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Detente between the U.S. and Iran?

By       Message Dave Lefcourt     Permalink
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From Official Photo of Hassan Rouhani%2C 7th President of Iran%2C August 2013
Official Photo of Hassan Rouhani%2C 7th President of Iran%2C August 2013
(image by Wikipedia)

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran

Every once in a while an opportunity arises even if it's not been earned. Such an opportunity has arisen and fallen into the lap of the Obama administration regarding Iran and its nuclear development program.

It's quite possible the one thing that can save the Obama crowd (fumblers extraordinaire) from inflicting further foreign policy wounds on themselves is for real diplomatic detente with Iran.

Before any deal is struck, expect the long knives of resistance to such a breakthrough happening to be in full chorus. Israel, Saudi Arabia, AIPAC, the neo-cons, Israel's genuflecting sycophants in the Congress plus the other hard right elements in the U.S. that have long bought into the demonization of Iran to reject such diplomacy, denounce and call it collaboration and appeasement.

Then there's the "Death to America" crowd in Iran led by the influential Republican Guard who prosper even while the Iranian people suffer from the imposed economic sanctions placed on Iran by the U.S. who could abet in scuttling any detente and with it the resumption of long dead ties between the two antagonists.

New Iran President Hassan Rouhani, himself a former head of negotiator of Iran's nuclear development program since his election in June, has pushed for detente with the U.S., written directly to Obama of his intentions and Obama and his administration have agreed to resume negotiations with Iran albeit with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany in Geneva, Switzerland.  

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Think of the implications of a detente with Iran

Attacking that countries nuclear facilities would finally be off the table (though Israel could attack alone it seems inconceivable without U.S. concurrence) and with it a potential debacle that could bring a worldwide economic catastrophe, more war and destabilization in the Middle East, attacks on the U.S. embassy in Iraq, attacks on the U.S. Navy's presence in the Persian Gulf, the potential mining and obstruction of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz where 20% of the world's oil must traverse, a retaliatory attack on Israel by Iran and Hezbollah from Lebanon and the potential for an unintended wider war similar to what occurred prior to World War I where alliances between allies obligated them to defend each other because a minor Archduke Prince Ferdinand of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Serbia precipitating that long ago conflict in 1914 whose aftereffects we're still dealing with a hundred years later.    

U.S. hegemony and influence has taken a big hit with the blunder of threatening to attack the Bashar Assad regime in Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons only to be rescued by Russian President Vladimir Putin's diplomacy whereby Assad would agree to give up its chemical weapons stock to the U.N. Throw in the considerable fallout from revelations by Edward Snowden on the NSA's perverse snooping of all electronic communications of world leaders and their people, then the forced landing of Bolivian President Evo Morales plane in Vienna, Austria suspected of harboring Snowden on board, the quixotic support of ousted President Mohammad Morsi of Egypt in a coup by the Egyptian military only to renege on that support and respect the coup by the military (yet refusing to call it a coup which would automatically trigger the suspension of $1.4 billion in aid to the Egyptian military) are all having a pronounced effect on allies who are resisting U.S. plaints to obediently follow it and/or outright ignoring it and going their own way.

Add in the U.S. government shutdown by a small minority of tea party wackos in the U.S. House which baffled the world while making the U.S. an international laughingstock, something, anything positive on the diplomatic front with Iran could rescue it from total embarrassment.

So think of it this way; U.S. detente with Iran could be the saving grace for an Obama administration giving a sad rendition of the "Keystone Kops" now conducting real international diplomacy with Iran is nothing short of supreme irony; the olive branch of resuming normal diplomatic ties with the demonized Iranian enemy and their suspending righteous indignation over the CIA's coup of the legitimately elected government of Mohammed Mossedeigh in 1953, the re-installation of the hated Shah Pahlavi and subsequent overthrow in 1979 which brought the Iranian revolution, the hostage taking of American embassy personnel, the establishment of the theocratic regime under Ayatollah Khomeini with the resulting 35 years of mutual hatred and demonization of the other to the present time.

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Whether the attempt for detente between the two long time antagonists can succeed is an open question. As said earlier in this piece the hard liners on both sides could very well sabotage the diplomacy.

Let's hope the hardliners can be resisted and the world can take a deep breath and step back from the abyss of another potentially devastating and unnecessary war.   


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