Will Trump Pay The Price For What He Wants From Iran?

Authored by Tom Luongo,

“We will pay the price, but we will not count the cost.” – Rush, “Bravado”

Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal could spark a major reset of foreign relations.  Is this a mistake or the right course of action?

That depends on your perspective.  It depends on whether you believe, as the Israelis do, that Iran is ready to build a nuclear weapon to point at them.

But the bigger question to me is whether Trump is willing to put on the table what he needs to get what he wants, a secure Israel and an Iran without nukes.  Tearing up the deal may be the first step towards that end, but not in the way he’s thinking.

Where’s the Beef?

Now, thousands of column inches have been spilled detailing how inordinately stupid it would be for either Israel or Iran to lob nukes at one another.  No matter who starts it, the ending will be tragic for much of the world.

So, no sane person would do this right?  The narrative has been spun up that Israel is rational and Iran is not. Pure and simple. That’s the narrative. That justifies taking away Iran’s ultimate right to defend itself against aggression from foreign powers.

Both sides of this conflict can rightly point fingers at the other as to their adventures beyond their own borders.  And here I break with my libertarian brethren.  It does little good today to say who is more justified.  To argue about who started it.  Because we are well beyond that point.

So, what does Donald Trump want?  What’s his main beef with the JCPOA?

The sunset clause.

He wants a guarantee in writing from Iran to forever stop development of a nuclear weapon.  Israel has been pushing for this policy point since the end of the Iran/Iraq war, which is where all of this likely started.

Iran, in response to Saddam Hussein’s own tactical nuclear weapons development, began work on theirs.  After this the whole thing gets murky.  But, let’s assume that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right about one thing; that Iran is year or two away from a nuclear weapon.

So, to Trump the sunset clause is moronic.

And, rightly so.  But, that’s not the whole story.

The Price of the Deal

Now let’s go back to 2012.  The U.S. and its partners – Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey – begin the regime change operation in Syria.

We use the financial equivalent of a nuclear strike, cutting them from the SWIFT electronic payment network.  We freeze hundreds of billions in Iranian assets.

The U.S. cuts Iran out of the global financial system to effect regime change.  The Iranian Rial devalues 50% overnight.

Syria’s biggest ally other than Russia is neutralized through financial warfare.

Nuclear weapons are only effective as a deterrent to behavior.  They cannot actually be used.  Obama’s first mistake was going to this option weaponizing SWIFT.  We’d used it successfully on Switzerland in 2010 to hunt down tax evaders.  But everyone watching this play out knew it was a bad idea.

I remember Jim Sinclair saying this over and over again.  You can’t go to the nuclear well.  Because if it doesn’t work, you have nothing left to threaten anyone with.  Financial wars eventually become hot wars.

In short, Iran survived, with the help of a lot of people, including Turkey who altered its banking regulations to re-monetize gold as a bank asset to help Iran process international oil payments through Turkish banks.

Now, fast forward to 2015.  The Syria operation is nearly over.  Assad is hanging on by a thread.

The Sunni animals we used as proxies were about to take power.

Hezbollah would be isolated in Lebanon.  Russia’s access to the Mediterranean would be blocked, especially after thwarting our attempt to take Sevastopol and Crimea.

Negotiating a deal to let Iran back into the world market had little downside.  In fact, at that point, opening up Iran to international capital would hasten the overthrow of the theocracy.

U.S. and European oil contractors wanted access to Iran. With Syria destroyed, pipelines coming in from Saudi Arabia and Qatar through Turkey into Europe would hurt Gazprom and Russia.

At that point letting Iran back into the world would have been a win for the West.  Isolated and alone, with radical Sunnis in power all through the region Iran would never become the kind of power that could threaten Israeli and Saudi dominance.

So, the JCPOA was a pantomime.  Iran agrees to a moratorium on nuclear development it may or may not have been engaging in and in return, it gets sanctions relief and its stolen assets returned.

If Syria fell to the Wahabists then Iran would need that nuclear capability to defend itself. So, getting that moratorium in writing, the thinking likely went, would be enough because in 10 years the current Iranian government wouldn’t exist.

The threat would be moot.

Looking at it this way, 10 years was as good as forever.

The Bear Trap

Now, here’s the rub.  In July of 2015 when the deal was being finalized, were Iran and Russia negotiating the sunset clause in ‘bad faith’ because they knew Putin would militarily intervene in Syria three months later?

If so, then I fully understand the frustration coming from Israel and the U.S., particularly Trump.  It’s a bad deal because the sunset clause solves nothing permanently. The return of Iranian capital has allowed them to support winning the war in Syria.

But, at the end of the day, that’s Monday morning quarterbacking.  The Obama administration and the entire geopolitical sphere didn’t expect Russia to intervene militarily, and if they did they would be bogged down in a nightmarish quagmire.

