of ​​”ruling the victors’ club in that war” controlling the fate and course of the world and preventing new members from entering this club except through one of the two powers.

The contrast between Iran, and the colonial system system stems from a fundamental idea, namely, Iran’s quest for a strong independent state to exercise its sovereign rights, and the rejection of the club of victors in the second war and because. Iran rejected dependency and maintained its independence and rights and extended the hand to those who were able to help who were abused in the region and the world, Iran was also attacked by a destructive war for 8 years, followed and is still by escalating and brutal manner economic war and a continuous blockade to the extent that it affects the people in most of their rights up to Food and medicine.

The economic war “sanctions” is not the result of Iran’s entry into the nuclear field and its success in making an advanced centrifugal system or enriching uranium by 20% or its ability to enrich with higher rates. All these titles and details are pretexts begged to justify the Western aggression against Iran. The real reason for the Western aggression against Iran lies in Iran’s endeavour to build a strong and independent self and its readiness to support the oppressed, especially the Palestinian people whose homeland was robbed by the Zionist entity, and therefore the policy of the West in the face of Iran is to deprive Iran of its power and resources, which can later undermine its independence and prevent it from helping those who want to return to their homeland in Palestine.

Iran has realised from the start the reality of the West’s stances towards it, its goals and strategies adopted against it, and decided to defend itself, its principles and its people and move forward to achieve its goals: independence, the exercise of all rights, building the protecting power, and adopted a defensive strategy of “long breath”, “strategic patience”, “courage in the situation” without provocation or an un-calculated challenge, but a kind of “constructive ambiguity” that does not provide the adversary with an excuse or attack.

In this environment, Iran entered the nuclear field and passed the threshold of possession of technology, announcing its attempt to use this technology for peaceful civilian and humanitarian purposes, but the West found in the subject a door and a new pretext to do more blockade measures and economic war and impose what he calls “sanctions” to tame Iran, while waving military action to destroy Iranian infrastructure not only in the nuclear field but in every area can be destroyed to prevent Iran from developing and advancing.

But Iran, in its reality and alliances, has surprised the adversary and the enemy, as it has with characteristic intelligence that it has the military power to be able to defend itself as reliably and to respond punitively and retaliatory to the aggressor, whose bases, positions and strategic positions are at the reach of Iran and under the influence of the missile system are legitimate targets for the defensive response. Iran had succeeded in preparing itself and announcing it even before it revealed its level of nuclear status.

This reality prevented the enemy Iran from committing any stupidity Israel did on the day its planes destroyed the Iraqi Tammuz reactor, and the matter passed as if it had not happened.

The agreement that led to the 5+1 negotiations with Iran on its nuclear file, which was approved by the Security Council and converted into a legitimate UN document, was not the fruit of the morals and humanity of the 5 + 1 group and its desire to solve the issue peacefully, but rather the inability of that group to resort to military force to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear project. That’s why the agreement on the nuclear file was a way out for all. Iran has reserved its right to follow the nuclear path within restrictions that affirm its peaceful and civilian nature and dismantle a package of sanctions imposed on it in an malicious and criminal form, and the other side affirms “a right that it claims and sees as a right Acquired »by preventing anyone else from entering the military nuclear club.

But America, working to prevent Iran from independence, strength, and supporting the oppressed, turned against the agreement and carried out the strangest behaviour that anyone could imagine. America disavows everything it has committed the sanctions remained and even tightened, Iran smartly responded, by gradually retreating from its commitments, accompanied by the demonstration of its defensive military power capable of self-defence, presence and interests.

And it appeared that regardless of who lives in the White House, Trump or Biden, the policy of the Iranian and American parties has become clear, Iran wants to exercise a right, and America wants to blackmail and prevent Iran from exercising its rights, regardless of the titles of those rights, Who will be the predominant?

Mr. Ali Khamenei answered very clearly to this question, showing that the world has entered the “post-American phase” and the rational person must explain and realise that the pioneer of persuasive patience in the world is not ready to retreat and concede to a force that has entered a phase of decline. The American empire, as we said in a previous article, is preparing for its demise and someone who strengthens and tightens his grip on the sources of power wins, and if it takes some pain while awaiting the greatest victory. Biden must know that Iran believes and trusts that it is ultimately the victor, and he should not waste time returning to the nuclear agreement because delaying will not be in his interest, and he knows that there is no solution except through this agreement. Will the media debates today be a show of strength and preparation for negotiations for America’s return to a file that Biden claims is his priority?

It is a few weeks and the answer comes?

*University professor – strategic expert.

إيران – أميركا: ملف نوويّ أم أبعد من ذلك؟

 العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط*

في الذكرى الـ 42 لانتصارها وفي الوقت الذي تفاخر فيه الثورة الإسلامية في إيران بإنجازاتها المميّزة والمتعدّدة العناوين من استراتيجية وسياسية وعلمية واقتصادية وعسكرية إلخ… فإنها تواجه تحديات هامة ليست مسألة الحرب الاقتصادية التي تشنّ عليها أو الحصار والعقوبات المرتبطة بالملف النووي الإيراني والاتفاق الدولي حولها أقلها.

لقد اختارت إيران منذ نجاح ثورتها وتوجّهها الى بناء الدولة المستقلة فعلياً، الدولة المتمتعة بحقوقها السياديّة واستثمار ثرواتها، اختارت العمل في بناء الذات وحشد الطاقات وعقد التحالفات التي تمكّنها من بناء القوة التي تمكنها من ممارسة استقلالها الحقيقيّ العمليّ بعيداً عن الاستقلال الشكليّ النظريّ الذي تعيشه معظم دول العالم خارج التكتلات الكبرى، وبالتالي كانت استراتيجيّة إيران قائمة بشكل رئيسيّ على فكرة الاستقلال الذي تحميه القوة الذاتية والتحالفية وتتمتع بالثروة وممارسة الحقوق السيادية.

وفي المقابل نظر الغرب الى النهج الاستقلالي الإيراني بأنه خروج عن «النظام الدولي» المفروض على العالم بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية والذي يقوم على فكرة «تحكم نادي المنتصرين في تلك الحرب» تحكّمه بمصير ومسار العالم ومنع دخول أعضاء جدد الى هذا النادي إلا من باب إحدى القوّتين العظميين وبعد أن تؤدّى مراسم الطاعة وتعتنق التبعية عقيدة في السلوك.

فالتباين بين إيران الثورة – الدولة المستقلة ومنظومة الغرب الاستعماري ناشئ من فكرة أساسية، هي سعي إيران لإقامة الدولة المستقلة القوية الممارسة حقوقها السيادية، ورفض نادي المنتصرين في الحرب الثانية لفكرة وجود قوة في العالم خارج سيطرته بعيداً عن قراره، ولهذا… ولأنّ إيران رفضت التبعية وتمسّكت باستقلالها وبحقوقها ومدّت اليد لمن استطاعت ان تساعده من المظلومين المعتدى عليهم في المنطقة والعالم، لأنها كذلك فقد اعتُدي عليها بحرب تدميرية لمدة 8 سنوات، ثم أتبعت ولا تزال عرضة لحرب اقتصادية وحصار مستمرّ يمارس بشكل تصاعدي وحشي الى حدّ أنه يطال الشعب في معظم حقوقه وصولاً الى الغذاء والدواء.

إنّ الحرب والحصار الاقتصادي المنفذ بما تسمّيه أميركا «عقوبات»، ليس وليد الساعة وليس نتيجة دخول إيران المجال النوويّ ونجاحها في صنع منظومة الطرد المركزي المتقدّمة او تخصيب اليورانيوم بنسبة 20% او قدرتها على التخصيب بنسب أعلى، انّ كلّ هذه العناوين والتفاصيل هي ذرائع تتوسّلها القوى الاستعارية لتبرّر حربها وحصارها لإيران، اما السبب الحقيقي للعدوان الغربي على إيران – الثورة الإسلامية فإنه يكمن في سعي إيران الى بناء الذات القوية المستقلة واستعدادها او سلوكها في نصرة المظلومين وعلى رأسهم الشعب الفلسطيني الذي سُلب وطنه على يد الكيان الصهيوني، ولذلك فإنّ سياسة الغرب تقوم في مواجهة إيران على حرمانها من القوة ومصادرها، ما يمكن لاحقاً من نسف استقلالها وإعادتها الى ربقة التبعية للغرب الاستعماري كما يحول بينها وبين مساعدة من يريد العودة الى وطنه في فلسطين.

لقد أدركت إيران منذ البدء حقيقة مواقف الغرب حيالها وأهدافه واستراتيجياته المعتمدة ضدّها، وقرّرت الدفاع عن نفسها وعن مبادئها وعن شعبها والسير قدُماً لتحقيق الأهداف التي رمت اليها الثورة الإسلامية: الاستقلال، ممارسة الحقوق كافة، بناء القوة التي تمكن من حماية ذلك، واعتمدت استراتيجية دفاعية تحكمها قواعد «النفس الطويل» و«الصبر الاستراتيجي» و«الشجاعة في الموقف» من غير استفزاز أو تحدّ غير محسوب لا بل يقترب الى نوع من «الغموض البناء» الذي لا يوفر للخصم فرصة أو ذريعة للاعتداء.

في ظلّ هذه البيئة دخلت إيران المجال النوويّ واجتازت عتبة امتلاك التقنية معلنة سعيها لاستخدام هذه التقنية للأغراض المدنية والإنسانية السلمية، لكن الغرب وجد في الموضوع باباً وذريعة جديدة للقيام بمزيد من إجراءات الحصار والحرب الاقتصادية وفرض ما يسمّيه «العقوبات» لترويض إيران، مع التلويح بالعمل العسكري لتدمير البنى التحتية الإيرانية ليس في المجال النووي فحسب بل وفي كلّ مجال يمكن تدميره لمنع إيران من التطوّر والتقدّم.

لكن إيران في واقعها وتحالفاتها فاجأت الخصم والعدو، حيث إنها وبذكاء مميّز أفهمت الآخر أنها تملك من القوة العسكرية ما يمكنها من الدفاع عن النفس بالقدر الموثوق كما ويمكنها من الردّ العقابي والثأري على المعتدي الذي تشكل قواعده ومراكزه ومواقعه الاستراتيجية التي هي في متناول اليد النارية لإيران وتحت تأثير المنظومة الصاروخية تشكل أهدافاً مشروعة للردّ الدفاعي. وكانت إيران قد نجحت في تحضير نفسها للأمر وفي الإعلان عن ذلك حتى قبل أن تكشف عن المستوى الذي وصلت إليه في المجال النووي.

هذا الواقع منع الخصم والعدو لإيران من ارتكاب أيّ حماقة تذكر بما قامت به «إسرائيل» يوم دمّرت طائراتها مفاعل تموز العراقي ومرّ الأمر وكأنه لم يحصل، لكن إيران فرضت على الجميع معادلة ردع تحميها وتمنع من الاعتداء عليها وفرضت على الآخر الذهاب الى المفاوضات لبحث الموضوع.

إنّ الاتفاق الذي أفضت اليه مفاوضات 5+1 مع إيران حول ملفها النووي، والذي صادق عليه مجلس الأمن وحوّله وثيقة أممية شرعية، لم يكن ثمرة أخلاق وإنسانية مجموعة 5+1 ورغبتها بحلّ المسألة سلمياً، بل كان نتيجة عجز تلك المجموعة عن اللجوء الى القوة لعسكرية لمنع إيران من متابعة مشروعها النووي، ولهذا شكل الاتفاق حول الملف النووي مخرجاً للجميع، إيران احتفظت بحقها في السير في المسار النووي ضمن قيود تؤكد على طبيعته السلمية المدنية وتفكّ حزمة من عقوبات فرضت عليها بشكل كيدي إجرامي، والطرف الآخر يؤكد على «حق يدّعيه ويراه حقاً مكتسباً» بمنع أحد من دخول النادي النووي العسكري سواه.

لكن أميركا التي تعمل بسياسة منع إيران من الاستقلال والقوة ونصرة المظلوم، انقلبت على الاتفاق وقامت بأغرب سلوك يمكن ان يتصوّره أحد، سلوك مضمونه ان تستمرّ إيران بالوفاء بالتزاماتها في الاتفاق وأن تتنصل أميركا من كلّ ما التزمت به وان تبقي العقوبات لا بل تتشدّد فيها، وكان الردّ الإيراني الذكي بالتراجع المتدرج عن تلك الالتزامات، تراجع ترافق مع إظهار القوة العسكرية الدفاعية والقادرة على الدفاع عن النفس وجوداً ومصالح.

وظهر أنه وبصرف النظر عمن يسكن البيت الأبيض ترامب الخارج على الاتفاق ام بايدن الذي يوحي بأنه يريد العودة إليه بشروط، ان سياسة الطرفين الإيراني والأميركي باتت واضحة، إيران تريد ممارسة حق، وأميركا تريد الابتزاز ومنع إيران من ممارسة حقوقها وبصرف النظر عن عناوين تلك الحقوق، فلمن تكون الغالبة؟

لقد أجاب السيد علي الخامنئي بوضوح كلي على السؤال هذا، مظهراً انّ العالم دخل «مرحلة ما بعد أميركا» وعلى العاقل أن يفسّر وان يدرك أنّ رائد الصبر الاستدراجي في العالم غير مستعدّ للتراجع والتنازل أمام قوة دخلت مرحلة الأفول، فالإمبراطورية الأميركية كما قلنا في مقالة سابقة تتأهّب للزوال ويفوز من يشدّ ويُحكم قبضته على مصادر قوته وانْ تطلب الأمر تحمّل بعض الألم وهو ينتظر النصر الأكبر، وعلى بايدن أن يعرف انّ إيران تعتقد وتثق بأنها في نهاية المطاف هي المنتصرة وعليه ان لا يضيّع وقتاً في العودة للاتفاق النووي لأنّ التأخير لن يكون في مصلحته، وهو يعلم ان لا سبيل للحلّ إلا بالاتفاق هذا وليس متاحاً اليوم شيء سواه . فهل تكون السجالات الإعلامية اليوم عرضاً للقوة وتحضيراً للتفاوض لعودة أميركا الى ملف يدّعي بايدن بأنه يشكل أولوية لديه؟ ام النزعة الاستعمارية والتمسك بالعنجهية الأميركية والعداء ضدّ إيران سيطيح هذه الأولوية؟ إنها أسابيع قليلة ويأتي الجواب؟

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

فيديوات ذات صلة

Imam Khamenei: Iran will Reverse Nuclear Steps only if US Lifts Sanctions First

Imam Khamenei: Iran will Reverse Nuclear Steps only if US Lifts Sanctions First

By Staff, Agencies

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei confirmed that Iran will retrace its nuclear countermeasures once the United States lifts its sanctions in a manner that could be verifiable by Tehran.

“Iran will return to its JCOPA obligations once the US fully lifts its sanctions in action and not in words or on paper, and once the sanction relief is verified by Iran,” Imam Khamenei announced, referring by abbreviation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the landmark nuclear agreement that Iran signed with the P5+1 group of states – the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany – in Vienna in 2015.

His Eminence made the remarks in Tehran on Sunday during a meeting with commanders, pilots, and staff members of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force [IRIAF].

Under his signature “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, former US president Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the JCPOA and restored the economic sanctions that the deal had removed.

In his Sunday’s remarks, the Leader said it was the “definitive and irreversible” policy of the Islamic Republic that the United States ought to first fully eliminate the sanctions before Iran could reverse its retaliatory measures.

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has signaled a willingness to rejoin the JCPOA, which was inked when he was vice president. However, his foreign policy team has said Iran should take the first step by coming back into “full compliance” with the deal, a condition Tehran says is unacceptable.

“The Americans and the Europeans have no right to set any conditions [of their own] as they violated their JCPOA commitments,” Imam Khamenei stated, adding that Iran would pay no heed to the “idle talk” of some “undeserving” American and European officials in this regard.

