Wednesday, September 02, 2015

02-Sep-15: Plans of action and how Iran thinks like some Washington lobbyists do

Senator Mikulski looks on as President Obama signs an important document
that is certainly not an agreement with Iran since that has not been
signed by anyone [Archive photo source]
There are distinct whoops of triumph emanating from Washington today as Barbara Ann Mikulski, the senior Senator from Maryland, a member of the Democratic Party, steps forward to express support for the intentionally-unsigned pact ["29-Jul-15: Built not on trust but on... verification"] that the Islamic Republic of Iran entered into with the United States and some other countries a little over a month ago.

The significance of today's news:
The announcement means that at least 34 senators -- the number required by the Constitution to sustain a veto -- will back Obama's expected veto of a Republican resolution to disapprove of the deal. Mikulski is retiring at the end of her term. [CNN, September 2, 2015]
Now that a third of the Senate have told the news services how they are going to vote on probably the most important US foreign policy undertaking in living memory, the very carefully named JCPOA (not an agreement, not a treaty, just a plan of action) is being treated by everyone as a done deal, some sort of democratic achievement (or is it Democratic achievement?)

Everyone, we assume, thinks that having committed themselves publicly, none of these politicians will back down when the vote is taken in Congress in a few weeks' time, no matter what facts or additional secret side-deals may get revealed or brought to their attention in the meantime. Politics.

The head of a high-profile political lobbying group closely identified with the Obama administration emailed several friends of ours in the past couple of hours with a victory letter that includes this puzzling assertion:

Extract from a letter sent by this lobbying organization to supporters earlier today
It's clear that Jeremy Ben Ami, the author of those stirring words and the leader of the J Street people, is speaking of the Middle East. But even when you take account that he is sitting in far off, well-protected Washington DC, which part of the Middle East does he have in mind? He knows of some corner that has been transformed, presumably far from people's attention and news media enquiries, into a place where conflicts are being settled "through negotiations and diplomacy"? Does he mean Syria? Maybe Yemen? Libya? Iraq? Lebanon? We really do want to know.

Could he have composed this right after the celebratory toasts were drunk?

As it happens, Iran believes in plans of action, including the one the US Senate appears to have just pushed over the top. A report published today by the oddly-named PressTV, one of the Islamic Republic's numerous official, semi-official and regime-controlled mouthpieces, shows (see it below) that the Iranians actually think very similarly to some Americans. 

Or at least to Mr Ben Ami and his J Street crowd.

Iranian mouthpiece leads with this report today [Source]
But much, much more significantly, here's how some other Iranians see things. This is also from today.
Escalating Iran’s rhetoric against Israel, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed Wednesday that the regime would boost its military capabilities relentlessly until Israel was destroyed. “The Islamic Revolution will continue enhancing its preparedness until it overthrows Israel and liberates Palestine,” the IRGC’s Tehran province commander, Brigadier General Mohsen Kazzemeini, said in an address in Tehran, the semi-state Fars news agency reported. He also vowed that Iran would maintain its aid to those who fight Israel. "We will continue defending not just our own country, but also all the oppressed people of the world, specially those countries that are standing on the forefront of confrontation with the Zionists..."
In its report on Gen. Kazzemeini’s speech Wednesday, Fars recalled that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in an address to Tehran students last year, called for the “full annihilation and destruction of the Zionist regime.” On Tuesday, the commander of IRGC, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, threatened Israel, saying “its security will not be preserved” and asserting that the dangers posed to Israel were “growing greater by the day.”
The FARS source article ["Commander: Iran Continues Military Enhancement Until Collapse of Israel"] went online a couple of hours ago, just after the Mikulski announcement, by coincidence. Or not.

We think that neither a J Street response, nor any other meaningful plan of action emanating from Washington to address the naked threats of mass destruction by the nuclear-thirsting Iranians ought to be expected anytime soon. Or ever.

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