That was the thinking in 2015.

Trump’s analysis of this situation is that the JCPOA got the U.S. nothing but heartache and Iran won the deal. But, this was an outcome no one expected.  No one expected Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and China to stand up to the U.S. in Syria.

Maybe Netanyahu, but I doubt it.

And if you think that Iran’s money has been the game changer I say nonsense.  The real financial backer of Assad has been the silent partner, China.

China threatened to send troops into Syria in an uncharacteristic display of partisanship.  They ultimately didn’t, but don’t take that to mean they haven’t provided a lot of soft support to those fighting in Syria.

The rest, after that, is history.  And the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia have been scrambling ever since.

This Syrian Cross

Syria is the U.S.’s Rubicon.

It’s the line we should have never crossed. To win we engaged in tactics and strategies that laid bare to the world the depth of our foreign policy depravity.

Moreover, it exposed us as far weaker than was previously thought.  Iran’s successful resistance to the 2012 sanctions, no matter how painful, created responses that today have changed the game completely.

The emperor is only powerful as long as no one challenges his authority.  First the mullahs, then Putin, then Xi and now Kim.  They have all defied the U.S. and won to some extent and each small victory exposes a little bit more of the emperor’s nudity.

The Syrian Operation has failed in any geopolitical sense of the term.  The basic goal of removing Assad and isolating Iran and Hezbollah were not achieved.  Russia is stronger, with operational experience for its troops using some of its best weapons against U.S.-backed forces.

When an operation like this fails those that instigated it wind up losing the most.  Qatar and Turkey cut bait in 2016.  Any support from Egypt is also gone.

But the U.S., Israel and the Saudis are pot-committed.  And so now they have to salvage what they can.  And that means getting rid of the deal to regain some control over the situation.

But, Syria and Afghanistan will be the U.S. empire’s graveyard.  I only hope that Trump gets past his blind hatred of Iran to see this clearly after he pulls out of the JCPOA.

What Can Trump Salvage?

By tearing up the JCPOA Trump is trying to force the situation back to 2012 to gain some leverage.  But, it’s 2018.  Oil prices are $70 a barrel, which the Saudis desperately need.  The EU is teetering on the edge of political and financial collapse.

Russia survived the ruble crisis and China is the world’s largest economy from a purchasing-power-parity perspective (the only perspective with any validity).  Both have SWIFT-compliant internal financial communications networks that can assist Iran if sanctions are put back on.

Hell, there are blockchains out there that can help Iran get paid for its oil.

The EU signatories want to continue the deal and could very well defy Trump on this, not adhering to new sanctions.

Today, Trump tries to force wins on trade policy that will only destroy global trade and harm U.S. producers in the long run.  He wants a guarantee from Iran that they will remain without nukes to threaten Israel or Saudi Arabia with.

It’s a noble goal.

He won’t get that without giving up something substantial.  Obama traded Iran’s money back to them, which he stole, for a moratorium on nuclear development at a time when he felt the U.S. was winning on every front.  He gave up little to get what looked like a lot at the time.

Again, was this a classic Russian cauldron?  Invite your enemy in, let them over-extend themselves and then encircle?  Possibly.  We’ll only know after Putin retires and writes his memoirs.

Today the deal looks like the reverse.  Obama gave up everything for nothing solid.  But, given what he was willing to put on the table that was all he was going to get.

When Trump tears up this deal to negotiate a new one he’s going to sell Iran and Russia the same false value that Obama did in 2015.  The U.S. will give up trying to oust Assad if you guarantee to never develop nukes.

But, that deal is a non-starter. Because the U.S. will eventually be routed from Syria lest we move to a hot war with Russia, which no one wants.

The U.S. has to swear off regime change by removing its troops from both Syria and Afghanistan as a starting point and guaranteeing that the Saudis never get nuclear weapons.  Iran may also demand Israel finally sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  I’m sure that deal is a non-starter as well.

But, our military commitments in these places is gutting the U.S. budget.  Trump thinks that he can pull a Reagan and grow his way out of the deficits he’s encumbering us with.  But, he can’t.  The situation is too dire.  We’re not at the beginning of the dollar reserve standard, we’re at the end of it.

So, Russia, China and Iran will all hold their water and negotiate knowing that the war of financial attrition is theirs to win.

Just like it was in 2012.  And, deal or no deal, the bigger threat to the U.S. is the further deterioration of diplomatic respect we have with the rest of the world.

Since taking office all Trump’s done is betray his base by doubling down in Afghanistan, striking Syria over false flags, selling weapons to Ukraine and further entrenching us in a nightmarish war in Yemen.

None of these things screams ‘no regime change.’