He further added: “They initially put some of the sanctions in abeyance for a brief period, but then re-imposed and even intensified them,” in reference to Washington and its allies’ initial limited compliance with the JCPOA. “Therefore, they have no right to come up with any conditions,” the Leader reiterated.

Imam Khamenei pointed to Washington’s past failures to hurt Iran’s Islamic establishment as one of its numerous miscalculations concerning the country.

The Leader particularly recalled Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton’s failed prediction that Washington would successfully enable a “regime change” in Iran by early 2019.

“One of those very first-class idiots had said two years ago that they would be celebrating the New Year in Tehran in January 2019,” Imam Khamenei noted.

“Now, that person has entered the dustbin of history and his boss [Trump] has been kicked out of the White House in a humiliating manner. By God’s grace, though, the Islamic Republic still stands tall,” the Leader noted.

In parallel, Imam Khamenei named the US support for the riots that broke out in Iran in 2009 as another instance of Washington’s miscalculations in its efforts to bring about the collapse of the Islamic Republic.

Washington’s excessive trust in the Pahlavi regime’s military, the Leader said, was yet another calculation that was proven wrong when the air force personnel turned their backs on the US-backed regime.

His Eminence described the officers deserting the army and joining the masses of revolutionary people as a “miracle-like” development that hugely contributed to the Revolution’s victory.

Meanwhile, Imam Khamenei also pointed to Trump’s chaotic final days in the White House, which culminated in the invasion of the Capitol Hill by his extremist supporters.

The Leader said the incidents were not to be underplayed and judged only in light of the twilight of an American president. Rather, those developments in fact marked “the twilight of America’s reputation, power, and social integrity,” he noted.

He advised the Iranian officials to always beware of the enemy and its error-riddled calculations and “constantly increase the constituents of national power.”

He hailed the recent back-to-back military exercises featuring the Army and Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards [IRG] as attempts by “the children of this country to boost national security,” calling the maneuvers “a cause for pride.”

Imam Khamenei, meanwhile, denounced certain regional states for relying on extra-regional sources for their own security, noting that those very same foreign powers would desert them when their assistance is required.

The Leader cited the likes of Iran’s monarch including Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak or Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as examples of regional rulers who mistakenly placed their trust in foreign powers.

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Iran: Keeper of mankind’s anti-imperialist flame amid the ‘end of history’

Source

Thursday, 04 February 2021 3:33 AM  

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Islamic Revolution, February 1979. (Photo by Reuters)
Iran at 42: Keeper of mankind’s anti-imperialist flame amid the ‘end of history’
Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US election. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea, and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China,’ which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

By Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with The Saker

At 42 years the Iranian Islamic Revolution has endured so long that it has seen the reactionary force which rose to counter it – Reaganism – partially defeated by a new faction: Trumpism.

With the return to power – via Joe Biden – of the three decade-long Clintonista ideology Iran hasn’t lasted so very long as to witness a total sea change in US politics, but revolutionary Iran continues to vex, undermine and even defeat mighty Washington precisely because of a key pillar of the Islamic Republic: anti-imperialism.

It’s difficult for me to take Biden and his supporters seriously because even though they claim to represent a progressive leap forward politically one never hears them utter the phrase “anti-imperialism”. In fact, nowhere in US mainstream discourse is this phrase ever heard, and that should be very telling about the true nature of the political factions here.

Anti-imperialism. Indeed, it is a complete sentence. It is a definitive answer to so many questions and problems.

It’s so big that even Wikipedia’s scant page on anti-imperialism relates how it has five different axes: “the moral, the economic, the systemic, the cultural and the temporal”. In one column I cannot discuss all five axes, but I can relate how the phrase is never discussed in both polite and impolite American society. That’s worth repeating because the US is so very aggressive militarily, still.

The single greatest cardinal sin in politics is to attack another country, so from a political point of view the dominant concept behind “anti-imperialism” is an anti-war stance: To be anti-imperialist is to be pro-peace. Therefore, in its political sense “anti-imperialism” is a phrase which implies an inherently internationalist viewpoint which sees weaker – or maybe just less warlike –  countries bound together against any colonising aggressor.

The sad reality is that “anti-imperialism” is not what it used to be.

As I have often related, an accurate analysis of modern human history is that precisely as Iran emerged victorious from the Western-orchestrated War of Holy Defense (also referred to as the Iran-Iraq War) the global anti-imperialist struggle completely collapsed, due to the fall of the USSR and Europe’s Eastern Bloc.

Almost universally anti-imperialism had a crisis of intellectual confidence. This even allowed Western pro-imperialists to insist that Iran was in a laughable condition: it went from being a revolutionary country to an outdated country almost overnight! The sad, but partial, truth of this historical era is not widely understood even in 2021.

It’s an important rejoinder that Iran’s revolutionary mix of anti-imperialism, state economic management and a modern, late-20th century political structure mixed with the revolutionary addition of clerical democratic inclusion has also still not been fully understood by most non-Iranians on both the left and the right.

But for pro-imperialists understanding was not necessary because in 1992 they infamously, abruptly and arrogantly declared the “end of history”, and that anti-imperialism had permanently lost. This explains Washington’s philosophy towards Iran for the last 30 years: waste time – and make things as difficult as possible via illegal and murderous sanctions – until Iran catches up with “history”. Or to put it in the exact terms used today by the Biden administration, which is struggling to gain domestic legitimacy after a deeply-disputed election: wait for Iran to accept “reality” (a “reality” defined by pro-imperialists, of course).

After 42 years Iran is still waiting for many to understand the political and economic modernity of its culture, but most with open eyes have at least partially come to understand Iran thanks to its actions. They see that Iran is consistently a top 10 country in the acceptance of refugees; they see that Iran puts its best and most beloved, like QasemSoleimani, in harm’s way in foreign nations in order to aid their struggles; they see that Iran supports righteous Sunni countries like Palestine; they see that Iran takes major and daring risks to send help to Latino countries like Venezuela; they see that Iran followed all the rules of the JCPOA pact on Iran’s nuclear energy program even when Western signatories did not.

Anyone with open eyes sees that Iran is an internationalist country, an anti-imperialist fighter, a peacemaker and a supporter of righteous global cooperation . Anyone with a modicum of imagination has also wondered just how very successful Iran could be and would have been – with their natural and human resources, and with the exact system they have had in place for 42 years – if the West would end its decades of imperialist blockades on Iran.

In the modern digital age – dominated by Western corporations who undoubtedly support pro-imperialist ideologies – eyes are not allowed to be opened, sadly. The pen is not mightier than the sword of deplatforming, censorship and endless Western propaganda.

And yet anti-imperialism remains an ever-powerful sword, because defense of one’s home and sovereignty is always legitimate.

In the post-1991 world who has wielded this sword more than Iran? This is not mere boasting, and proof of humility can be shown by quickly recounting the history of modern anti-imperialist struggles:

Only a know-nothing would say that the USSR, with its 25 million martyrs, didn’t primarily defeat German imperialism. China gave so very much to protect Korea from American invasion, but not as much as North Koreans gave, of course. The sacrifices of the Vietnamese were the most globally galvanising anti-imperialist force in the 20th century – who could ever forget that? Ending South African Apartheid can never be forgotten, but Western media certainly does obscure the role played by Cuban soldiers in repelling attacks from the Western-backed South African Defense Force, which ultimately resulted in the discrediting of the entire South African system and led to the freedom of Angola and modern-day Namibia. And who can forget when Algiers was the “Mecca of revolutionaries”, following the victory of its incredibly inspiring anti-imperialist struggle which overturned 132 years of Algeria “being France”?

Yet Iran’s contributions to the global and supremely humane anti-imperialist movement have been easily obscured by the West’s post-2001 state-sponsored ideology: Islamophobia.

Islamophobia was a very good ideology for pro-imperialists to promote because it has no troublesome economic or class components – it is mere xenophobia. Islamophobia explains why even the few committed Western anti-imperialists so often dismiss Iran’s anti-imperialism with a dismissive wave of their hand: they feel that because of the presence of the religion of Islam Iran is too difficult to even be understood. Sadly, Western pro-imperialists – via the promotion of Islamophobia – have won in many areas for decades.

Iran is concerned with Islam, of course, but Islam differs from Christianity in that there is no possibility for forced conversion, for proselytising monks or nuns or for the forcing of faith on others. Islam, from a political, economic and geopolitical perspective, is simply an insufficient tool with which to define all of modern Iran (believing that it is sufficient is Islamophobic, of course).

Because anti-imperialism cannot die as long as countries are conquered and colonised (openly or via puppets), it must have a center somewhere, no?

It’s laughable to say that the centre of the anti-imperialist movement in 2021 – which began in politics with Lenin and his critiques of Western-style capitalism – could be located anywhere in the United States. Or in Western Europe, for that matter.

I think it is perhaps fair to say the centre in 2021 is in Iran.

If that seems strange to your ears: Isn’t it true that Western Islamophobia has made modern Iran seem to be totally inscrutable, or even not even worth serious analysis? At the very same time, hasn’t the huge reductions in the anti-imperialist movement – which was a global cultural force for nearly a century – made Iran even more atypical? Is Iran so hard to place on the global and historical political spectrums because it is so very revolutionary, or is it that many simply don’t make the effort to accurately understand it’s structures, ideals and actions?

After 42 years Iran’s actions are clear, even if – to some – their motivations and methods are not yet comprehended.

There are other established anti-imperialist nations, as I have noted, and I am not accusing them of resting on their laurels – I simply note here that since 1979 Iran has undoubtedly joined their company in the history of modern mankind. Given the importance of anti-imperialism in establishing global peace, goodwill and cooperation – who wouldn’t thank God for that?

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

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كيف سيخرج الأميركيّون من عنق الزجاجة؟

عقيدة بايدن وقانون العودة الى العلبة في السياسة الخارجية – الحلقة 3 من ستون دقيقة مع ناصر قنديل

ناصر قنديل

Photo of إيران تستعدّ لعمل كبير

مع بداية التزام الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن بالعودة للاتفاق النووي مع إيران، حمل خطاب بايدن كل الموروث المرافق لمرحلة سلفه الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، موزعاً على نوعين من العقد، فتحدث في العنوان الأول عن حتميّة العودة للاتفاق النووي مع إيران مضيفاً ثلاثة شروط، الأول البحث بمستقبل ما بعد نهاية مدة الاتفاق بعد خمس سنوات، والثاني الصواريخ البالستية الإيرانية، والثالث الأوضاع الإقليمية وما يُسمّى بالنفوذ الإيراني فيها، وفي العنوان الثاني ربط بايدن العودة الأميركية للاتفاق بالعودة الإيرانية لشروط الاتفاق أولاً ومن ثم التحقق من هذه العودة وعندها ستفعل واشنطن المثل، ودائماً كان بايدن وأركانه يتحدّثون عن إنجاز كل ذلك بالشراكة مع الحلفاء.

يعرف بادين أن الشروط التي وضعها تعني أن لا عودة الى الاتفاق، فبعض هذه العناوين كانت مطروحة على إيران كشرط لتوقيع الاتفاق عام 2015، ولاقت صداً ورفضاً إيرانيين وكانت النتيجة تخطيها وتوقيع الاتفاق، كملف الصواريخ وشراكة الحلفاء في التفاوض، وخصوصاً «إسرائيل» والسعودية، أما ما يسمّيه الأميركيون رسمياً بالنفوذ الإيراني الإقليمي، فهم في التفاصيل يتحدثون عن ملف عراقي وملف سوري وملف لبناني وملف يمني كل بصورة منفصلة ويطرحون خلاصات ومواقف بعضها يسلّم بالقراءة الإيرانية وبالفشل الأميركي للسياسات المعتمدة، وها هم يبدأون بمقاربة الملف اليمني بلغة وقف السعودية والإمارات للحرب ويمنعون عنهما السلاح، ويتحدّث رموزهم عن الحاجة لمقاربة جديدة لسورية.

خلال اليومين الأخيرين وجد الأميركيون مخرجاً من هذا المأزق عبر تصعيد اللهجة عن خطورة امتلاك إيران مقدرات إنتاج سلاح نوويّ خلال أسابيع. وقد كرّر هذا التحذير وزير الخارجية توني بلينكن ومستشار الأمن القومي جيك سوليفان، للوصول الى صيغة معلنة تتحدّث عن اتفاقين ومرحلتين، اتفاق أصلي قائم يجب العودة اليه ثنائياً من واشنطن وطهران، واتفاق ثانٍ يصفونه بالأعمق والأقوى والأمتن يضمّ باقي العناوين، أي شراكة الحلفاء وملف الصواريخ ومدة الاتفاق على طريقة الترحيل أفضل سبل التعطيل، فيصير الأخذ بهذه النقاط مشروطاً بقبول إيران بدلاً من أن يكون قبول العودة للاتفاق مع إيران مشروطاً بقبولها بهذه النقاط، والعذر أكثر من كافٍ، الوقت لا يسمح بالمناورة ويجب الإسراع بالحؤول دون بلوغ إيران مرحلة الخطر التي حدّدها بلينكن وسوليفان بأسابيع.

يبقى العنوان الثاني وهو آليّة العودة، ونظرية أنت أولاً، التي تحدّث عنها روبرت مالي قبل أن يصير مبعوثاً خاصاً للملف الإيراني. وهي هنا مهمته لتذليل تعقيداتها وفقاً لما وصفه ببناء الثقة، التي يعترف بأن فقدانها من طرف إيران بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق مشروع، ويقوم مقترح مالي وفقاً لما يقرأ بين سطور حواره مع مجلة لوبوان الفرنسيّة قبل تعيينه مبعوثاً خاصاً، على الخطوة خطوة، أيّ الاتفاق الضمني على جدول طلبات متبادلة، تتم تلبيتها بالتتابع والتزامن والتوازي ضمن مهلة زمنية يتفق عليها، كصعود السلم ونزوله للتلاقي في منطقة وسط، ويبدو الطلب الأميركي على لسان بلينكين أمس، بالإفراج عن معتقلين أميركيين في إيران، بينما يبدو من الجانب الإيراني، الإفراج عن أموال إيرانية مجمّدة في مصارف خارج أميركا بفعل العقوبات الأميركية، والإفراج عن مشتريات إيرانية خاصة بمواجهة وباء كورونا، ويمكن أن تكون الخطوات الخاصة باليمن بعضاً من خطوات التدرج نحو العودة إلى الاتفاق، الذي يدخل مرحلة حرجة في شهر آذار المقبل، حيث تنتهي المهلة المعلنة من إيران بتصعيد درجة تخصيب اليورانيوم، ويحل موعد الاجتماع المقرّر للجنة وزارية للموقعين على الاتفاق الذي ستحضره إيران ويترك الباب مفتوحاً لنضج ظروف حضوره من الجانب الأميركي، ليعلن من هناك إطار العودة المتزامنة.

فيديوات ذات صلة

المأزق الأميركي الداخلي استعصاء بين الخيارات – الحلقة 2 من برنامج ستون دقيقة مع ناصر قنديل
انحلال الامبراطورية الاميركية – 1 – فوز بايدن لا يلغي خيار الحرب الاهلية – العودة للتفاهم النووي
التطورات اللبنانية والإقليمية مع ناصر قنديل رئيس تحرير جريدة البناء

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Problems of the new US foreign policy (3) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (3)

Problems of the new US foreign policy

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-14.png
Researcher, political economist and former Secretary-General of the Arab National Congress

Ziad Hafz

Part 3:  Relationship File With the Islamic Republic of Iran

The cornerstone of the Biden administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East is the Iranian nuclear file. President Biden’s remarks during the campaign indicate a desire to return to the agreement.  But Iran’s nuclear file is becoming more and more complicated. President Biden’s remarks about a return to the Iran deal mean nothing if the lifting of sanctions, at least those imposed in the Obama administration,does not go hand in hand.  But the question is, can the president-elect lift sanctions? The positions in favour of the Zionist entity of the U.S. president and his Zionist foreign policy team make it easier to imagine any leniency with the Islamic Republic that does not go beyond verbal retreat without any consequences in terms of sanctions, said Director of National Intelligence Avril Heinz.

