By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai
“Iran will reject any offers by the European Community and even by the US, to return to the negotiating table and to resume the drafting of the nuclear agreement in exchange for Tehran to stop developing its missile program, pull out of Syria and it support to its allies (Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas Palestinian Jihad, Houthis in Yemen) because what is at stake is Iran’s national security, its constitution and doctrine”, said a high Iranian official involved in the nuclear programme negotiation.
“All the billions that Europe believes it can offer for Iran to restructure and modify the nuclear agreement will not change our views and our goals. Iran will certainly be affected by further sanctions, however there are economic alternatives on the table. These existed even during the days of the sanctions which lasted for decades. Today, Iran 2018 in no longer like Iran 1979. We have partners and allies around the globe. ”
The source was adamant: “Imam Ali Khamenei told us –correctly: If the Americans ask for a finger and we give it to them, they will ask for the hand, and if they take the hand, they will ask for the arm and if they get it, they will ask for the body . The objective is to subjugate Tehran to US control and push Iran away from Russia. We didn’t submit in the last four decadessince our Islamic revolution won, so it will certainly not happen today”.
The issue is to subjugate Iran: it is a matter of control, not a matter of making a nuclear bomb. It is a matter of hitting Russia’s allies who managed to defeat the US in its playground (the Middle East) allowing Russia to return, stronger than ever, to the international arena. This US objective (not very well hidden!) is in fact clearly manifested by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 impossible conditions– a diktat aiming to make Iran submit and have the US define Iran’s “choices” and allies.
On the day President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, the Russian President stressed that he was not interested in the US’s stand: “Moscow is committed to all its agreements with Iran”.
Iran does not believe that Barack Obama pushed for a nuclear deal to satisfy Tehran or reward it. And that former US administration was convinced that Iran would not bow. So, it hoped that Tehran would discuss other issues (its Middle Eastern policy, for example), and would keep its distance from the Russian and Chinese giants (Washington’s available competitors), quite ready to replace the US and Europe in Iran to help overcome US sanctions.
Indeed, Iran believes that Russia, China and many other countries (like India and Turkey) will not abide by the US sanctions either. Even if Europe withdrew from the nuclear agreement within the Iranian-proposed deadline to the EU (40 to 60 days) to give sufficient guarantees, Iran will not abide by any US proposal in any case.
At the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran was divided into two parts: one part wanted to move towards establishing economic contracts with Europe and another part wanted to concentrate on contracts with mainly China and Russia.
Today, if Europe withdraws or fails to provide adequate guarantees to Iran, other partners (Russia and China) are ready to move in. For example, if Total withdraws from the Pars gas field, China’s CNPC is ready to replace it (Total owns 50.1 percent of the stake, CNPC 30 percent and PetroPars 19.9 percent). If Airbus and Boeing withdraw from the agreement in response to US’s will and sanctions, they lose $ 39 billion and will be replace by Russian firm.
This does not mean that Iran will not lose real partners in Europe; however it has not gained much so far because it has received only $10 out of the $ 150 billions of Iran’s frozen assets in the US. Therefore, the “real loss” did not occur – because America did not abide by the agreement but left it on one side before handing it on finally to the Trump era.
“Trump does not understand that the policy of piracy and his conduct with the Middle East countries is a tribute to them and a form of blackmail which keeps them in power. Trump wants to dominate the Islamic Republic and maintain unilateral world ‘control’: Obama understood he could no longer pretend to this. Trump is just not realistically accepting the return of Russia and he refuses to share power. ”
It is true that Russia did commit itself to US sanctions against Iran, at a time when it was weak (from the 1990s and until 2011). But the situation has changed since the Syrian war. Shifts in the balance of power emerged when the “axis of resistance” in the Syrian war – along with Russia (that is not part of it, but supporting it in the Levant) – defeated the US and its European and Middle Eastern allies and prevented “regime change”. Thus, Iran – and its allies – do not feel a position of weakness at all in the face of escalating American positions against them.
President Bashar al-Assad was asked long ago to abandon the Palestinian cause and organisations he hosted in Syria and the Lebanese “Hezbollah”: he refused and war was waged against his country. Hezbollah has been offered billions to stop attacking Israel and withdrawing weapons from southern Lebanon: its secretary-general has rejected repeated Japanese and US offers. Iran also rejected billions and the lifting of sanctions to stop supporting Palestine and Hezbollah. When the US found out that the use of military force and regime change did not work in the Levant to crush the enemies of Israel and those outside its orbit of dominance, it turned to economic warfare and old-new sanctions.
Today, the European Community is joining the line of the “axis of resistance” against Trump’s bullying. The old EU continent will be the most affected by US sanctions against Iran and its US partner. Trump is behaving with what are supposed to be his European partners in the same way he is dealing with Arab countries (a policy of encouragement and intimidation, principally with Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and the Emirates).
Thus, the US has not only threatened Iran and the “axis of resistance” but is threatening European security and economy, both under threat, and from a longstanding historical ally. Trump is pushing the world towards militarism, and towards separation and alienation from the US, with its unbridled unilateral policy that refuses to accept the fait accompli: the time of unilateralism is over.
Proof reading: Maurice Brasher
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