They all scream war with Iran which has been his position since day one.  The Koreas are forcing his hand on peace there over the objections of his foreign policy team.

So, if this is his way of keeping a foreign policy promise to his base, to satisfy them politically before the mid-terms, he has only himself to blame.  No matter how much he tries to blame Obama.

This whole affair highlights the most important axiom about war, ‘the only way to win is not to play.’

*  *  *

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Comments

FBaggins BennyBoy Wed, 05/09/2018 - 20:23 Permalink

Tom Luongo, provides interesting historical details but is totally naive to think that Israel wants peace or anything so tame as a better sunset clause in the deal.  The Anglo Ziocon masters of Trump and the US want Russia totally out of Syria and to be neutral on Iran, otherwise their regime change plans come to an end. With the likely rebuilding of Syria and the continued development and stabilization of both Syria and Iran, there is no foreseeable chance for Israel for the Western cabal to destroy and dominate those nations and plunder them as they have done in Iraq and Libya.   

In breaking the Iran-nuclear deal, the next step will be either another false flag attack blaming Iran or Syria and/or a full-scale invasion of Syria. The gamble is that Russia will not have the courage to stand up for the sovereignty of its closest allies. Despite the fact that no nation can trust anything the US says or promises, the US decision makers believe they can rely on their military process to secure any foreign interest they want. If Russia does not fight then Iran will be forced to deal with the Anglo Zionist axis on its terms in either having its nation reduced to rubble like Iraq and Syria or by agreeing to its terms which are:

a) Iran will stay out of Syria leaving it to the devices of the US-Israeli-UK Axis. In exchange the US will promise to safeguard Shea Muslims living in Syria;

 b) Iran will allow the Western oil companies, which were kicked out of Iran in the revolution, back into the picture with promises of the US lifting its sanctions and making platitudes of more prosperity for Iran, and a bigger piece of the economic pie than when in the past under the US puppet, the Shah; 

c) Iran will allow a Rothschild bank into Iran for a major control of its finances;

d) Their oil and gas will be traded in US petrodollars;

e) Iran will sever ties with Russia. 

No Mr. Luongo, stop hoping that Syria will be the U.S.'s or Trump's "Rubicon".  Many people in the West are hoping and even fervently praying that if the Ziocon evil axis of the US, Israel, and the UK persist with their aggression and do not get the hell out Syria, that Syria will be their Slalingrad just like it was for the German Nazis in WWII. 

 

In reply to by BennyBoy

BigJim FBaggins Thu, 05/10/2018 - 09:53 Permalink

Although badly written, I think Luongo's piece makes a valuable contribution with regards to why the JCPOA was created by O and co. in the first place: Syria was on the brink of falling to the Wahhabists which would have probably pushed the mullahs into resuming nuclear weapons development, so let's bribe them (by returning their own money) into signing a 10-year agreement that they won't develop nukes, because with Assad gone, Iran as a nation wouldn't be able to hold out against a Western-instigated "colour" revolution for that long anyway.

In reply to by FBaggins

helloimjohnnycat DingleBarryObummer Wed, 05/09/2018 - 21:10 Permalink

You're asking me, John Cat, IF I care about Israel ?

Here's the Cold Facts :

If the zio-commie crybaby crooks running that show were half-honest & one-quarter humble, I'd give them anything I could.

Instead, too much of Life has been swamped with their greed, their bankster scams, their lawyering-away OUR Rule of Law, and  their incessant promoting the homocaust which set the course to whine & cry & demand gibs as if joos were the only humans who mattered.

Therefore, until their people come clean and cut the yid bull shit, I've had enough of their crap.

As for my asking if Trump is " alive ", calm down and think of the underlying meaning.

Of course he's half-dead. Neither his fuckface daughter nor her limp-dick joo-bait husband were on the ballot, but what did Trump do ?  Yeah, he brought those Israeli yes'm yes-masters right on in. Screw them. They were not elected. The White House is nothing but a circus tent fulla' joo jism-filled joo-jingoists. Melania might as well be running around in a sequined leotard riding lions, tigers, & horses and waving to the crowd.

Behind Doors 1,2, & 3, every prize is the same. All are plaques read :  " Never Forget ". Everybody gets one, everybody is a winner, and everybody owes the gift tax.

 

 

 

 

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

Jesus von Einstein helloimjohnnycat Wed, 05/09/2018 - 18:24 Permalink

Iran is indeed run by religious nuts.  We dont want them having nukes.  And they dont.

The problem is Israel is run by religious nuts who also think they are the Master Race and meant to run the world.

But they aren’t deemed ‘nuts’ or ‘far right’ or ‘racist’ -  because they are Jews, and even when clearly true, it is ‘hate’ to so describe them as such.