In this context, there are two types of sanctions:  the sanctions that were imposed before the agreement and the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. It should be noted that the sanctions imposed before the agreement were not lifted by the Obama administration after the agreement was signed.  All I did was free up some frozen money. This situation would not have bothered the Islamic Republic much because the agreement opened the door to dealing with the countries that boycotted it in the earlier stages.  Trump’s sanctions were also sanctions against anyone who deals with the Islamic Republic. Here, too, will be the conflict between desires and capabilities and the result will be resolved by the balance of power that is no longer in favour of the United States.  What can be expected is a softening of the tone of the speech among Americans, but without concrete steps accompanying it. The most we can expect is for the U.S. administration to turn a blind eye to parties that cannot comply with U.S. embargoes and include a list of broad exceptions.  What could lead to the lifting of sanctions is the recognition (within the new administration) of defeat in the conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but this is unlikely at this stage and possibly the next. The power of the«left» in the components of the U.S. administration is not dragged into external files except in decisions of military confrontation.  

But some points must be mentioned on the nuclear issue. During Barack Obama’s tenure, the concern was to negotiate with the Republic on a number of political issues, including the nuclear issue.  But the Iranian leadership has refused to link the political files to the nuclear file, insisting on its right to enrich like other countries in the world. The U.S. administration believed at the time that reaching an understanding with the Islamic Republic could strengthen Iran’s”reformists” who are open to interaction with the West.   According to many studies, the United States was not obsessed with Iran’s possession of the nuclear bomb, but was only  an argument for opening channels of dialogue with the Islamic Republic on the issues of interest to the United States, primarily the security of the Zionist entity, which is totally contrary to the political doctrine of the Islamic Republic.  The “achievement” of the nuclear agreement was an acknowledgement of the failure of the efforts of the United States, the West and the Zionist entity to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear knowledge and by preventing it from enriching the high level it is entitled to in accordance with international treaties. It was also a recognition of the failure of the United States to impose its agenda on the Islamic Republic, and it was content to negotiate the nuclear issue.  The agreement also de-isolates Iran and opens the door to international interaction with it with the lifting of UN sanctions. But the deal did not lift U.S. sanctions on Iran, which lasted until the end of Obama’s term.

Trump has restored isolation to Iran as well as new sanctions in order to stifle Iran’s economy. But the Islamic Republic’s response was to stick to the comprehensive agreement on the nuclear issue, but with the restoration of its right to enrich at high rates.  The Obama administration would not have been able to achieve by shortening the default time for a nuclear bomb if Iran wanted to. The question becomes:  Will the Biden administration accept a return to the pre-Trump situation? National Security Adviser Gal Sullivan went further and talked about lifting sanctions if Iran complies with its commitments.  If so, it is no problem, but in our opinion things are not that simple. The administration’s concern remains to approach Iran’s role in the region to ensure the security of the Zionist entity and not for another purpose.  Until now, there is no evidence to solve this potentially intractable problem.

The options for the new administration are limited, not a military confrontation, but perhaps progressive and escalating security tensions without a major open confrontation and no political settlement unless we go back to pre-Trump. No matter what, the Islamic Republic has strategically defeated the United States, but it has not enjoyed victory, and the new administration will continue to prevent it from winning.  What contributes to victory is two things: the Ability of the United States to overcome the worsening of benefits at home and the position of other countries such as the European Union and other countries in overcoming Trump sanctions. In the first part, we believe that deep internal divisions, even within the ruling party, will prevent the possibility of continuing aggressive policies.  EU countries will be more eager to benefit from trade contracts with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the face of economic downturn or even recession that threatens the United States. European interests in the United States will be affected by deflation/recession, forcing the EU to open up new horizons outside the United States.

As for other files such as the Iranian ballistic file and the expansion of influence, the new administration cannot offer anything yet. On the other hand, what the Islamic Republic can offer is a”waiver” of its right to enrichment as stipulated in international agreements and the conditions attached to it, but this will only be done if the sanctions are lifted altogether.  Therefore, we believe that the«settlement»  will not go beyond the stage of linking a conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Among the conditions of linking the dispute can turn a blind eye to the implementation of sanctions or allow«exceptions» to give some vitality to the new situation.  But the most important question is the usefulness of these sanctions against the Islamic Republic.  In our view, experience has shown that sanctions can be painful, but without any effectiveness in achieving their goals. Sanctions are types of war crimes and in the future the United States will be held accountable for crimes.

(3) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة زياد حافظ

باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

زياد حافظ

الجزء الثالث: ملف العلاقة مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران

حجر الزاوية للسياسة الخارجية الأميركية لإدارة بايدن في منطقة الشرق الأوسط هو الملف النووي الإيراني. تصريحات الرئيس بايدن خلال الحملة الانتخابية تشير إلى رغبة في العودة إلى الاتفاق. لكن الملف النووي الإيراني يزداد تعقيداً يوماً بعد يوم. فتصريحات الرئيس بايدن حول العودة إلى الاتفاقية مع إيران لا تعني شيئاً إنْ لم يواكبها رفع العقوبات على الأقلّ تلك التي كانت مفروضة في إدارة أوباما. لكن السؤال هل بمقدور الرئيس المنتخب رفع العقوبات؟ سؤال ليس من السهل الإجابة عليه لأنّ ضغط الكيان الصهيوني لن يتوقّف ولأنّ الكونغرس الأميركي مزاجه معاد لإيران. كما أنّ المواقف المؤيّدة للكيان الصهيوني عند الرئيس الأميركي وفريق سياسته الخارجية الصهيوني تجعل تصوّر أيّ تساهل مع الجمهورية الإسلامية لا يتجاوز التراجع اللفظي دون أيّ مردود على صعيد العقوبات أمر بعيد المنال كما صرّحت مديرة الاستخبارات الوطنية افريل هاينز.

في هذا السياق هناك نوعان من العقوبات: العقوبات التي كانت مفروضة قبل الاتفاق والعقوبات التي فرضتها إدارة ترامب. نلفت النظر إلى أنّ العقوبات التي كانت مفروضة قبل الاتفاق لم ترفعها إدارة أوباما بعد التوقيع على الاتفاق. كلّ ما فعلته هو تحرير بعض الأموال المجمّدة. هذه الحالة لم تكن لتزعج كثيراً الجمهورية الإسلامية لأنّ الاتفاق فتح باب التعامل مع الدول التي قاطعتها في المراحل السابقة. أما عقوبات ترامب فكانت عقوبات أيضاً بحق كلّ من يتعامل مع الجمهورية الإسلامية. هنا أيضاً سيكون الصراع بين الرغبات والقدرات والنتيجة تحسمها موازين القوّة التي لم تعد لصالح الولايات المتحدة. ما يمكن توقّعه هو تخفيف لهجة المخاطبة عند الأميركيين ولكن دون أن يرافق ذلك خطوات ملموسة. أقصى ما يمكن أن نتوقّعه هو أن تغضّ النظر الإدارة الأميركية عن الأطراف التي لا تستطيع الالتزام بقرارات الحظر الأميركي وإدراج لائحة من الاستثناءات الواسعة. ما يمكن أن يؤدّي إلى رفع العقوبات هو الاعتراف (داخل الإدارة الجديدة) بالهزيمة في الصراع مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران ولكن هذا أمر مستبعد في المرحلة الراهنة وربما المقبلة. قوّة «اليسار» في مكوّنات الإدارة الأميركية لا تنجر إلى الملفّات الخارجية إلاّ في قرارات المواجهة العسكرية.

لكن لا بدّ من التذكير ببعض النقاط في موضوع الملف النووي. فخلال ولايتي باراك أوباما كان الهاجس هو التفاوض مع الجمهورية حول عدد من القضايا السياسية منها الملف النووي. لكن القيادة الإيرانية رفضت ربط الملفات السياسية بالملف النووي متمسكّة بحقها بالتخصيب كسائر الدول في العالم. اعتقدت الإدارة الأميركية آنذاك أنّ الوصول إلى تفاهم مع الجمهورية الإسلامية قد يقوّى يد «الإصلاحيين» في إيران المنفتحين على التفاعل مع الغرب. وفقاً لدراسات عديدة لم يكن هاجس الولايات المتحدة امتلاك إيران للقنبلة النووية بل كانت فقط «حجّة» لفتح قنوات الحوار مع الجمهورية الإسلامية حول الملفّات التي تهمّ الولايات المتحدة وفي مقدّمتها أمن الكيان الصهيوني الذي يتعارض كلّياً مع العقيدة السياسية في الجمهورية الإسلامية. كان «إنجاز» الاتفاق النووي إقراراً بفشل جهود الولايات المتحدة والغرب والكيان الصهيوني بمنع إيران من امتلاك المعرفة النووية وبمنعها من التخصيب بالنسبة المرتفعة التي يحق لها وفقاً للمعاهدات الدولية. كما كان إقراراً بفشل الولايات المتحدة على فرض أجندتها على الجمهورية الإسلامية فاكتفت بالتفاوض بالملف النووي. كما أنّ الاتفاق فكّ العزلة عن إيران وفتح باب التفاعل الدولي معها مع رفع العقوبات الأممية المفروضة عليها. لكن لم يؤدّ الاتفاق إلى رفع العقوبات الأميركية على إيران والتي استمرّت حتى نهاية ولاية أوباما.

ترامب أعاد العزلة إلى إيران إضافة إلى عقوبات جديدة بغية خنق الاقتصاد الإيراني. لكن ردّ الجمهورية الإسلامية كان تمسّكها بالاتفاق الشامل حول الملفّ النووي ولكن مع استعادة حقّها بالتخصيب بالنسب المرتفعة. فما كانت تخشاه إدارة أوباما قد تحقّق عبر تقصير المدة الزمنية الافتراضية لتملك قنبلة نووية إذا ما أرادت إيران ذلك. ويصبح السؤال هنا: هل ستقبل إدارة بايدن العودة إلى ما كان عليه الوضع قبل ترامب؟ التصريحات الأولية لعدد من المسؤولين بدءاً من الرئيس إلى وزير خارجيته توحي بـ نعم. مستشار الأمن القومي جال سوليفان ذهب أبعد من ذلك وتكلّم عن رفع العقوبات إذا ما التزمت إيران بتعهّداتها. إذا كان الأمر كذلك فلا مشكلة ولكن الأمور في رأينا ليست بتلك البساطة. فما زال هاجس الإدارة مقاربة الدور الإيراني في المنطقة لضمان أمن الكيان الصهيوني وليس لغرض آخر. حتى الساعة ليس هناك من دليل حول حلّ تلك الإشكالية التي قد تكون استعصاء.

الخيارات المتاحة أمام الإدارة الجديدة محدودة فلا مواجهة عسكرية بل ربما توترات أمنية متدرّجة ومتصاعدة دون الوصول إلى مواجهة مفتوحة كبيرة ولا تسوية سياسية إلاّ بالرجوع إلى ما قبل ترامب. ومهما نظرنا إلى الأمور فإنّ الجمهورية الإسلامية هزمت الولايات المتحدة بشكل استراتيجي لكنها لم تنعم بالنصر وستستمر الإدارة الجديدة بمنعها من النصر. ما يساهم في التنعّم بالنصر أمران: قدرة الولايات المتحدة على تجاوز تفاقم الاستحقاقات في الداخل الأميركي وموقف الدول الأخرى كالاتحاد الأوروبي وسائر الدول في تجاوزهم للعقوبات الترمبية. في الشقّ الأول نعتقد أنّ الانقسامات الحادة الداخلية وحتى داخل الحزب الحاكم ستحول من إمكانية الاستمرار في سياسات عدوانية. أما دول الاتحاد الأوروبي ستكون أكثر حرصاً على الاستفادة من عقود تجارية مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران في ظلّ الانكماش الاقتصادي أو حتى الكساد الذي يهدّد الولايات المتحدة. فالمصالح الأوروبية في الولايات المتحدة ستتأثر من جرّاء الانكماش/ الكساد ما يفرض على الاتحاد الاوروبي فتح آفاق جديدة خارج الولايات المتحدة.

أما في ما يتعلّق بالملفّات الأخرى كالملف الباليستي الإيراني والتمدّد بالنفوذ فليس بمقدور الإدارة الجديدة تقديم أيّ شيء حتى الساعة. في المقابل ما يمكن أن تقدّمه الجمهورية الإسلامية هو «تنازل» عن حقّها في التخصيب كما تنصّ عليه الاتفاقات الدولية والشروط المرفقة بها، ولكن لن يتمّ ذلك إلاّ إذا ما تمّ رفع العقوبات كلّياً. لذلك نرى أنّ «التسوية» لن تتجاوز مرحلة ربط نزاع مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران. يمكن من ضمن شروط ربط النزاع غضّ النظر عن تنفيذ العقوبات أو السماح بـ «استثناءات» تعطي بعض الحيوية للحالة الجديدة. لكن السؤال الأكثر أهمية هو حول جدوى تلك العقوبات المفروضة على الجمهورية الإسلامية. في رأينا برهنت التجربة أنّ العقوبات قد تكون مؤلمة ولكن دون أيّ فعّالية في تحقيق أهدافها. فالعقوبات هي أنواع من جرائم الحرب وفي مستقبل قد لا يكون بعيداً ستتمّ مساءلة الولايات المتحدة على الجرائم.

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A fake carrot to Iran

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January 30, 2021 – 20:58

TEHRAN – Joe Biden’s selection of Rob Malley as Iran envoy has sparked bitter dispute between hawks and progressives. They have launched media campaigns defending or opposing his selection. Hawks accuse him of going soft on Iran while progressives underline that the appointment of Malley will rekindle diplomacy with Iran.

But both groups fail to recognize that Malley is no friend of Iran and will work to secure the interests of the United States at the end of the day.

The first wave of criticism against the appointment of Malley came from a vague group called the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI) which sent an open letter to then-Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken, urging him not to appoint Malley to the position of special envoy on Iran.

The group claimed that Malley was not interested in pursuing dialogue or consultation with what it called “Iranian human rights activists.”

“Mr. Malley’s record outside of government concerns us further. As head of the International Crisis Group, he has singularly focused on cultivating close relationships with Iranian government officials,” the group claimed.

Opposition to the appointment of Malley, the chief Middle East adviser in President Barack Obama’s second term and current president of the International Crisis Group, originates in his past positions on engaging Iran even though he will almost certainly act differently as a government official. In fact, being a government official is a whole lot different than being head of a non-governmental think tank, something that opponents of Malley failed to grasp.

On the other hand, progressives joined forces to defend the appointment of Malley as if he had a magical charm to put an end to U.S. malign behavior toward Iran. On Thursday, a group of these progressives put out a statement firmly defending the selection of Malley.

“Those who accuse Malley of sympathy for the Islamic Republic have no grasp of –or no interest in –true diplomacy, which requires a level-headed understanding of the other side’s motivations and knowledge that can only be acquired through dialogue,” the statement said.

The statement portrayed Malley as a man who will rekindle diplomacy with foes, identify possible areas of agreement and resolution, and, abracadabra, de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington as if nothing happened under Trump.

“Rob Malley is an extremely knowledgeable expert with great experience in promoting U.S. security through diplomacy rather than war. He would be an excellent choice for the role of Iran envoy,” Senator Bernie Sanders said in a tweet after Jewish Insider reported that Malley was under consideration to be the Biden administration’s envoy on Iran.

Opponents and proponents of Malley have one thing in common: both of them believe that he will facilitate talks between the governments of the U.S. and Iran. Progressives even sought to suggest that the appointment of Malley was an early carrot to Iran, implying that Iran should be grateful for that.

But this is exactly where opponents and proponents of Malley get it wrong. Judging by the Biden administration’s remarks on Iran, Malley will make it even more difficult for Iran to reach understanding with the U.S. in any future talks.

