Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Pompeo’s Plan B On Iran: An Exercise In Futility

The US is suffering from the delusions of a hegemonic power that can no longer impose its will on other nations yet refuses to acknowledge the new reality. It has now manufactured another unnecessary, destructive, and imprudent crisis with Iran, which is bound to bring a future clash between US and Iran to the detriment of world peace.

 

Lobelog

 

The scene at the Heritage Foundation today could have come from the film The Ugly American. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo devoted his first major foreign-policy speech—since assuming the office from his more affable, and certainly wiser, predecessor Rex Tillerson—to pouring venom on Iran and, in essence, declaring economic war by promising to “crush” Iran’s economy by imposing the “strongest sanctions in history.”

Pompeo’s speech might be music to leaders in Tel Aviv and Riyadh. But for the rest of international community it is emblematic of a deeply detested US administration that has a record of whimsically trashing international agreements without any qualms about damaging honor, credibility, and global image through such arbitrary exercises of American power. Frustrated by the tsunami of negative reactions worldwide to its decision to exit a verifiable international agreement that successfully curbed Iran’s nuclear program, the Donald Trump administration has now upped the ante by growing its list of demands from four to 12.

Pompeo has provided a political smokescreen for an undiplomatic path toward war with Iran by piling up arbitrary demands that amount to yet another technical violation of the nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Pompeo, who has a long track record of both Islamophobia and Iranophobia, accused Iran of seeking to dominate the Middle East and promised a firm American response, together with its regional allies. It is now perfectly clear that this administration has no diplomatic track with Iran and is simply bent on regime change, which will only wreak havoc on regional and global peace and stability.

Indeed, Pompeo’s incendiary speech against Iran revealed the preliminary outlines of a war strategy beginning with the necessary preliminaries of conflict escalation and continuing through the usual means of economic warfare. Behind Pompeo’s “12-point” demands from Iran is, perhaps, a hidden concern that the current Iran-Europe talks to save the JCPOA may actually yield positive results. Thus, the White House has tripled the number of items on its Iran list to make sure that no compromise can be reached and the US iron-fist approach toward Iran can proceed unimpeded. Meanwhile, Europe is openly criticizing the US for becoming “the gendarme of the world economy”—a new Rome that serves as the hegemonic center of a unipolar world order—and seeking to turn allies into “vassals” who slavishly follow Washington’s command.

Of course, since the world has evolved into a post-American-century multipolarism, it is futile for anyone in the US contemplating a return of the status quo. This is the major flaw in the administration’s hostile discourse on Iran: promising what it cannot possibly deliver. If anything, Europe is openly and legally questioning the new round of US sanctions, raising the distinct possibility that this attempt to resurrect the pre-JCPOA context of international and US-led sanctions regime against Iran will fail. Europe is now contemplating bypassing the US dollar by making direct oil payments to Iran through its own currency, the Euro, in addition to providing government-financed trade with Iran and initiating Iran projects through the European Investment Bank.

Given these challenges to the Trump administration’s promised sanctions, why is the US trying in vain to refocus European energy from cooperating with Iran to confronting the country? The straightforward answer to the above question is that the US is suffering from the delusions of a hegemonic power that can no longer impose its will on other nations yet refuses to acknowledge the new reality. It has now manufactured another unnecessary, destructive, and imprudent crisis with Iran, which is bound to bring a future clash between US and Iran to the detriment of world peace.

Kaveh L. Afrasiabi is a former adviser to Iran’s nuclear negotiation team and the author of several books on Iran’s foreign affairs.

 

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


RightWeb
share