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Iran: Power Politics Behind America’s March to War

Sheila Coombes
21st Century Wire

War with Iran has been proposed and promoted as an option, by various factions within the United States for decades. Various factions, particularly Washington Neoconservatives, have promoted the idea as beneficial to the security interests of the United States and its closest ally Israel.

Shockingly, Neoconservative Patrick Clawson joked at an AIPAC meeting in 2015 that “Crisis initiation is really tough, it’s very hard for me to see how the United States President can get us to war with Iran.” He goes on to discuss previous contrived events as catalysts for war on target nations, events colloquially known as ‘false flags’. He says; “If in fact it appears the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war,” he continues, “We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians, we could get nasty with that.”

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In 2009 there the Brookings Institute compiled a paper entitled,Which Path to Persia – Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran’, and of course there’s theClean Break document prepared by Richard Perle and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 proposing, among other things ‘Re-establishing the principle of pre-emption’, resulting in pre-emptive wars against Iraq, Libya and support of proxy terrorists in Syria.

The debacle with regard to Iran’s nuclear facilities, which the US and Israel proposed had become weaponised, has caused tensions to rise. Iran acquiesced to the stringent measures put in place by the Iran Nuclear Deal created in 2015, but last year President Trump withdrew from that deal. Nine months later in May of this year Iran also withdrew from certain requirements of the deal. All of this discussion of Iran’s nuclear capabilities while the elephant sits squarely in the centre of the room, Israel’s estimated 200-500 nuclear warheads at Dimona and other secret nuclear facilities. Israel’s refusal to sign up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allows it to continue its weaponised nuclear programme free of scrutiny, Iran was not afforded this luxury.

So war with Iran has been on the cards for a long while with tensions rising and falling but mostly on an upward trajectory thanks to aforementioned protagonists. On Sunday 12th May, in an incident reminiscent of Patrick Clawson’s proposal for ‘crisis initiation’ – four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf waters just off the UAE port of Fujairah. The media reported in a frenzy of misinformation that explosions had occurred. There were no explosions, four tankers suffered damage, no one was injured and no oil spills occurred. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson; “warned against plots by ill-wishers to disrupt the regional security” and called for “vigilance of regional states in the face of any adventurism by foreign elements.”

This attack came shortly after the US stressed an increased threat from Iran, this despite a  British General, Chris Ghika, the second in command in the US Coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq, denying the existence of any such increased threat level.

My friend and colleague Terry Gardiner who lived and worked in the Middle East for 30 years, much of it in Iraq, shared with me an interesting insight. He stated, “Two months ago Iraq and Iran signed an agreement in Baghdad to develop a payment mechanism facilitating banking ties between the two countries, this would include plans to eliminate US dollars in Trade Transactions using local dinar currency instead. Iran is also increasing natural gas sales to Iraq with sales increasing by 13% through a 270 kilometre pipeline which in effect means Iraq are ignoring the American sanctions imposed by Trump. Iraq has also given Iran the opportunity to participate in oil deals inside Iraq.”

To support his analysis, Terry sent a link discussing the opening of a new Iranian oil ministry in Baghdad.  It states: “The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) decided May 4, to open an economic representative office in Iraq. The decision was made during a meeting bringing together executives at Iraq’s Oil Ministry and Iranian oil industry equipment producers, on the side lines of the Iran Oil Show 2019.”

It continues: “Since the second wave of the US sanctions against Iran in November, Tehran has focussed its attention on promoting economic cooperation with Iraq to mitigate the US blockade’s impact on Iran’s economy.”

This is supported by an article in the Iraq Business News, “The governor of the Central Bank of Iran unveiled plans for using non-dollar accounts for oil and gas trade with Iraq. The top Iranian banker unveiled a new mechanism to continue Iran’s trade with Iraqi businesses, saying the CBI is going to open euro and dinar-based accounts to process transactions for trade in oil and gas.” He also stated that Iraqi companies can reciprocally open accounts in Iranian banks and conduct transactions in dinar.”

The proposals would effectively sidestep US sanctions on Iranian trade – and partially side line the US dollar. This could be one of the key factors for the sudden urgency in the escalation of rhetoric by the US against Iran, and the ramping up of US military presence in the region.

Having said all of this, as an optimists (and usually disappointed one), I still have faith that this is a Cuban missile crisis moment and that all parties will come back from the brink. President Trump has stated that the New York Times assertion that 120,000 US troops have been deployed to the Middle East is untrue and has, in his usual style, labelled it ‘fake news’.

Trump has also tweeted earlier this week: “The Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran. It is scattershot, poorly sourced (made up), and DANGEROUS. At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!”

Some in establishment media are now, after decades of bellicosity from John Bolton, beginning to be alarmed at his warmongering. Too late for Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians and those murdered in the US/EU Ukraine coup, but if media’s newly found concern for Bolton’s warmongering ways enables Trump to drain the swamp of at least this very dangerous man, that can only be a good thing. Let’s hope that Trump is able to reign in Washington NeoCons and the Pentagon, but also be prepared if he does not. Regardless of whether he does or not, we still need to recognise that economic warfare is war. Iran has suffered years of crippling US sanctions, including those which prevented international aid agencies from assisting victims of floods in Iran earlier this year. This is inhumane, it has no place in the 21st century which claims to have in place international legislation on human rights and it need not be said that war with Iran will not only target more innocent civilians in Iran but could be the final war for all of us.

We have to hope that finally the unipolar world of US hegemony will recede just as former empires receded, and that sovereign nations will be allowed to act peacefully in cooperation with each other. We have to hope that Iran and Iraq will be permitted to trade and evade US sanctions, and we have to hope that sense will prevail and that those slavering for another devastating war in the Middle East will be thwarted in their goal this time.

Note: Special thanks to author and Iraq analyst Terry Gardiner for his input in this report.

Author Sheila Coombes is an activist and founder of the UK antiwar organisation Frome Stop War.

READ MORE IRAN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Iran Files

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