Biden officials have now made it clear that they want to expand the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -, not just simply rejoin it. And this will make any kind of negotiations between Iran and the U.S. harder than in 2015, when the two reached the JCPOA while Malley was a member of the U.S. negotiating team.

Imagine if Iran says no to a Malley demand on its missile program or regional activities in any future talks. The Biden administration would tell the whole world that it’s Iran, not the U.S., that doesn’t want to return to diplomacy.

Malley will not make decisions on Iran. Instead, he will largely be responsible for coordinating and implementing the White House Iran policy just like any other diplomat in the State Department. He will likely be a smokescreen for the Biden administration’s soft bullying against Iran. In this sense, Malley would be far from being a driving force for renewed diplomacy with Iran. He is by no means a carrot to Iran, not even a fake one.

PA/PA

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Trump’s disgraceful end

January 9, 2021 – 12:10

By M.A. Saki

It was too late for Americans, especially most of his fellow Republicans, to realize how dangerous Donald Trump was. 

I cannot forget remarks by Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, an expert in global thought and comparative philosophies, who said that “Trump is the most dangerous man in the world.”

On Wednesday, Trump provoked assault on the Capitol in a last-ditch effort to overturn the results of the November 3 election in which he lost with a rather large margin.  

According to CNN, in his first presidential debate on October 1, Trump refused to condemn White supremacists and blamed what he called “antifa and the left” for violence and told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

At last, his Proud Boys, a mob of fanatics, caused mayhem by storming and capturing the Capitol, violently disrupting the ceremonial electoral count. The move by the fanatics came as a severe blow to the heart of democracy that the U.S. has been boasting of.

Trump has been repeatedly claiming that the U.S. presidential election looked like an election in a third world country. But, in fact, it was Trump himself who behaved like a dictator in a third world country as he refused to admit losing the election. 

It is very difficult for the liar-in-chief to admit defeat and resist his egoism. He proved that he is ready to push the United States toward a crisis in order to please his egoism.

Just prior to the elections, he kept claiming that he will win the presidency for a second term otherwise the votes are rigged.

Trump’s entire presidency was filled with numerous lies. He has no principles. In addition, the self-centered president shows no respect to democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, etc. By inciting his supporters, who attacked the Capitol building, he crucified democracy and the rule of law in the U.S. and showed complete disregard for those who had not voted for him.

If the American Constitution had not restrained Trump, he would have acted more irresponsibly and recklessly at home and abroad.

His unprecedented sanctions against Iran under the name of the “maximum pressure” campaign are in violation of international law. The sanctions have pushed millions of Iranian citizens to the verge of poverty and instead made a small percentage of Iranians millionaires because of skyrocketing inflation. This will remain in the memory of Iranians forever. His reckless order of assassinating Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020 reminded the people of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which ignited the First World War. 

Also, his move in recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the stolen Golan Heights and moving the U.S. capital to Jerusalem in violation of UN Security Council resolutions are some other examples of the illegal moves that the Trump administration should be ashamed of.

Trump picked Mike Pompeo as his secretary of state, who according to Professor Adib-Moghaddam, “continued to pursue an essentially ideological foreign policy, driven by a distinctively irrational approach to world politics in general and Iran in particular.” 

Actually, from the very beginning, Trump was unfit for the post of president. However, a great majority of Republicans in Congress, especially in the Senate, kept supporting him just for partisan interests. 

Regardless of certain extremist senators such as Ted Cruz and a considerable number of lawmakers in the House of Representatives who still repeat Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, finally it was realized that the person that the Republicans supported for four years based on party lines dealt the greatest blow to the Republicans themselves. And fortunately, he is being forced, of course legally, to leave the White House in disgrace.  

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Geopolitical Tendencies of the Last Six Years

Geopolitical Tendencies of the Last Six Years

December 30, 2020

Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

1) China, Russia, and Iran – confronted with Western aggressions – develop their strength and collaboration

In my eyes, the most important evolution in the last six years is that now, the leading forces are China, Russia, and Iran, and no more Western hegemonism under the direction of the USA. China, Russia, and Iran have not only fended off different Western attacks, but were also able to strike back. Moreover, the economical and military development in these countries is better than that in the USA.

The political leadership in the three countries is stable and during the last years, it has become completely obvious that each of the three is much more intelligent than any leadership in North America or in Western Europe. One may also say that the three countries use the intelligence of their peoples in a much more coherent manner than Western countries. Moreover, in China and Russia in particular, new important laws have strengthened the inner stability.

Take the Ukrainian crisis as the first example. After the Maidan putsch, the Crimea went back to Russia. And in the east of the Ukraine, the Kiev’s troops were severely beaten, in the first months of 2015. Subsequently, the West took sanctions against Russia, but this had not a big impact on Russia. Finally, the result was a stronger orientation of Russia towards Asia, in particular towards China. During the last year, the West tried to use Belarus and the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan against Russia. But Russia had no real problem to ward off these dangers.

After the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, an important part of the sanctions against Iran was lifted by the UNO in January 2016 (the UNO sanctions with respect to arms were only lifted in 2020). But the USA imposed new sanctions in 2018, together with the so-called maximum pressure. While this clearly had negative consequences for the Iranian economy, the USA could not achieve any important goal. Even the murder of Soleimani one year ago could not weaken Iran, quite the contrary. Iran was able to openly strike US military bases in Iraq, and the USA had to accept this shame without risking an answer.

There were various anti-Chinese campaigns, mainly organized by Anglo-Saxon countries. In particular, there were the riots in Hong Kong. However, China was not really disturbed and during 2020, the riots were brought to an end so that the model „one country, two systems“ prevailed. Moreover, China was able to strengthen the military presence in the key region of the South Chinese Sea, without worsening the relations with the neighboring countries. Beijing has also made very clear that any step of Taiwan in the direction of a declaration of independence is a red line, not to be crossed. All countries in East and South-East Asia are more and more ready to accept the emergence of China as a great power.

The common interests of China, Russia, and Iran with respect to Western aggressions have led to a much closer cooperation between the three countries, including military cooperation. However, each of the three keeps the own identity; their model of cooperation is much better than that of the European Union. They are well prepared for the so-called Asian century.

A good illustration of the changes in the last six years is provided by Turkey. Objectively speaking, this is an important country. Turkey uses a rather ambitious and dangerous politics and is a member of NATO. Five year ago, Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft and the two sides were near an open military conflict. Now, the relations between Turkey and Russia are significantly more rational and better under control than the relations between Turkey and USA as well as the relations between Turkey and the European Union. Moreover, the relations between Turkey and Iran are now quite solid.

2) Progress in Middle East

In 2015, three major events related to the Middle East took place; they remained of crucial importance until today. In March, the Saudi aggression war against Yemen began; in July, the nuclear deal about Iran was signed; in September, Russia started the direct military support for the war against terrorism in Syria.

In these six years, the situation has very much evolved; the Middle East remains the region with the fastest changes. There, the geopolitical conflicts are at its hottest. The terrorists of Daesh and Al Qaeda have been essentially beaten, in Syria and Iraq. Turkey, USA, and Israel had to intervene much more directly in order to keep the terrorism in Syria alive; this includes the direct stealing of the Syrian oil (before, this was done by Daesh). Big parts of Syria have been liberated. The Russian military commitment was a great success and has produced broad respect for the Russian army and the Russian arms.

In the Yemen war, Saudi Arabia is now loosing. They already lost some allies of the global south which were bought by Saudi money. Possibly, Israel and USA will henceforth take part in the war more directly, but as in Syria, this can only delay the end of the war, but not change the outcome.

Despite many attacks and complots, Hezbollah in Lebanon has noticeably gained in strength. Even if it is not yet fully obvious, Israel has mainly lost the military superiority in the region. Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, and Ansarullah (in Yemen) have got too strong, and also in Iraq, the patriotic forces are quite solid now. These developments may be a reason for the fact that Israel is not able to install a stable government despite different elections.

During the last four years, when Trump was president, the US aggressions were concentrated on the Middle East; understandably, this region is satisfied about the departure of Trump. However, the USA have not obtained much, Trump’s Middle East politics were a failure.

3) Internal crisis of the West: nationalism versus Western hegemonism

The rich Western countries have lost some of their economical power and they can offer less to their peoples. There is an increasing number of people who are neglected by Western hegemonism, I call them the forgotten classes. The latter have not yet found an own political identity (may-be with the exception of the Yellow Vests in France). On the other hand, this development has provoked the creation of new nationalistic movements in nearly all rich Western countries. In many of these countries, these new movements have become the main political opposition to the Western hegemonism. This does not mean that these movements are progressive. But objectively speaking, they have important positive aspects. This fact is often neglected by left wing oriented people in Western countries.

The leading figures of these nationalistic movements are quite different. Some came from traditional political parties such as Blocher (Switzerland), Trump (USA), Johnson (UK); others have created new political parties. Some have important economical power, examples are Berlusconi (Italy), Blocher (Switzerland), or Trump (USA). Some are quite close to Zionists, for example Trump (USA) or Salvini (Italy). The relation of the leading figures to the forgotten classes is quite varying. Personally, I would say that Marine Le Pen (France) is the most sympathetic one – while she is certainly not the most talented politician among the leaders of the new nationalistic movements.

The year 2016 saw two major political sensations, namely the vote for Brexit in the UK and the election of Trump in the USA. In both countries, the new nationalistic movements won, due to the support of the forgotten classes. The Brexit vote was confirmed by the clear election win of Johnson in UK in December 2019.

In most Western countries, the traditional political forces, which support Western hegemonism, have big difficulties in accepting the rise of the new nationalist movements. They intend to completely defeat these movements. They are not able to see that these movements are „fed“ by the forgotten classes and that the latter are a product of an objective situation and cannot be defeated. Therefore, the internal crisis of the West will continue.

4) Latin America, Africa, India

Latin America saw important developments in the last years. Generally speaking, this region is still in the phase of strategic defensive with respect to Western hegemonism. However, the strength of the anti-imperialist forces has somewhat stabilized. Despite major Western attacks against Venezuela, the elected government could resist. The same is true for Cuba or Nicaragua. And the putsch in Bolivia in 2019 was „corrected“ in 2020 quite quickly. These developments are supported by the increasing relations between the countries of Latin America with China, Russia, and Iran. Setbacks are still possible, if not probable, but the general tendency goes towards a solid implantation of the anti-imperialist camp.

Politically and economically speaking, the weight of the African continent remains small. Western countries and terrorist movements are disturbing the positive developments. The illusion that regional conflicts can be resolved by extern interference, is still quite strong. A recent example is Morocco which blundered into this trap, thinking that the USA and Israel will „help“ with the annexation of the Western Sahara. In general, improvements in Africa are still quite slow.

India is one of the countries which went in a negative direction during the last years. The Indian government had plenty of opportunities, but they took decisions which led to increasing conflicts with neighboring Asian countries such as China and Pakistan. India has also refused to participate in the new RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) of 15 countries (10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand). Instead, India has reinforced relations with the USA, but, as experience shows, this kind of relations is built on sand. It is not by accident that the internal opposition in India against the government is growing.

5) Western Europe disappoints

In June 2015, I restarted writing political articles. This might be the reason why I speak here of the last six years. During this period, I made a number of judgements and predictions. And paradoxically, my biggest errors were with respect to Western Europe (where I live). I had the tendency to be too optimistic about Western Europe. I expected that they would develop politics which are more independent and more related to the geopolitical realities.

However, the leading classes in Western Europe are very stubborn. They are not at all ready to break with their colonial past. They continue to dream of regaining the paradise of global domination. Moreover, their big economic companies are very much dependent on the US economy. So, in each political crisis, they take backward decisions. Examples are Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, Hong Kong riots and sanctions against China, the Syria war against terrorism and sanctions against Syria, the recognition of the US puppet Guaido in Venezuela, the compliance with the aggression against Yemen, with the US sanctions against Iran, with the murder of Soleimani, of al-Muhandis (Iraq), and of Fakhrizadeh (Iran).

Iran’s Khamenei has always warned against making confidence in Western Europe, and he was right. For the time being, leaders in Western Europe exceedingly overrate themselves and keep their utterly unrealistic illusions. It seems that Australia is on a similar path.

Outlook for 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has somewhat frozen the regional and geopolitical conflicts. At the same time, these conflicts were exacerbated. But this is barely visible. The states were very much occupied with their internal situation.

This might continue for some months in 2021. But finally, it will be impossible to contain the conflicts. Quite chaotic developments have to be expected. In this context, analyzing the tendencies of the last years should be useful in order to keep some orientation.

Lebanon, Syria and the region after the return to nuclear understanding لبنان وسورية والمنطقة بعد العودة للتفاهم النوويّ

لبنان وسورية والمنطقة بعد العودة للتفاهم النوويّ

ناصر قنديل

بعد إعلان الرئيس الأميركيّ المنتخب جو بايدن عزمه العودة الى التفاهم النوويّ مع إيران، وبعد إعلان الرئيس دونالد ترامب قبوله تسليم الرئاسة بعد اجتماع المجمع الانتخابي ونطقه بفوز بايدن، وهو ما بات محسوماً، صار العالم والمنطقة في دائرة البحث عن التداعيات التي ستلي العودة الأميركية للتفاهم النووي، طالما تراجع بايدن عن شروط مسبقة تتصل بالتفاهم على ملفات خلافية أخرى رفضت إيران أي بحث فيها، وصار التطابق الأميركي الإيراني على معادلة، عودة غير مشروطة مقابل التزام إيراني بموجبات التفاهم، وبعدها يكون التفاوض من داخل أطر التفاهم نفسه.

لو لم يكن للتفاهم من تداعيات خطيرة على كل من كيان الاحتلال وحكام الخليج، لما كان هذا الاستنفار الذي جمعهم مع ترامب على قرار الانسحاب من التفاهم وتصعيد الضغوط على إيران، ومعلوم أن العودة للتفاهم ستعني حكماً رفع العديد من العقوبات الرئيسية التي تستهدف الاقتصاد والأموال الإيرانيّة، والقدرة الإيرانيّة على المتاجرة بنفطها وغازها وسائر مصادرها الاقتصاديّة، والمعلوم أيضاً أن إيران ستقوم بمد يد العون بصورة أقوى لقوى المقاومة في المنطقة كلما انفرجت اوضاعها المالية والاقتصادية. وهذا كان إحدى الذرائع التي أوردها ترامب للانسحاب من التفاهم.

الأسئلة تطال ملفات المنطقة الإقليمية، حيث يتمّ تداول تقارير وتحليلات تطمئن جماعات أميركا الى ان العودة للتفاهم لا تعني تغييراً في الاوضاع في لبنان وسورية وسائر ساحات الاشتباك الإقليميّة. وهنا يتم التداول بثقة بأن القوات الأميركية باقية في سورية، وأن مشروع بايدن لتقسيم العراق عائد الى الواجهة، وأن تقسيم سورية سيليه، وأن الضغط على حزب الله في لبنان سيتزايد لصالح تعويض “إسرائيل” خسائرها من العودة للتفاهم بمكاسب من رصيد مكانة حزب الله ومصادر قوته، وبالمثل تتحدّث التقارير ذاتها عن تعويض الخسارة الخليجيّة بعودة التفاهم بحل سياسي للأزمة اليمنية تكون يد السعودية والإمارات هي العليا.

التدقيق في هذه التقارير يكشف بسرعة سطحيتها او انتماءها الى مدرسة حرب نفسيّة هشّة تريد رفع معنويات جماعة أميركا في المنطقة، أو إصابة معنويات جمهور قوى المقاومة، فالتفاهم النووي لم يكن يوماً نووياً، بقدر ما كان محور ومركز ملفات التصادم في المنطقة، ولذلك عندما بلغت الإدارة الاميركية في عهد باراك اوباما وجو بايدن الى طريق مسدود في المواجهة في سورية، ذهبت الى توقيع التفاهم النووي. فالحرب ليست فصولاً منفصلة، بل هي جسد واحد، لأنه في نهاية المطاف كل ملف من ملفات المنطقة يوصل الأمور الى واحد من خيارين التسوية أو الحرب. ومَن يعود للتفاهم النووي وهو الحلقة الأصعب لأنه اختار التسوية بدلاً من أن يختار الحرب، فلن يفعل شيئاً آخر غير الذهاب للتسويات في سائر الملفات، مادام خيار الحرب مغلقاً، ولو كان متاحاً لما كانت العودة للتفاهم.

