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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

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

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


RightWeb
share