Iran's Outreach Deserves
By Stephen Lendman
Professor Nader Entesaar chairs University of South Alabama's Political Science and Criminal Justice Department.
He researches and teaches defense and foreign policy issues, developing world ones (especially in the Middle East), international politics and political economy, as well as international law and conflict management.
He called Iranian President Hassan Rohani's diplomatic efforts an important step toward advancing Tehran's outreach.
In New York, he "and Foreign Minister Zarif did a masterful job of presenting Iranís foreign policy objectives," he said.
"They both (stressed) Iran's goal of finding a peaceful solution to the nuclear impasse within a reasonably short time frame."
"Iranís outreach was welcomed by the international community, even by some who had previously taken a hostile stance vis-a-vis Iran."
"Of course, for any negotiation to succeed, goodwill must be displayed by both sides. Notwithstanding some positive statements by US officials in recent days, some negative remarks" surfaced.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman is a longstanding Iran critic. On October 3, she told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members:
Iran's nuclear program continues. "(W)e know that deception is part of (its) DNA." These comments and similar ones from her and other Washington hardliners suggest little or no change in US policy.
For sure not enough to matter. Iran wants lawless sanctions ended. It wants long denied normalized relations.
Washington wants regime change. It wants sovereign Iranian independence destroyed. It wants Shah era harshness restored. Tehran's between a rock and a hard place.
Rohani's outreach resonated positively worldwide. Washington's reaction was disingenuous. Israel remains extremely hostile. So does the Israeli Lobby. More on that below.
Obama's phone call to Rohani was less than meets the eye. Deep-seated anti-Iranian hostility continues.
Obama told Netanyahu, "all options (remain) on the table." Saying so means nothing changed.
Netanyahu remains uncompromisingly hostile. In mid-October, he spoke on the 40th anniversary of Israel's Yom Kippur War (October 1973).
Its lessons "stayed with us, he said. "The first lesson is to never underestimate a threat, never underestimate an enemy, never ignore the signs of danger."
"We can't assume the enemy will act in ways that are convenient for us."
"The enemy can surprise us. Israel will not fall asleep on its watch again."
"The second lesson was that we can't surrender the option of a preventive strike."
"(T)here are situations in which paying heed to the international price of such a step is outweighed by the price in blood we will pay if we absorb a strategic strike that will demand a response later on, and perhaps too late."
"A preventive war, even a preventive strike, is among the most difficult decisions a government can take, because it will never be able to prove what would have happened if it had not acted."
"But the key difference between the (1967) Six Day War and the (1973) Yom Kippur War lies first of all in the fact that in the Six Day War we launched a preventive strike that broke the chokehold our enemies had placed on us, and on Yom Kippur the government decided, despite all warnings, to absorb the full force of an enemy attack."
"Peace is attained through strength," he added. "I think that it would be a historic mistake to ease up on Iran without it dismantling the nuclear capabilities it is developing," he stressed.
"International pressure must continue to be applied and even increased."
"The greater the pressure, the greater the chance that there will be a genuine dismantling of the Iranian military nuclear program."
"If the pressure is reduced, the chance will be accordingly smaller."
He warned against granting Iran "international legitimacy."
On Sunday's Meet the Press, he said Iran is in power in Syria, not Assad. Syria "has become an Iranian protectorate," he claimed.
"Iranís henchmen, Hezbollah, are doing the fighting for Assad, for his army. To the extent he has an army, itís the Hezbollah Army."
Syria has formidable military strength. It includes hundreds of thousands of active and reserve personnel.
In includes sophisticated land, air and naval offensive and defensive weapons. Hezbollah volunteers supplement its ranks.
Thirty-one known countries operate nuclear reactors. They do so for internal energy needs. Dozens of other nations consider using them for the same purpose. They include half a dozen or more Middle East ones.
"Here comes Iran," Netanyahu said. It wants civilian nuclear power. "I don't know why, because they have energy with gas and oil coming out of their ears for generations."
"But suppose you believe them. Then ask "why do you insist on mainlining a plutonium heavy water reactor and on maintaining centrifuges that can only be used for nuclear weapons?"
"And the answer is because they want to have residual capability to make nuclear weapons."
False! Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said construction of Iran's Arak heavy water reactor is under constant close monitoring.
IAEA inspectors are fully aware of its operations. Arak's wanted to produce medical radioisotopes. They're needed for about one million cancer patients.
It's not for nuclear weapons. Netanyahu lied claiming otherwise.
He lied again saying Iran "systematically misled the international community."
He falsely accused Tehran of "participating in the mass slaughter of (Syrian) civilians." He lied claiming it supports global terrorism.
He ducks questions on Israel's formidable nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal.
He's silent about Israel's war on Palestine. He ignores its complicity with Washington's wars.
He won't admit state terror is official Israeli policy. It targets Syria, Lebanon and Iran. It operates globally.
Media hosts don't challenge him. They give him a platform to repeat lies.
Nader Entesaar is justifiably wary going forward. Throughout nearly five years in office, Obama's hostility persisted.
Netanyahu's UN address was "vacuous and vituperative," said Entessar. It was the "low point of this year's" UN addresses.
Israeli and US hardliners reject Rohani's outreach. They want pressure maintained and stiffened.
They see international relations as "a zero-sum game." They reject any thaw in Western/Iranian relations. They're against any hint of it.
It runs counter to their either you're with or against us mentality. Hegemons think that way.
Entesaar strongly believes hardliners will go all out to reject Rohani's outreach. They'll repeat what they did to his predecessors. He hopes perhaps some EU countries will break from Washington and Israel.
Doing so will weaken their position. It'll increasingly isolate them. It'll open the door to further easing.
It's the best chance for world peace. It may be the only one. It's a goal worth going all out to pursue.
Formidable obstacles persist. AIPAC is uncompromising. It's hardline. It's unbending. It ruthlessly pursues its objectives. It wields enormous influence in Washington.
"Tehran must suspend all enrichment and reprocessing activities," it said.
"Iran's nuclear activities have brought it so close to a nuclear weapons capability that time for successful negotiations will run out if the regime continues on its present course."
"To avoid any misunderstanding in Tehran, America must clearly signal that it will consider no easing of sanctions until Iran has verifiably suspended its nuclear program."
"If Iran's nuclear activities continue, the United States and the international community should escalate sanctions and reinforce President Obamaís message that a credible military option is on the table to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons."
It lied claiming "Iran's race to the bomb" continues. At its current rate of installing centrifuges, it's "rapidly approaching break-out ability to enrich" bomb grade uranium.
AIPAC wants US policy kept firm. It wants sanctions maintained. It wants total suspension of uranium enrichment and reprocessing.
It want Washington maintaining a credible military threat. It wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing sovereign Iranian independence.
It shows what challenges Iran faces going forward. It's best outreach may end up not good enough.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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