السعي الأميركي يبدأ مع العودة للتفاهم الى البحث عن مسارات مناسبة لملاقاة خيار العودة للتفاهم في ملفات النزاع. ففي العراق سيكون السؤال هل هناك من يحمي التقسيم الذي كانت فرصه الأفضل عندما أعلنت كردستان العراق انفصالها وتراجعت لأنها تبلغت قراراً أميركياً بعدم القدرة على الذهاب الى حرب، وهذا في عهد ترامب، فكيف في عهد بايدن، وفي سورية سيكون الأسهل الذهاب للوقوف وراء روسيا لترتيب توزيع الأوراق والأدوار مع الأكراد والأتراك تمهيداً للخروج من سورية، وفي لبنان سيكون سهلاً التموضع وراء فرنسا وتسهيل فوزها بفرصة إنجاح المبادرة التي قدمها الرئيس امانويل ماكرون، على قاعدة الانفتاح على حزب الله وتحييد الخلاف الأميركي معه عن إعادة تكوين السلطة عبر حكومة تتولى قيادة مرحلة إنقاذية بدعم مالي دولي. أما في اليمن فالكلام واضح عن سعي بايدن لوقف الحرب من موقع اعتبار العدوان السعودي جريمة يجب أن تتوقف.

التراجع في الملف الأصعب يعني التراجع في الأقل صعوبة، ومرحلة جديدة كلياً توشك أن تبدأ في المنطقة.

Translation

Lebanon, Syria and the region after the return to nuclear understanding

Nasser Qandil

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-224.png

After President-elect Joe Biden announced his intention to return to nuclear understanding with Iran, and after President Donald Trump announced his acceptance of the presidency after the meeting of the electoral college and pronounced Biden’s victory, which is now resolved, the world and the region are in the search for the implications that will follow the U.S. return to nuclear understanding, as long as Biden retracts preconditions related to understanding on other controversial files that Iran has refused any discussion on, and the U.S.-Iran conformity on an equation, an unconditional return in exchange for an Iranian commitment under the understanding, and then from within the frameworks itself.

If the understanding did not have serious repercussions on both the entity of the occupation and the rulers of the Gulf, it would not be the alert that brought them together with Trump on the decision to withdraw from the understanding and escalate the pressure on Iran, and it is known that the return to the understanding will mean a provision to lift many of the major sanctions targeting the Iranian economy and funds, and the ability of Iran to trade its oil, gas and other economic sources, and it is also known that Iran will help the resistance forces in the region whenever their financial and economic situation is resolved. This was one of Trump’s pretexts for withdrawing from the understanding.

The questions are reaching the regional files, where reports and analysis are circulated to reassure American groups that a return to understanding does not mean a change in the situation in Lebanon, Syria and other regional arenas of engagement. And here is the trade with confidence that the U.S. forces remain in Syria, and that biden’s project to divide Iraq returns to the front, and that the division of Syria will follow him, and that the pressure on Hezbollah in Lebanon will increase in favor of compensating “Israel” its losses from returning to the understanding with gains from the balance of hezbollah’s status and sources of strength, and similar reports talk about compensating the Gulf loss by returning the understanding of a political solution to the Yemeni crisis is the hands of Saudi Arabia and theUae.

The nuclear understanding was not a nuclear day, as far as the center and center of the collision files in the region, so when the U.S. administration under Barack Obama and Joe Biden reached a dead end in the confrontation in Syria, it went to sign the nuclear understanding. War is not separate chapters, it is one body, because ultimately each of the region’s files brings things to one of two options of settlement or war. Those who return to the nuclear understanding, which is the most difficult link, have chosen to settle rather than choose war, will do nothing other than go to compromises in other files, as long as the option of war is closed, and if it were available, it would not be a return tounderstanding.

The U.S. quest begins with a return to understanding to find suitable paths to meet the option of returning to understanding in conflict files. In Iraq, the question will be whether there is anyone protecting the division, which was the best chance when Iraqi Kurdistan declared its secession and retreated because it was informed of a U.S. decision not to be able to go to war, and this is under Trump, how in the era of Biden, and in Syria it would be easier to go behind Russia to arrange the distribution of papers and roles With the Kurds and Turks preparing to get out of Syria, and in Lebanon it will be easy to position behind France and facilitate its victory by the chance to succeed the initiative presented by President Emmanuel Macron, on the basis of opening up to Hezbollah and neutralizing the U.S. dispute with him about re-establishing power through a government that leads a rescue phase with international financial support. In Yemen, there is a clear talk of Biden seeking to stop the war from the position of considering Saudi aggression as a crime that muststop.

The retreat in the harder file means retreating at the least difficult, and a whole new phase is about to begin in the region.

Trump Tells Pompeo: Go Wild on Iran, Just Don’t Risk World War III

Trump Tells Pompeo: Go Wild on Iran, Just Don’t Risk World War III

By Staff, Daily Beast

US President Donald Trump may only have seven weeks left in office, but he’s given his top advisers the green light to batter Iran – anything that doesn’t hazard a full-on war before Joe Biden is inaugurated.

According to multiple US officials familiar with the matter, in recent weeks Trump has taken a more passive role in personally overseeing Iran policy for the critical final months until Inauguration Day. One White House official last week described Trump as mostly “checked out” on this major foreign policy issue, having become consumed by his bumbling legal effort to steal the 2020 election amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as by other his pet grievances of the moment.

But Trump has given some of his most hawkish administration officials, particularly his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, carte blanche to squeeze and punish the Islamic Republic as aggressively as they wish in the coming weeks. All Trump asks is that they don’t risk “start[ing] World War III,” as the president has specifically put it in several private conversations with Pompeo and others, according to two senior administration officials.

That has left a host of options at the outgoing administration’s disposal – among them, a suffocating sanctions regime and a studied silence in the face of the assassination of Iranian nationals. Two officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the administration is set to announce new sanctions on government-linked companies and individuals in the coming weeks to solidify a years-long effort to paralyze Tehran’s economy.

Knowledgeable sources say those actions are designed to help fulfill various Trump officials’ long-brewing desire to make it more difficult for the Democratic president-elect to rekindle negotiations with Tehran and re-enter a nuclear deal. And it’s a scenario for which Biden lieutenants and allies have long prepared, having already factored into their Iran strategy that current US officials would do nearly everything they could to undermine a revival of Obama-era relations between the adversarial nations.

Trump administration officials who spoke to The Daily Beast frequently point to Pompeo and Elliott Abbahrams, special representative for Iran, as the leaders of the administration’s last-ditch attempt at pummeling the regime.

Pompeo has been particularly forward leaning in the administration’s efforts to inflict damage on the Iranian government. In a recent trip to the Middle East, Pompeo met with leaders from the “Israeli” entity, the UAE, and Bahrain on ways all three countries could work together on countering Iran. The trip followed on the heels of an announcement by the State Department that it had recently approved a massive sale of F-35 jets to the UAE. The deal has been widely viewed as a way to get Dubai to cooperate with Tel Aviv on deterring Iran. And on Friday, Pompeo announced additional Iran-related sanctions, this time targeting Chinese and Russian entities for transferring sensitive technology and items to Iran’s missile program.

Both Pompeo and Abrams, officials say, are supportive of harsh measures, including the quiet backing of covert actions carried out by other actors. One other senior administration official pointed to Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel as being intimately involved in the administration’s clandestine strategy as it relates to Iran.

Trump has repeatedly told his advisers that one of his priorities is to avoid a confrontation with Iran in which American military personnel would die. But Trump is comfortable letting the “Israeli” entity take the lead in targeting, or even slaying, Iranian government figures in the closing weeks of his presidency, officials said. That includes Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the country’s top nuclear scientist, who was assassinated on Nov. 27 while traveling in a convoy in the northern part of the country.

Two senior Trump administration officials said the entity was behind the attack, confirming global suspicions. One of those same officials, while they did not detail the level of involvement from the US, noted that America’s intelligence agencies often share information with the “Israeli” entity on Iran-related matters.

“There’s obviously a close working relationship between Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and Haspel,” said Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a right leaning think tank that’s advised the Trump administration on Iran.

Some of Trump’s confidants have urged him not to draw too much attention to the killing. The administration has chosen to remain mostly tight-lipped regarding the scientist’s death. A source close to Trump said they had counseled the president in the past few days to avoid gratuitously tweeting about the assassination. Not only would it be a “bad look,” according to this source, it would likely undermine the administration’s public position of keeping the operation at arm’s length, if not farther away.

The two senior administration officials said discussions about taking more active measures to limit Biden’s administration on negotiating a new deal with Iran ramped up this summer and coincided with several of the entity’s covert operations.

“The ‘Israelis’ understand that between now and Jan. 20 they will need to inflict maximum damage on the regime,” Dubowitz said.

The Trump strategy over the next few weeks is clear, one of the senior administration officials said: Continue to use sanctions as a deterrence tool while providing intelligence to regional allies such as Israel that have a mutual goal of damaging the Iranian regime.

That plan isn’t so different from the one the Trump administration has put into action over the past four years. Since Trump took office in 2017, a cohort of top officials, advisers, and external advocacy groups have helped craft and implement a “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran that has relied primarily on the implementation of more than 1,000 sanctions on government-linked officials and companies while also covertly targeting Tehran’s assets overseas.

The only difference now, officials say, is that the administration not only wants to punish Iran, it also wants to pen in President-elect Biden.

Individuals involved in the crafting of the Trump administration’s Iran policy believe the maximum pressure campaign will limit Biden’s ability to get back on track with Tehran, namely because some of the sanctions may be difficult to lift. Dubowitz and Trump administration officials familiar with Iranian sanctions said multinational corporations may be so risk averse to doing business with Iran now, following thousands of financial designations, that even if Biden lifts sanctions they will not engage in normal trade relations with Tehran.

Individuals familiar with Team Biden’s thinking say the president-elect has a clear strategy for dealing with Iran and sanctions come January. That plan rests heavily on Biden’s desire to return back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

“If Iran takes the bait, which is clearly the intention behind [the Farikhzadeh assassination], then it probably makes it impossible to return to the JCPOA and diplomacy,” said Jarrett Blanc, the former coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation in the Obama State Department. “If Iran doesn’t take the bait… I don’t know that it really changes the choices that confront the Biden team or Iran in January.”

Any negotiations between a Biden administration and Iran would include conversations about the lifting of some sanctions, two individuals familiar with the Biden team’s thinking on Iran said. But those sanctions would likely only be lifted if and when Tehran complies with a deal.

“Iran says it is prepared to come back in compliance and reverse some of the decisions it’s made. And the US says it would lift some of the sanctions. [There’s] no legal bar to reverse them. Many of them were imposed for political reasons,” said one former senior Obama administration official. “It’s likely going to be a two-step approach for Biden – getting back in and then perhaps renegotiating a different, better deal.”

China Newsbrief and Sitrep

November 25, 2020

Source

China Newsbrief and Sitrep

By Godfree Roberts – selected from his extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China

This is why we study China.

There is no point in believing we can make sense of China by a skin-deep knowledge of present-day China. We will be little the wiser. Chinese civilization is over 4,000 years old: as a political entity it is over 2,000 years old, the longest continuously existing polity in the world. Chinese history and culture is fundamentally different from that of the West: it always has been and always will be. So best to dispense with our Western-tinted spectacles and open our minds to arguably the world’s most successful civilization. China has been the most advanced country not just once but at least four times; and we are on the verge of this becoming five. A country, a culture, and a people with the most extraordinary history that is fast becoming the magnet of the future.    (This was the keynote address to the Buzz Expo China Summit.)


A small diplomatic snub

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State and fourth in line for the presidency, requested a meeting with his opposite number in China’s six-man cabinet but, China delivered a gentle snub by sending Yang Jiechi, a member of the 35-member State Council.


Debt Forgiveness

Of course the West would want China to forgive debts and thus enhance the value of Western revenue streams. This is another aspect of the war. Just as trillions of dollars of cash injected into the banking cartel at the start of the crisis constitute a prophylactic against the damage of this closure policy, it also defends the asset values from destruction while allowing Western banks to buy up assets from the failed business sector and freeze out China, from cash flows of any kind. The extension of the crisis to the West’s debt peons means that those who participate locally in the West’s protection racket can be asked to freeze China out on the international lending stage. The nature of the Western “loansharking” business remains obscured. China should wait until the West cancels all its fraudulent debt instruments before even discussing its own loan book.


Scholarship for Sale?

Five of Washington’s most prominent think tanks have been producing policy papers urging closer U.S. ties with Taiwan — a territory locked in an uncertain legal status that threatens to be a flashpoint between Beijing and Washington. These seemingly impartial research institutions are pushing for expanded arms sales and trade agreements with Taiwan without widely disclosing their high-level funding from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), Taiwan’s equivalent to an embassy. The five think tanks — the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress*, the Center for a New American Security, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Hudson Institute — all disclose their funding from TECRO but bury it deep on their websites or annual reports. [I am shocked, shocked! to find partisan scholarship traded on the open market]

None of their researchers disclose the potential conflict of interest between Taiwanese funding and advocating for more security guarantees for and trade with Taiwan. “Taiwan is an interesting case because we know Taiwan gives a good amount of money to think tanks, and we know they have a good amount of influence around town,” said Ben Freeman, director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy. “For most people in this town, Taiwan doesn’t have the scarlet letter that funding from Saudi Arabia or China would, but it begs the question, why not just disclose at the front of a report, ‘We get funding from this government,’” said Freeman, who authored “Foreign Funding of Think Tanks in America,” a recent report. “I don’t see the reasons you’d just keep this under wraps.” And yet, while urging greater U.S. economic and security commitments to Taipei, Washington’s most influential think tanks do just that.

What Taiwan’s money buys: When Ryan Hass of the Brookings Institution wrote for the Taipei Times in December about the importance of bipartisan support in both Taiwan and the U.S., it appeared to be an impartial op-ed. Nowhere in the article was the Taiwan government’s funding for Brookings and its scholars disclosed. One would have to go to Brookings’s 2019 annual report to see that TECRO provides between $250,000 and $499,999 to the think tank. In February, Hass, again writing for the Taipei Times, urged policymakers in Washington and Taipei to counter potential economic risks to Taiwan in a U.S.-China technology competition by “pursu[ing] a U.S.-Taiwan trade agreement that includes chapters covering trade in goods and services, as well as e-commerce, investment rules, and possibly other areas.”  The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the Clinton and Obama administrations, collected between $50,000 and $99,999 from TECRO in 2019. That information was only disclosed in an “annual honor roll recognizing supporters who make gifts of $5,000 or more.”It was not disclosed when CAP senior fellow Trevor Sutton published a March column in Washington Monthly, in which he posited that strengthening U.S.-Taiwan relations would assist in “defeating” the “narrative” by “illiberal movements” to portray “democratic governance” as “messy, corrupt, and ineffective.” Nor was TECRO’s funding disclosed when CAP senior fellow Michael H. Fuchs published a September 2019 report on “How to Support Democracy and Human Rights in Asia,” and offered direct recommendations about what U.S. policymakers should do to “robustly support Taiwan.” [MORE]

Footnote: Taiwan is a breakaway Chinese province, one of hundreds led astray by warlords over the centuries. Like most US protectorates, it is a stagnant, corrupt backwater whose educated elite are leaving in droves for careers in China proper.


Those Chinese Scientists Arrested by the US?