 

They are far, far more dangerous to Americans and the whole world.

In reply to by helloimjohnnycat

dratalux Jesus von Einstein Wed, 05/09/2018 - 19:19 Permalink

Iran hasn't attacked other nation for over two centuries. Iranians were victims of aggression.

US has been in a state of constant war. Less than 30 years of peace since its 'independence' shows the US is a warmonger threat to the whole world.

Sanson option: Martin Van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem stated: "We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: ‘Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.’...We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under."

In reply to by Jesus von Einstein

LaugherNYC helloimjohnnycat Thu, 05/10/2018 - 02:11 Permalink

Can you add?

Any slowdown in the US economy destroys the price of oil. This guts Iran AND Russia. The US also is producing as much as Saudis, on a steep upward curve. The only benefactor is China.

CHINA is playing Russia and Iran like maestros. It NEEDS oil at $40. It plays the long game.

China needs to placate the US. It has already forced Kim into concessions. He will agree to give up his nukes. He has gotten what he needs already - a guarantee of his life, and keeping his elites happy as they become the oligarchs ofthe rebuilding of North Korea.

. Russia has nothing to offer Iran. They are natural competitors, not allies.

 The Iranians have been played for idiots by Vlad. He is trying desperately to provoke a war that will ruin Iran for two generations. Nothing would make him happier. He is succeeding. Gee, he let Israel strike them? Why would he interfere with a country that wants to eliminate his biggest competitor?? After all, the only way oil prices stay high after hostilities is if Iran has been utterly destroyed, Israel has no oil.

The Iranians should be making love to the Israelis, shelving their nukes for good, and gobbling up contracts all over the world, including the USA and China while the US sanctions cripple RUSSIA. But, as usual they are too stupid. Vlad will dance a jig while Tehran burns. Think those S400s are full spec?

In reply to by helloimjohnnycat

BigJim LaugherNYC Thu, 05/10/2018 - 10:13 Permalink

You're a partisan Jewish Supremacist, but you raise an interesting point: exactly what is the reason Putin would side with Iran? He doesn't wish to lose his bases in Syria, hence his air force helping defeat the Wahhabist Jihadis, but why would he care if Iran get taken down a peg or three? What Russian interest is served by Iranians setting up bases in Syria now the jihadis have been all but defeated?

In reply to by LaugherNYC

Posa balz Thu, 05/10/2018 - 00:19 Permalink

The Iran Deal Obama negotiated was as good a deal as could have been reached. Likely the US withdrawal will only tighten the Iranians alliance with the Sino-Russo bloc. That may include a Mutual Security pact. Then the US and its vassals will have zero effect on the Tehran government... so Drumps' move probably will result in another colossal strategic blunder... just as the Iraq invasion did.

The heart of the matter is that the Israelis have 200+ nukes and delivery systems and still fell "insecure"... a) when will anyone start calling out the Israelis and impose sanctions on them as a renegade, apartheid nuclear power?; b) for this reason Iran will never initiate an attack on Israel... but their very existence places limits-- a check-- on Israel military adventures... and that's what makes Bibi and Co "insecure"... all of which are bogus claims and need to be ignored... however, if the US wants to be dragged through the mud, remain isolated and accelerate strategic and military decline globally, then the WH can allow 6 million Israelis to drown the US at the bottom of the sea... incredibly stupid moves all around. But that's what Empires do in their late, degenerate phase.

 

In reply to by balz

Zerogenous_Zone Wed, 05/09/2018 - 18:20 Permalink

so...what does Trump want?  that should NOT be the question...

 

the REAL question SHOULD be...what do the PEOPLE want?

 

I'll take 'Peace' for 1000, Alec...

 

but we all know peace does NOT equal graftable profit...

 

zerogenous_zone

 

Zerogenous_Zone Herdee Wed, 05/09/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

then they don't need to trade with us and don't need the tax-payer-assisted cash (and military support) we give them (same for Germany as well)

 

not to sound isolationist...well, actually i am...no free lunch on my dime any more

 

dollars never equal peace...only equals appeasement and entitlement...and the US has only itself to blame, because we get the leaders we  deserve...

 

so before they get better, WE have to get better...We The People

 

zerogenous_zone

In reply to by Herdee

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw Wed, 05/09/2018 - 18:22 Permalink

I bet ole Tom had a great plan for The Don on NK as well....

 

Maybe we can buy Tom for what he is really worth and then sell him for what he believes he is worth..............Bingo

nmewn Wed, 05/09/2018 - 18:23 Permalink

Death To America! Death To America! Death To America! 

Now see! These are the kind of people we can truly trust to hold up their end of whatever idiotic bargain they made with Obama!

I mean, it's pretty cut & dried...ain't it? ;-)