By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, May 11, 2015
Folks, in international politics, the United States is known for taking (in some instances, unilateral) action against countries and systems that it considers to be a threat either to its peculiar interests or to those of its allies. And the US has no friend but permanent interests to defend!
In contemporary times, it doesn’t even have to wait for the United Nations mandate in some instances. And its actions are known to be devastating, leaving in their wake wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth by the victims. Its military-industrial complex is designed for such purposes, come-what-may. And its military precision ensures massive destruction to bring “recalcitrant” countries/systems to their knees.
How many military actions hasn’t the US taken against such countries and systems in living memory? Count them and you should know that when it comes to military might to defend its interests (or the interests of its allies), the US doesn’t brook “nonsense” or overlook any threat to such interests. It acts resolutely to prove that its might is right!!
Not so in the case of Iran whose nuclear ambitions have dominated international political discourse and diplomacy over the years.
And Iran is adamant, weathering the negative backlash of the international sanctions imposed on it and doing its best to ensure the lifting of some of those biting sanctions. Iran has stood its grounds and is determined to go the whole hog while its opponents chafe and spit fire for nothing.
By not crippling Iran, the US is fast losing the confidence and trust of its Gulf State allies and angering Israel. Probably, it is even using its clout to prevent Israel from taking any unilateral, pre-emptive military action against Iran. Who knows?
(Of course, Israel feels more threatened than any other state because of the perceived hostility that has existed between it and Iran over the years under the former President Ahmadinejad, who insists that the “holocaust” was a frame-up—or who justified that holocaust as a just punishment for the Jews—and that Israel should be wiped off from the earth. A terrifying stance for Iran to take!!)
Given the nastiness that characterized Iranian-US relations over the years (especially after the 1979 events in Iran that shattered everything between it and the US), one might not expect the US to treat Iran with a kid’s gloves; but that is what is happening in this Iranian nuclear-ambition scenario.
Why is the US not attacking Iran to dismantle its nuclear capabilities? Why is it pampering Iran instead? Why is the US afraid of doing to Iran what it is known for doing to such “recalcitrant” systems?
Those of us following developments regarding the nuclear ambitions of Iran know that marathon negotiations that have so far been held between Iran and its opponents (mostly the West, led by the United States and firmly supported by its European allies, even if condemned by Israel) have yielded nothing concrete to allay fears that a nuclear-power Iran won’t be a threat to the Arab region or the world.
Israel has been vehemently opposed to the nuclear ambitions of Iran and even threatened to unilaterally take military action to stall any further development of the nuclear facilities. Whether by design or accident, it hasn’t made any move of the sort so far. Negotiations have been going on and off without any concrete outcome to assuage doubts, fears, and misgivings. So, Iran seems to have a slight edge, insisting that its nuclear ambition is for civilian, not military, purposes.
Given the elbow room, Iran has bought much time to put its house in order and strengthen its arms for the next round of negotiations.
Intriguingly, the United States has toned down on its hot-headed rhetoric and seemed to have given Iran too much of a long rope with which it has refused to hang itself. In consequence, Israel is angry (as can be inferred from the “snub” given Obama by the Israeli Prime Minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) when he sidelined the White House and interacted with the US Congress (being accepted by the Republicans mostly as a strong ally in the anti-Iran drama).
The Republicans have moved ahead to tweak the deal in preparation for measures to either neutralize the Obama angle or put their own spin on the demands that Iran must meet. It is a new complexion being added to the matter at this stage.
As if that is not all, there seems to be some concerted attempt by countries in the Gulf region to bare their teeth in an apparent show of disgust for the manner in which Obama is handling the Iranian nuclear issue.
As reported by the BBC, leaders of the Gulf State (particularly Saudi Arabia, the US’ most trusted ally) have boycotted a summit called by Obama:
“Many Gulf heads of state have said they will not attend this week’s summit of US and Arab leaders at Camp David. Their substitution with more junior leaders is seen by some analysts as a rebuff to President Obama’s talks with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.” (See http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32694184)
The language of diplomacy may be used to hide reality (especially as is obvious in the explanations given by the Saudis); but there is something really simmering to prove that the leaders of the Gulf States (who are the US’ traditional allies) are unhappy about the US’ pampering of Iran. Is Obama really in for trouble here too?
I shall return…
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