Michael Lauer, deputy director of the NIH, confessed that 93% of the 189 researchers surveyed by the NIH had undisclosed scientific research funding from China, but only 4% of them have intellectual property issues, and another 9% had hidden the establishment of companies abroad. Under the pressure of the investigation, 54 scholars were expelled or offered to resign because they did not fully disclose their cooperation with China. The vast majority of them were ethnically Chinese scholars. Some scholars have also been prosecuted and sentenced. There were no cases of theft of significant intellectual property.

This means that the researchers under investigation did not, as previously claimed by the FBI, systematically transfer intellectual property rights to China or other countries. Rao Yi, a professor at Peking University, pointed out that even among the 4% of the respondents involved with IP rights issues, it could be their personal issues, and it does not mean that China’s initial establishment of the talent plans was for stealing US intellectual property rights. Rao Yi’s letter to NIH head Francis Collins August 2018:  “Your August 20th statement is shocking because it is the first time when any government official has issued a statement restricting scientific collaborations in peacetime. If there are competitions, the Olympic Games have shown us how to compete.”  [MORE]


Who Knew?

Trump’s Chip Ban Gives Huawei and South Korea an Enormous Incentive to Strike a Grand Bargain “Chip fabricators will remove American equipment from production lines in order to maintain market share in China.”  A US ban on foreign companies’ sales of chips to Huawei Technologies if American equipment or software is involved will undermine America’s already-weakened position in the global semiconductor equipment market, industry sources say. Chip fabricators will remove American equipment from production lines in order to maintain market share in China, the world’s largest purchaser of semiconductors.  [MORE]

Huawei surpassed Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone maker in April, a feat that was considered impossible with America’s ban in effect. Huawei now holds a 19% market share ahead of Samsung’s 17%.

Huawei’s new 54,000 sq.ft flagship store in Shanghai has more than 200 customer care consultants that can provide support in 10 languages. At the same time, it also has 19 reception counters and 12 after-sales service area.

Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment announced that the first China-made 28nm immersion type lithography machine will be delivered in 2021-2022. Although it still has a big gap with the Dutch 7nm chip preparation process, it also marks a leap forward in China-made lithography, which is gradually reducing the gap with ASML. The Chinese market accounts for one-third of global semiconductor sales, and there is an urgent need for semiconductor import substitution.[MORE]

Yangtze Memory Technologies has unveiled its latest 3D NAND memory chip with cutting-edge 128-layer technology. The Wuhan-based company, whose work was not interrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak, said its new chip, the X2-6070, has passed sample verification with several partners, and could start mass production by end of this year or in the first half of 2021. The rollout makes it China’s first NAND chip using 128-layer technology, where the number of layers determines the density of data storage. The new chips will come in two specifications, one featuring 1.33 terabytes of storage and the other 512 gigabytes, according to a company announcement dated on Sunday. Yangtze Memory hopes the 1.33 TB product will initially be used in high-capacity USB drives, flash memory cards and solid-state hard drives, and eventually be expanded into enterprise-level servers and data centers


The Ruling in the Meng Case

On 28 January 2019, formal charges were laid by the U.S. Department of Justice, accusing Meng’s employer, Huawei, of misrepresentations about its corporate organization which had enabled it to circumvent laws that imposed economic sanctions on Iran. Huawei was also charged with stealing technology and trade secrets from T-Mobile USA. Meng, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, was charged with fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Huawei pled not guilty to the charges of violating the Iran sanction provisions in a New York court and not guilty to the stealing charges in a Seattle court. After a number of preliminary legal skirmishes, the extradition hearings against Meng began in 2020. Associate Justice Holmes issued her ruling on 27 May, 2020. Law takes its time.

Meng had told HSBC officials who met with her in the back of a Hong Kong restaurant in 2013 that, despite the allegations in a newspaper article, Huawei had not made improper use of a closely associated firm, named Skycom Tech, to supply U.S. materiel to Iran. The reason she had made this statement to HSBC, it was alleged, was that Huawei used HSBC as a banker when transacting business. If Huawei, as alleged, was implicated in violations of the Iran sanction laws, HSBC might well be held to be complicit in such crimes. The U.S. alleged that Meng’s representations to HSBC constituted fraud under its law.

Meng Wanzhou argued that, for a case of fraud to be made out, in both the U.S. and Canada, it was necessary for the prosecution to prove that the fraud materially contributed to a tangible loss. This could not be made out here. For Meng’s deception of HSBC to cause it a tangible loss in the U.S., it was necessary for U.S. prosecutors to invoke the impact of another law, the Iranian sanction law. Without it there would not be any harm and, therefore, no fraud in the U.S. As Canada did not have any such sanction provisions in place, Meng’s deception would not have led to any tangible loss in Canada and there would have been no fraud committed in Canada. This argument that the basic requirement for extradition–mirroring laws–had not been met, was rejected by Associate Chief Justice Holmes.

She deployed standard legal reasoning that is, she looked for previous holdings and used the imprecisions she found in them and in the wording of the legislation she was interpreting. Holmes found that previous decisions had held that, in order to determine whether the conduct in the applicant jurisdiction created an offence, it was necessary to assess the essential nature of that conduct. That meant evaluating the foreign conduct in its context, in its legal environment. Meng argued that looking at the legal environment required taking a foreign law, one distinct from the laws being compared, into account, something which should not be done under the Extradition Law.

The presiding judge responded that only some aspects of the legal environment, constituted by that other law, had to be taken into account, not all of it. It was her job to say which aspects could be so used. Holmes admitted that she was going out on a limb because the distinction between looking at some aspects of a foreign law and taking the actual law into consideration is fraught, both as a matter of logic and of established law. She wrote that “the issue is at what level of abstraction… the essence … of the conduct is to be described… there is little authority or precisely what may be included in ‘imported legal environment’.”

Undeterred by the lack of any known criteria (remember the Rule of Law!), she used what she likely calls her common sense and what Meng’s supporters probably think was her unconscious bias. Associate Justice Holmes decided that, in this case, it was appropriate, when looking for the essential nature of the foreign conduct, to look at the effects of that U.S. law, the Iran sanction law. As its effects made Meng’s deceiving conduct fraudulent in the U.S., and as deception is the core of fraud in Canada, the essential/contextualized nature of Meng’s conduct satisfied the essence of fraud as defined under Canada’s Criminal Code. Lawyers call this sort of finessing good lawyering; in the wider community it is seen as legal chicanery. Holmes ruled that Canada was free to extradite Meng. [MORE]

Canada’s government has the authority to halt the extradition of a Huawei executive and should do so as part of efforts to secure the release of two Canadian citizens detained in China, a former Supreme Court Justice has said. Former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour told Radio Canada on Tuesday that it was “high time for the [justice] minister to exercise his authority, his responsibility under the law and put an end to this process. From the beginning it was not in Canada’s interest to go ahead with this extradition request from the United States,” added Arbour, also a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She added Meng is accused by Washington of violating “unilateral American sanctions against Iran” that Ottawa has never applied. [MORE]

Harry Glasbeek comments: Everyone on earth knew why US charged Huawei and its CFO: to obtain bargaining chips in its fight with China: to persuade Americans that the government was right to deny them access to cheaper goods and a better 5G system and to make China more pliable when the US demanded better trade terms and more protection for its intellectual property. There was no attempt to hide any of this. Did the Canadian government understand this? Of course. Did it feel it had to allow the U.S. to use Canada’s supposedly neutral legal machinery to further its political project? Of course. Could the Canadian government have said “no” and simply turned a blind eye when Wanzhou Meng landed in Vancouver? Of course. Was Associate Justice Holmes, at the very least, in a position to guess all of this? Of course.

More on the Meng Case – Jeff J Brown did a fascinating expose which he recently published at Covert Action Magazine and gave us permission to post here.

Exclusive: Huawei Sting Operation Exposed

What makes Meng’s story so volatile, is that, due to her being arrested/kidnapped in Canada, her case is now a ménage-à-trois, with Ottawa being the submissive, as it has been caught in the middle. While claiming that they are only “respecting its extradition treaties,” Canada and the U.S. indicate they must defer to their “independent judiciaries” and honor the “rule of law.” Upon close examination, however, this case demonstrates gross hypocrisy, if not many inconsistencies and fault lines. At least U.S. President Trump admitted publicly what routinely goes on behind closed doors. On December 11, 2018, just days after Meng’s apprehension, Trump said he would be happy to use her as a bargaining chip to win a better trade deal with China.


Finally, a Note to China from Michael Hudson

This is from January 2020 and I’m sure it was presented to Mr.Hudson’s students.  De-dollarization is the alternative to privatization and financialization.

“The United States is not telling China or Russia or third world countries or Europe how to get rich in the way that it did, by protective tariffs, by creating its own money and by making other countries dependent on it. The United States does not want you to be independent and self-reliant. The United States wants China to let itself become dependent on U.S. finance in order to invest in its own industry. It wants Chinese corporations to borrow from the United States, and to sell its stocks to US investors just like Khodorkovsky in Russia was trying to sell Yukos oil to Standard Oil, and essentially turn Russia’s oil reserves to U.S. investors.”


This represents but a fraction of what is included in the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here

“The End of the War in Syria Will Come as Part of the Agreement Between Iran and China,” Says Iranian Foreign Policy Analyst

By Polina Aniftou and Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, November 19, 2020

As the US changes leadership, new opportunities for re-alignment may open up for the Middle East and the wider region.  To understand more fully the implications presented in conflicts ranging from the US-Iran tension, the Syrian war, and the role of Turkey and Israel in the destabilization of the region, Steven Sahiounie of MidEastDiscourse, reached out to Polina Aniftou, analyst of the Iranian foreign policy, in a wide-ranging interview.

***

Steven Sahiounie (SS):  Once President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20th, will there likely be found a solution to ease the tension between Iran and Washington, in your view?

Polina Aniftou (PA):  We have to be honest and accept that the tensions have a unilateral character from the US side, and the way the US, on behalf of Israel, try to involve Iran into a conflict, or a war, in the region, is not strategically wise. The US tried with the assassination of Major Soleimani, explosions in Tehran, sanctions, the explosion in Beirut, and the war in Armenia to involve Iran into a regional conflict that would be expanded into war and to attack Iranian militias and army forces outside Iran. The US treats Iran as they treat Egypt, Jordan, Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf, as states under colonization, and second-class citizens of the Middle East. The difference with Iran is that Iran has a long past and history of not asking for help and not accepting being treated as a weak state, and Iran has no interest to look to the West at this moment. Iran has influence in a region from Beirut to Kabul and the country is safe and secure. Economically, Iran has is self-sufficient with products and raw materials to survive with a good living standard for decades, and the US is aware of this. Given these facts, Biden will try to approach Iran for his benefit, to understand the objectives and the goals of Iran in order not to be humiliated in his foreign policy, unlike Trump. I strongly believe that Biden will start eliminating sanctions only when he realizes the weak position of Israel and Israel’s negative demographics and inefficiency which prevent it’s being a key-actor in the region. I would say that in the next 2-3 years we will see many changes and Iran will be liberated by the imposed sanctions, mainly due to the reaction of China after signing the 25-year agreement with Iran last summer, and China needs a strong Iran to secure the Silk Road from Beirut to Kashmir through its allies and Shia populations that are loyal to Imam Khamenei.

SS:  President Donald Trump broke with the nuclear deal that former President Obama had signed.  Do you see the former deal being renewed under the future Biden administration, or will Iran have some new conditions?

PA:  In a few months’ elections are coming to Iran and the new setup will be much closer to the army, Ayatollah’s opinion, and path of understanding. After the assassination of Soleimani, Ayatollah repeated a very important admonition to not trust the US, and he made relevant statements during the US elections recently. Iran has a philosophy in its foreign policy that if the enemy is threatening Iran, the enemy needs to take the steps to attack or to conquer Iran. Historically, this has never occurred, even Alexander the Great did not manage a foothold in Iran. Thus, as the US left the agreement from the Iranian side, the US dishonored themselves and cannot be trusted. The US did not pay the penalty to Iran for the unilateral withdrawal from the Nuclear Agreement. Iran has claims but will sit on the same table to listen and be present before the eyes of the international community, and not to be accused. Iran will never sit on the table if Biden is threatening, mistreating, and assaulting Iran and its political and diplomatic honesty. I doubt that the Nuclear Agreement will be fully executed or motivated by any of the parties, but Biden will eliminate sanctions, due to pressure by Russia and China, and will start monitoring the region by closely observing Israel, which has caused discrepancies and incompatibility with the US foreign policy.

SS:  In your view, if the relationship between Tehran and Washington were to be improved, could the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran be eased?

PA:  The tensions between Iran and Riyadh may have been initiated by the US, but behind this diplomatic distance there is a deep ideological and theological gap that I fear cannot be bridged. The monarchies in the region worried about their future after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The values of the Islamic Revolution are against monarchy, oppression, and promote self-sufficiency, independence, and Muslim unity (Ummah). The way the Saudis face Shiism, the solitude of Shiism, the reactions against Prophet Succession, and the leadership that Iran claims for the creation of Ummah put Saudis in a difficult position as they are afraid of the systemic existence of their monarchies.  The fact that even today it takes at least 15 years for an Iranian, after the application to be granted a visa, to visit Mecca indicates the hostility of Saudis to Iran. The violence, the lack of respect for others, and human dignity in Saudi Arabia and the laws of Saudi Arabia, affect the relations between the two countries more than any involvement of a third power. How is possible, when in Iran there are so many Sayyed, that receive legitimacy and origin from the 12 Imams, that 11 of them were killed by the forefathers of the Saudis and the Caliphs, for Iranians to feel secure with Saudis? Though for Iranians it is not important, certainly it is essential for Saudis, that they have tortured the daughter of the Prophet for the leadership of Caliphs, from where the monarchies are founded.

SS:  The US sees the Israeli occupation as their main ally in the Middle East region. In your view, could the US keep ties with the Israeli occupation while establishing a relationship with Iran?

PA:  Iran is missing from the puzzle of the US and they cannot accept that they lost Iran. When the Islamic Revolution was at the door of the Shah, the US was afraid of a communist ‘red revolution’. The Shah did not believe that the clergies would support Imam Khomeini, and only Mossad and Israel understood that the Islamic Revolution was coming. This is important because in the 60s and 70s during the Arab-Israeli war, the US prepared the Periphery Doctrine, along with the founder of Israel, David Ben-Gurion. The objectives of the Doctrine was for Israel to be supported by two non-Arab, but Muslim countries, Turkey and Iran. It was during the time of making Iran a westernized society in the scheme of Turkey succeeded by Ataturk. Ataturk demolished all the links and ties of the Ottoman Empire with Islam and its eastern lands and introduced Turkey to the west, to westernize Turkey and control it via western legislators and education. It is similar to what Reza Shah tried to do by issuing a decree known as Kashf-e hijab banning all Islamic veils in 1935, which led to the massacre at the Goharshad Mosque in Mashhad in August 1935, and the White Revolution of 1963 by his son M. Reza, and introducing land reforms, education changes, and westernizing society. The Islamic Revolution stopped the Periphery Doctrine, something that the US cannot forgive Iran for, as this forced the US to be focused on the protection of Israel in the region and to invest in infrastructure and support of Turkey to become a regional power, as a Muslim country with imperial ambitions to protect Israel under the instructions of the US. I am sure that a government led by Mr. Rouhani could skip this detail between Israel and the US, but a new government that will be supported by Quds (Jerusalem) forces, cannot forget its invisible mission to end its task by liberating Quds.  The US will keep their ties with Israel, as Israel is a small, weak country, made by the US to keep Jews away from the west and for intervening in the region, thus Iran will discuss with the US to solve sanction issues, but not for accepting Israel and its ties with the US.

SS:  Iran has supported the fight against terrorism in Syria. Do you see Iran including the end to the war in Syria as part of their negotiations which may begin with the future Biden administration?

PA:  Iran never negotiates its positions in one table. Iran puts its demands in different baskets moving according to the reactions. The war in Syria will end as soon as Biden realizes that Israel will have implications and costs through this war, and the only way for that to happen is by enhancing the power of President Assad and by keeping Lebanon stable. Hezbollah will play a dramatic role in that and would need to take the initiation to empower Mr. Assad. But, the war in Syria will need to end to avoid re-mapping the region after the bad agreement in Armenia that got Turkey and Israel into the Caucasus, threatening the stability and peace. The end of the war in Syria will come as part of the agreement between Iran and China and will be imposed on the US, by annulling the plans of Ankara and Tel Aviv, that since the 60s have worked officially together with common grounds and targets in the regional policy. Iran will demand not only the end of the war, and the disarmament of terrorists, but also the terrorists to be convicted and to eave west Asia.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Polina Aniftou and Steven Sahiounie, Global Research, 2020

Read More: “Israel’s Presence Near the Iranian Border Would Also Put Them in Direct Confrontation with Iran.” Dr. Javad Heirannia

«حزب الحرب» مُحرّضاً في لحظة الهزيمة: هل يهاجم ترامب إيران؟

«حزب الحرب» مُحرّضاً في لحظة الهزيمة: هل يهاجم ترامب إيران؟
يَتمنّى «حزب الحرب» في إدارة ترامب أن تُحوِّل القوة النارية الأميركية محور المقاومة إلى ركام (أ ف ب )

الأخبار

وليد شرارة 

الخميس 12 تشرين الثاني 2020

يبدو واضحاً أن النواة الأيديولوجية ــــ العقائدية النافذة في إدارة دونالد ترامب، تسعى إلى دفع الأخيرة إلى ما لم تستطع دفعه إليه خلال السنوات الأربع الماضية. محاوِلةً استغلال الرغبة في الانتقام، واستثارة الميل إلى دخول التاريخ بخطوة مزلزلة، تجهد تلك النواة في دفع ترامب إلى إجراءات غير محسوبة ضدّ إيران. على أن الطموحات السياسية للرئيس المنتهية ولايته، فضلاً عن عوامل أخرى في مقدّمها علاقة «الحلفاء» بالإدارة الجديدة، تجعل من الصعب إلى الآن، نظرياً، الخوض في معترك من هذا النوع هل تَغيّرت حسابات الرئيس الأميركي المنتهية ولايته، دونالد ترامب، حيال المواجهة مع إيران بعد هزيمته في الانتخابات الرئاسية، والتي لم يعترف فيها مع أبرز أقطاب إدارته حتى اللحظة؟ من المعروف أن ترامب اعتمد سياسة “حافة الحرب” مع إيران، على رغم “استراتيجية التوريط” التي اتّبعتها النواة الأيديولوجية ــــ العقائدية النافذة في إدارته، والهادفة إلى دفعه نحو صدام مباشر ومفتوح مع طهران. هو انسحب من الاتفاق النووي بناءً على تفاهماته المسبَقة، قبل انتخابه، مع التيارات الوازنة في الحزب الجمهوري والمجتمع الأميركي، وكذلك مع صديقه الحميم بنيامين نتنياهو، وشنّ على إيران حرباً هجينة شرسة تحت مسمّى “الضغوط القصوى”، لكنه تَجنّب الذهاب إلى حرب واسعة على رغم الجهود المحمومة التي بذلتها النواة المذكورة لحمله على استغلال ما اعتبرته فرصاً للقيام بذلك. لم يقم، مثلاً، بردّ مزلزل على إسقاط طهران طائرة التجسّس الأميركية المسيّرة التي انتهكت مجالها الجوي، ولا عند قصف حركة “أنصار الله” اليمنية منشآت “أرامكو” في السعودية، ما أغضب بعض أقطاب إدارته، كجون بولتون، الذي استنتج بأن ترامب يستخدم وجودهم في الإدارة كورقة ضغط، في إطار سياسة تهدف في النتيجة إلى التفاوض مع الجمهورية الإسلامية، وليس إسقاط نظامها أو إضعافه إلى أقصى الحدود. صحيح أنه أقدم، عملاً بتوصيات هذه النواة، على الأمر باغتيال الفريق الشهيد قاسم سليماني، لكن الردّ الإيراني، الحاسم والمضبوط في آن معاً، بقصف قاعدة عين الأسد في العراق، لم يُلتقَط من قِبَله كذريعة للردّ على الردّ وإفساح المجال لتدحرج المواجهة نحو الحرب التي أرادتها. من الواضح اليوم، بعد خسارة ترامب في الانتخابات الرئاسية، أن “حزب الحرب” في الإدارة سيواصل ما قام به قبلها، أي السعي لفرض المزيد من الإجراءات التصعيدية ضدّ إيران، كما تبدّى مِن خلال “سيل” العقوبات الجديدة بحقّها، والتحريض على خطوات أكثر قسوة، يعتقد البعض أنها قد تصل إلى حدّ توجيه ضربات جديدة تؤدي إلى افتعال معركة كبرى معها، ويراهن على أن رغبة الانتقام لدى الرئيس وأمله بـ”ترك بصمته على الوضع الدولي”، وفقاً لتعبير رئيس “مجموعة الأزمات الدولية” روبرت مالي في مقال نشره أخيراً في “لو موند”، سيُحفّزانه على الموافقة على ما اعترض عليه سابقاً. غير أن التعقيدات المرتبطة بالمشهد السياسي العام، الأميركي والدولي، وبحسابات ترامب نفسها، لا تسمح بالجزم بالنسبة إلى الخيارات التي قد يلجأ إليها.

التقدير الدقيق لميزان القوى يحدّ من حماسة إسرائيل لـ «المعركة الفاصلة» في الظروف السائدة حالياً

أول الاعتبارات التي ستحكم قرارات ترامب حيال إيران في الفترة المتبقية له في البيت الأبيض، هي تلك الانتخابية التي طغت دائماً على أيّ حسابات أخرى، قبل وجوده في السلطة وخلاله. إذا كان ينوي الترشّح مجدّداً للرئاسة عام 2024، حسب المعلومات الواردة من الولايات المتحدة، فمِن غير المرجّح أن يقدِم عن سابق تصوّر وتصميم على الاندفاع نحو مغامرة مرتفعة المخاطر والأكلاف ضدّ إيران. فالقسم الأغلب من الـ 71 مليون أميركي الذي صَوّتوا لمصلحته في الانتخابات الأخيرة، على رغم قناعاته العنصرية وكراهيته المنقطعة النظير للمسلمين ولإيران وانحيازه العقائدي إلى إسرائيل، لا يرغب في رؤية الجيش الأميركي يدخل حرباً جديدة باهظة الأثمان بعيداً عن الديار. المفارقة التي يأخذها ترامب بعين الاعتبار هي أن أميركا العنصرية والمتغطرسة الموالية له، هي إياها التي تريد عودة الجنود الى البلاد من مسارح كأفغانستان والعراق وسوريا وعدم الغرق في نزاعات إضافية. فتح معركة مع إيران، وما قد يترتب عليها من نتائج وخيمة، سيفضيان إلى تقويض فرصه في الفوز بالانتخابات الرئاسية بعد 4 سنوات، لأنه سيَحمل مسؤولية هذه النتائج. علاوة على ذلك، فإن ترامب مدرك أن أجندته الشخصية تختلف جذرياً عن الأجندة الأيديولوجية والعقائدية لـ”حزب الحرب”، كما أشار جون بولتون في كتابه الأخير، وأن هذا الحزب لا يأبه لمستقبله السياسي بقدر تمسّكه بتحقيق غايات يراها بعض أقطابه صناعة للتاريخ، وبعضه الآخر إنفاذاً لتكليف ربّاني. سيستمرّ أقطابه في الدفع نحو تشدّد أعلى مع إيران، وسيتجاوب ترامب مع “نصائحهم” وتوصياتهم طالما تَعلّق الأمر بإجراءات عقابية جديدة، تؤدي إلى تعقيد مهمة الإدارة الديموقراطية في سياستها تجاه طهران، وتُشبع رغبته في الانتقام من الأخيرة التي لم تقبل عروضه لـ”صفقة” معها حسب شروطه. لكن، إن هو عَدَل عن مخطّطاته المستقبلية بشكل مفاجئ خلال الشهرين المقبلين، وغَضّ النظر عن الترشّح في المستقبل، وهو ليس بالاحتمال المستحيل مع شخصية غير مستقرّة مثل ترامب، يصبح خطر المبادرة إلى الحرب، أو الانزلاق إليها بسبب خطوة غير محسوبة، كبيراً. في حالة العزوف عن طموحاته الانتخابية، سيصغي على الأغلب إلى مَن يقول له إن التاريخ سيحفظ اسمه على أنه الرئيس الأميركي الذي أنقذ إسرائيل عبر تدمير ألدّ أعدائها.

طرف آخر ينبغي الالتفات إلى دوره في هذه المرحلة الحساسة، وهو رئيس الوزراء الصهيوني، بنيامين نتنياهو، صاحب التأثير الهائل على ترامب وفريقه. لا شكّ في أنه، والقيادة العسكرية والسياسية الصهيونية، في حالة هلع حقيقية أمام عملية تطوير القدرات العسكرية والصاروخية لأطراف محور المقاومة، وفي القلب منه إيران. حالةٌ ضاعفها عجزهم عن وقف تلك العملية بـ”عمليات ما دون الحرب” وسياسة “الضغوط القصوى” التي استلهمها “حزب الحرب” الأميركي منهم. هم طبعاً يَتمنّون أن تُحوِّل القوة النارية الأميركية محور المقاومة إلى ركام، غير أن التقدير الدقيق لميزان القوى ولقدرات محور المقاومة على التصدّي للعدوان، وافتقادهم إمكانية تأمين حماية فعّالة للعمق الإسرائيلي من الصواريخ الدقيقة والمُوجّهة، هي عوامل قد تحدّ من حماستهم لـ”المعركة الفاصلة” في الظروف السائدة حالياً. الأمر نفسه ينسحب على المشيخات والممالك الخليجية الهشّة، التي لن تحوّل صفقات طائرات “إف – 35” دون صيرورة مرافقها وبناها التحتية رماداً في حال “فَتْح أبواب جهنم”. علاوة على ذلك، فإن مشاركة الإسرائيليين وبعض الأنظمة الخليجية في التحريض على ضرب إيران خلال الفترة الممتدّة إلى العشرين من كانون الثاني المقبل ستكون له انعكاسات غاية في السلبية على علاقاتهم مع إدارة جو بايدن، التي تَعتبر أن أيّ تصعيد يصل إلى الحرب مع إيران هدفه الأول، من منظورها، السعي إلى إدخالها في مآزق، والعمل على إفشال سياساتها منذ اليوم الأول من وصولها إلى سدّة القرار. انحاز هؤلاء لترامب علناً خلال الحملة الانتخابية، لكن مشاركتهم في استراتيجية تخريبية ضدّ الإدارة الجديدة ستكون لها أكلاف بالنسبة إليهم لا يستطيعون تجاهلها مع دولة كالولايات المتحدة. جميع هذه المعطيات تسهم في تعقيد المشهد، وكذلك محاولات استشراف الخيارات التي سيأخذ بها ترامب، لكن الأكيد هو أن المؤشر الأهم الذي قد يتيح إدراكها هو معرفة إذا كان مصرّاً على الترشّح مستقبلاً أو مستعدّاً للعزوف عن ذلك.

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Trump’s 1st win gutted Iran’s moderates – will 2nd win push a military man into office?

Source

November 01, 2020

Trump’s 1st win gutted Iran’s moderates – will 2nd win push a military man into office?

By: Habib A. Abdolhossein for the Saker Blog

Habib is the editor-in-chief at PressTV, Iran’s English-language media organisation. He is an Iranian media expert and holds an M.A. in Media management from the University of Tehran.

With less than two days to the US election many Iranians are eagerly following the news, as they expect the outcome to impact their own futures.

The ultimate fate of the fragile 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the future of ties between Tehran and Washington truly hinge on the outcome of the November 3 vote.

US President Donald Trump left the nuclear agreement in tatters by abandoning it in May 2018. He imposed the “strongest sanctions ever” against Iran as part his “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing Iran to make compromises on crucial issues, including its nuclear activities and its highly-touted missile program.

The feeling in Tehran is that Tump’s re-election would mean the continuation of the “maximum pressure” campaign. In fact, the incumbent says if he wins the vote Iran will be forced to seek a deal “within the first month” of his second term. But as his hands are still wet with the blood of Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, he is not the desirable option for Iran to resume talks with.

Joe Biden’s victory, on the other hand, is expected to genuinely shift US policy on Iran. In an opinion article published by CNN, Biden said if elected president he would, “offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy”.

Biden’s presidency could be a game-changer for Iran’s reformists and moderate politicians who are vying for a political comeback by championing enhanced relations with the West.

“If Biden becomes U.S. president and rejoins the JCPOA, Iran will get a major achievement… But if Trump is re-elected, he will continue his maximum pressure against Iran and will pose new challenges for the Iranian economy,” confirms Dr. Ahmad Naghibzadeh, Tehran University professor and a member of Executives of Construction Party, a reformist party in Iran.

Reformists, who are already under fire for their support for President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, thus consider pursuing diplomacy with Biden as a more feasible way to promote their agenda.

“The new government should take advantage of the opportunities made after the U.S. elections to normalize ties with the world and tackle the sanctions…. Reformists view power as a tool for entering into negotiations with the world,” says Seyed Hossein Marashi, spokesman of the pro-reform Kargozaran Sazandegi Party.

However, the obvious reality is that such an attitude barely strikes a chord with the general public in Iran – geopolitical concerns have been put on the back burner after years of being a regularly-discussed topic. A majority of Iranians are instead obsessed with economy, which is cracking under sanctions and the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

Vote of no-confidence for Reformists

Back in 2013, Rouhani swept to a landslide, first-round victory as a centrist with a campaign of “prudence and hope”. Rouhani promised to rescue the economy by ending Iran’s international isolation. Seven years on, with the economy reeling from re-imposed US sanctions, those hopes have clearly been dashed. Many of his supporters are disappointed and even outraged with Rouhani’s “empty” promises of change.

Rouhani’s victories in the 2013 and 2017 presidential elections actually had less to do with his own popularity than with a tacit alliance with the reformists. Support from key reformist figures, including ex-President Mohammad Khatami, who had pinned hopes onto Rouhani’s pro-reform pledges, played a key role.

Many voters see too big a gap between Rouhani’s campaign rhetoric and the reality of his governance. Furthermore, his performance has also inflicted a heavy toll on the popularity of moderates who threw their weight behind him.

“Rouhani was not a reformist but the reformists put their social capital on sale by supporting him…” says former MP Nasser Qavami, who believes reformists have already lost the game by supporting a non-reformist.

Reformists and other moderates now have almost no selling point to entice even their own disillusioned supporters to vote. They can no longer hope to defeat the conservatives who have already conquered parliament.

The 2020 parliamentary elections were a litmus test for moderates: With the lowest turnout since the 1979 Islamic Revolution (admittedly affected by the pandemic), reformists didn’t just lose the vote but were annihilated: they dropped from a plurality of 121 seats to just 20 seats.

Trump or Biden? Yes, it does it make a difference for Iran

Whether the incumbent Donald Trump is re-elected or his Democratic rival Joe Biden wins the White House cannot help but decisively impact Iran’s immediate foreign policy strategy because, from the point of view of moderates, the two candidates have genuinely different approaches to Iran. This runs counter to the conservatives’ view, which is that an anti-Iran policy is the only policy possible from Washington no matter who is elected.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a key political analyst and a professor at Tehran University, believes Iran will be in a better position if Trump wins the U.S. election.

“An internationally isolated US under Trump will have little chance of gaining any serious accomplishment against Iran. But if Biden wins, he will act better in forging consensus against Iran,” Marandi asserts.

Despite his bellicose rhetoric, Trump has indicated that he doesn’t want a war with Iran, and he has employed military intervention far less than his recent predecessors. However, there is no guarantee he will follow this same strategy in his second term, worrying many.

“Since he doesn’t need voters’ support in his second term, the possibility of military confrontation with Iran increases,” suggests Afshar Soleimani, an Iranian political analyst.

With that in mind, a Trump victory may cause Iran to ultimately lean towards a more aggressive approach: ditching the landmark nuclear deal and boosting the controversial missile program. Much to the chagrin of the US, Iran is now allowed to export arms after a 13-year old ban was just lifted under the JCPOA. Houthis in Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah top the list of allies whom Iran may supply with weapons.

The best option to enforce this type of a change to foreign policy could be a president who has served in the military.

Military-turned president in the making?

This should be viewed as a major strategic shift as the Islamic Republic has always had a civilian president.

“This position should be run by a strategic individual who has a better military and security expertise to take on a pivotal role in the strategic management of the country,” says Hossein Allahkaram, a conservative pundit and former IRGC officer.

There are mounting speculations that former defense minister and IRGC commander General Hossein Dehqan may run for president in the 2021 election. A senior military advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Dehqan has already served in the defense ministry in the Khatami and Rouhani administrations. He also headed the key Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs during Ahmadinejad’s first term.

But the vital question is whether Iranian society is ready to accept a military commander as president?

“This depends on the national strategy. A military president is not likely to win a landslide victory,” says reformist analyst Mohammad Sadeq Javadi Hessari. “This could be an option by conservatives to take advantage when low voter turnout is expected,” he crucially emphasizes.

Iranians have already indicated that they have great reverence for their military commanders – millions turned out in nationwide funerals and commemorations after Soleimani was killed.

For many Iranians Trump’s re-election means more tensions with the US are certain. With low voter turnout expected, a soldier-turned president could be an option unless Washington’s “maximum pressure” stops before Iran’s June 18th presidential vote.

Such a choice could even work with Biden as president: It could pressure the White House to not set impossible preconditions for returning to the JCPOA, or not attempt to keep the sanctions in place as leverage.

What’s certain is that the new US president will have little chance to negotiate a new deal with outgoing Iranian president Rouhani, whose term ends in almost eight months.

Iranians will certainly be more demanding should they enter any talks with US again. They have lost their top general Soleimani and incurred serious damages under Trump-era sanctions. They expect US compensation to be offered just to resume talks.

Opening the window of diplomacy seems to be more conceivable with Biden than Trump. The victor would be wise to remember that resistance is expected to remain an option for Iran – as usual – regardless of who is finally elected in the United States.

US Sanctions: Shooting Blanks Against the Resiliency of Targeted Nations

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, October 27, 2020

As explained many times before, Security Council members alone may legally impose sanctions on nations, entities and individuals.

When used by countries against others, they breach the UN Charter, how the US, NATO and Israel operate time and again.

The Charter’s Article II mandates all member states to “settle…disputes” according to the rule of law.

US/Western sanctions are weapons of war by other means — used to pressure, bully and terrorize targeted nations into submission.

Though widely used, most often they fail to achieve intended objectives.

US sanctions war and other hostile actions against Cuba for 60 years, Iran for 40 years, Venezuela for 20 years, and against countless other nations largely shot blanks.

Most often, they’re counterproductive.

Hardships imposed on people in targeted nations fuel anti-US sentiment — blaming Washington, not their governments, for what they endure.

Under international law, nations are prohibited from intervening in the internal affairs of others.

Military action against an adversary is only legal in self-defense if attacked — never preemptively for any reasons.

Hardcore US bipartisan policy targets all independent nations unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to its interests.

That’s what US hostility toward China, Russia, Iran, and other targeted countries is all about.

Since WW II, no nations threatened the US militarily or politically.

Like all other empires in world history now gone, a similar fate awaits the US — because of its counterproductive geopolitical policies, over time making more enemies than allies, weakening, not strengthening, the state.

Last week in response to US sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the following:

“(T)his unfriendly and destructive policy of constant introduction of various restrictions in relation to us, our economic operators, our economy, unfortunately, this has already become an integral part of unfair competition, undisguised hostile takeover competition on the part of Washington.”

Last month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed the US, saying:

“We condemn (US) calls for forging a certain coalition against the pipeline, wherein German and other companies have already made multi-billion dollar investments.”

In response to EU sanctions on Russia over the Navalny novichok poisoning hoax, its Foreign Ministry demanded to know “who is behind the anti-Russian provocation,” adding:

“In response, we get aggressive rhetoric and outright manipulation of the facts” — by the EU in cahoots with the US.

Sergey Lavrov slammed Berlin for being in breach of its international obligations for failing to provide Moscow with information it claims to have about the Navalny incident — because none exists.

In mid-October, protesters outside the US embassy in London accused Washington of attempting to “strangle” Cuba’s economy by a virtual blockade on the island state.

The so-called Rock Around The Blockade solidarity campaign called for breaking the illegal action, chanting “Cuba si! Yankee no! Abajo el bloqueo/Down with the blockade!”

Despite annual UN General Assembly measures against US blockade of the island state, it’s been in place for decades without success because of Cuban resiliency.

Trump regime Office of Foreign Assets Control threatened to sue “anyone who trades with Cuba” or has property in the country.

Despite decades of US war on Cuba by other means, aiming to regain imperial control over the island state, policies of Republicans and Dems consistently failed.

US war on China by sanctions and other means widens the breach between both countries.US Sanctions: Weapons of War by Other Means on Targeted Nations

On October 21 in a Foreign Affairs article titled “How China Threatens American Democracy” (sic), Trump regime national security advisor Robert  O’Brien invented nonexistent threats.

Instead of fostering productive bilateral relations with all nations, policies of both right wings of the US one-party state go the other way against nations Washington doesn’t control — how the scourge of imperialism operates.

China fosters cooperative relations with other nations, threatening none — polar opposite longstanding US policy, seeking dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations.

Undeclared US initiated Cold War against China, Russia, and other targeted nations threatens to turn hot by accident or design — especially in East Asia, the Middle East, and near Russia’s borders.

On Sunday, O’Brien expressed frustration, saying:

“One of the problems that we have faced with both Iran and Russia is that we now have so many sanctions against these countries that we have very little (opportunity) to do anything about it,” adding:

“But we are looking at all possible deterrent measures that we can apply to these countries, as well as others…”

Last Thursday, the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Iran’s IRGC, its Quds Force, and Bayan Rasaneh Gostar Institute “for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference” in US November 3 elections.

Fact: Throughout US history, no evidence showed that any foreign nations ever interfered in its electoral process — a US specialty against scores of nations throughout the post-WW II period.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh slammed the hostile action, saying:

Its government “strong(ly) reject(s) baseless and false claims” by the US, adding:

“(I)t makes no difference for Iran who wins the US election.”

On core domestic and foreign policy issues, both right wings of the US one-party state operate largely the same way.

Rare exceptions prove the rule.

On Monday, Pompeo announced more illegal sanctions on Iran — part of longstanding US war on the country by other means.

Tehran’s “Ministry of Petroleum and Minister of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company, the National Iranian Tanker Company, and 21 other individuals, entities, and vessels” were targeted for unjustifiable reasons.

Iran, its ruling authorities, and entities foster cooperative relations with other countries — hostile actions toward none, except in self-defense if attacked, the legal right of all nations.

US imperial policy targets all countries, entities and individuals not subservient to its rage to rule the world unchallenged.

US maximum pressure on Iran and other nations is all about wanting them transformed into vassal states.

Separately on Monday, convicted felon/US envoy for regime change in Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams said the following:

“The transfer of long-range missiles from Iran to Venezuela is not acceptable to the United States and will not be tolerated or permitted,” adding:

“We will make every effort to stop shipments of long-range missiles, and if somehow they get to Venezuela they will be eliminated there.”

Was the above threat a possible US declaration of hot war on Venezuela, on Iran as well?

Last week, Pompeo announced new US sanctions on “the State Research Center of the Russian Federation FGUP Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics (TsNIIKhM).”

He falsely claimed the research institute conducts “malware attacks (that threaten) cybersecurity and critical infrastructure (sic).”

No evidence was cited because none exists, including alleged Russian malware against “a petrochemical plant in the Middle East,” along with “scann(ing) and prob(ing) US facilities.”

Pompeo falsely accused Russia of “engag(ing) in dangerous and malicious activities that threaten the security of the United States and our allies (sic).”

The above is what the US and its imperial partners do time and again — falsely blaming others for their own high crimes.

The Trump regime also imposed unlawful sanctions on Iran for supplying Venezuela with gasoline — the legal right of both nations to conduct bilateral trade relations.

Last month, former Trump regime acting DNI Richard Grenell met secretly with Venezuelan Vice President for Communications Jorge Rodriguez in Mexico, according to Bloomberg News.

It was a futile attempt to get President Maduro to step down ahead of US November 3 elections, Trump seeking a foreign policy success to tout that failed.

US war on Venezuela by other means, notably by Trump, imposed great hardships on its people alone — failing to achieve regime change.

US-designated puppet-in-waiting Guaido’s involvement in the scheme made him widely despised by the vast majority of Venezuelans.

Separately, Russia’s US embassy responded to unacceptable tightening of visas for its journalists by the Trump regime, creating “artificial barriers (that impede) their normal work,” adding:

“In particular, the limitation of the period of stay for foreign media employees to 240 days (with the possibility of extension up to 480 days) will not allow them to consistently cover local events.”

Journalists “will have to leave the United States for a considerable time to obtain a new visa.”

This new policy flies in the face of what “freedom of speech and equal access to information” is supposed to be all about.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed US accusations of alleged Moscow cybersecurity threats, calling them “unfounded,” adding:

“(T)his time (the US outdid itself) in anti-Russia rhetoric with extremely harsh statements occasionally bordering on bizarre rudeness.”

“Such an approach will not benefit the State Department and is indicative of the fact that they treat the culture and norms of state-to-state communication with disdain.”

Businessman Trump sought improved relations with Russia — the aim thwarted by surrounding himself with Russophobic hardliners.

The same holds for US hostility toward China, Iran, and other countries on its target list for regime change.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from podur.orgThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

هل أصبحت أوروبا جاهزة؟

 د. وفيق إبراهيم

الثلاثي الأوروبي فرنسا والمانيا وبريطانيا في وضعية دقيقة بوسعه من خلال التدحرج نحوها، التمركز في وضعية دولية متقدمة.

هذه الوضعية هي نفاد مدة العقوبات الاقتصادية على إيران وحقها في بيع السلاح وشرائه.

هذه المرحلة القاسية تبتدئ من الشهر الحالي من 2020 بعد 13 عاماً من عقوبات ابتدأت أميركية وأوروبية في 2007 واصبحت صادرة عن مجلس الامن الدولي منذ 2015 بعد التحاق روسيا والصين اليها، والمانيا من خارج اعضاء هذا المجلس.

بذلك تكون الجمهورية الإسلامية أنهت بنجاح العقوبات المفروضة عليها بما يؤهلها للانطلاق اقليمياً وعالمياً. وهذا ما أعلنت عن نيتها بتنفيذه فوراً خصوصاً لجهة بيع السلاح وشراء الحديث منه لتزويد ترسانتها المصنعة داخلياً بنماذج أكثر تقدماً.

وهذا ما وافقت عليه روسيا والصين معلنتين عن استعدادهما للتعاون المفتوح مع إيران في كل المجالات.

اما الأميركيون فأعلنوا عن استمرارهم بالعقوبات على إيران مهددين كل دولة تتعاون معها بعقوبات قاسية، مؤكدين انهم يستهدفونها لبرنامجها النووي – الصاروخي المهدد للأمن العالمي.

هذا ما أصاب الثلاثي الأوروبي بقشعريرة هزت اندفاعتهم نحو التحرّر من الهيمنة الأميركية التي تأسرهم منذ ستينيات القرن الماضي.

هنا إذاً تكمن المشكلة لأن الأوروبيين يرون ان إيران نفذت ما عليها من عقوبات بإشراف من وكالة الطاقة النووية ومراقبة دولية شملت كل قطاعاتها.

فاستنتجوا ان الاستعداء الأميركي لإيران له علاقة بالصراع السياسي الاستراتيجي بينهما في الشرق الاوسط، بما ينفي عن إيران أي شبهة في مسألة سباق نووي او غيره.

لكنهم ادركوا هذه المرة ان استمرار الأميركيين بعقوباتهم له أبعاد اخرى تتعلق برغبتهم بمنع قيام تفاعلات اقتصادية خارج نفوذهم المباشر، خصوصاً بين أوروبا وإيران، وبالتالي مع روسيا والصين.

بذلك يرى الثلاثي الأوروبي نفسه أمام فرصة استراتيجية تتيح له استعادة مستواه العالمي المفقود، وذلك بالتعامل الاقتصادي مع بلدٍ كإيران يمتلك كل انواع الموارد ويحتاج لتحديث بنيته القديمة الداخلية نتيجة لتعرضه لحصار منذ اربعة عقود على الأقل.

كما ان إيران قطب اقليمي وازن تفتح لأوروبا وروسيا والصين مدى واسعاً بالإمكان التعاون معه اقتصادياً، وأوروبا تعرف أن الصين تريد لمشروع الحرير الخاص بها ان يسير على خط القوقاز وصولاً الى إيران فالعراق فسورية فلبنان أهم خط جيوبوليتيكي معاصر له أبعاد اساسية في الاقتصاد والقطبية العالمية.

أوروبا اذاً وسط صراع بين رغبتها العميقة بالذهاب الى إيران وبين التهديد الأميركي بمعاقبتها، وهو تهديد اقتصادي، لكنه يحمل تداعيات في الداخل الأوروبي السياسي، لجهة الدعم الأميركي المحتمل لخطوة أوروبية داخلية معارضة للسلطات الحالية ما يؤدي الى تأزيم اوضاع الثلاثي فرنسا المانيا انجلتره على نحو دراماتيكي مخيف.

فإذا كانت روسيا والصين قادرتين على تحدي العقوبات الأميركية فلا يبدو ان هذا الأمر مسهّل على دول القارة القديمة.

لذلك، فإن هذا الثلاثي يتجه الى سياسة التريث والانتظار حتى تمهد الصين الطريق الى إيران بشكل نظامي مع إطلاق عجلة مفاوضات مع إيران غير مرئية تؤكد لها فيها انها لن تتأخر كثيراً في التعاون الاقتصادي معها.

هناك نقطة أخرى مخفية يترقب الثلاثي الأوروبي تحققها وتتعلق بخسارة الرئيس الأميركي الحالي ترامب للانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني المقبل، فيصبح التفاوض مع منافسه الديمقراطي بايدن أقل حدة وصراعاً مع احتمال التوصل الى حلول وسطى.

لكن هذا الاحتمال ليس مؤكداً فقد يفوز ترامب بالانتخابات. وهذا يعني بموجب هذا التحليل خسارة أوروبا أهم فرصة تاريخية تستطيع ان تعيدها الى قيادة العالم في اطار قطبية متعددة قال الرئيس الفرنسي ماكرون في وقت سابق إنها رباعية وتضم الصين وروسيا وأميركا وأوروبا.

المرجّح اذاً أن تدافع أوروبا عن طموحاتها في اسوأ الاحتمالات.

بما يجعلها تعوّل على اشتداد سعير الصراع الروسي الصيني الإيراني من جهة مع الأميركيين من جهة ثانية، بما يؤدي الى انكسار العقوبات الأميركية فيعود الثلاثي الفرنسي الالماني الانجليزي الى الشرق الاوسط على متن نوعين من العلاقات: الأولى خليجية ترى في أوروبا نصيراً دائماً لها والثانية إيرانية لديها افق اقليمي واسع.

بذلك تلعب أوروبا دوراً وسيطاً بين الخليج وإيران وتتمتع بعلاقات اقتصادية مع الطرفين في إطار جيد، فهل هذا ممكن؟

الأشهر المقبلة تحمل في مضمونها الجواب الشافي للصراع على تجديد القطبية العالمية.

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