The headlines this last week have been dominated by President Trump’s sustained verbal assault on the “Iran Nuclear Deal”, as its colloquially known. The deal was up for “renewal” or, certification, due to a clause inserted in the contract unilaterally by the US government that stipulates that the President of the day must essentially ratify the deal every 90 days. The purpose of this is so that the Americans can determine whether or not the Iranian government is sticking to the contract and abiding by the measures therein.
Yet this time, there’s a difference. Whereas previously the Obama administration ratified the deal as a matter of course, the denunciation of the Iran Nuclear Deal played a significant role in Trump’s presidential campaign. He continuously referred to it as the “worst deal ever”, and promised to remove it on Day 1 in office – as you can now see, this promise wasn’t realised.
But his attacks on the deal and its implications have not abated. Trump is quite clearly intent on scrapping the deal unilaterally, whether or not the Iranians keep their end of the bargain. Said “end” concerns reductions in the stockpile of nuclear material and the reallocation of existing nuclear material toward energy-related programs, as opposed to using Uranium to produce a nuclear bomb. The deal itself asserts that Iran’s Uranium stockpile must be reduced by a massive 98% for 15 years. In return, the US, along with the European Union, would gradually lift the harsh economic sanctions placed on Iran.
The motives behind Trump’s vehement attacks on this deal are, at least on the surface, unclear. There is little to no evidence to suggest that Iran has committed any act that falls foul of the deal and the remaining 5 permanent UN Security Council members, plus representatives of the European Union, are happy for the deal to remain in place.
So, why the commotion?
To understand the issue some factions of the US Administration have with this deal one has to view it from the perspective of the wider geopolitical picture of the Middle-East. Despite approaching dealings with the Islamic world in a seemingly neutral manner, it’s quite clear that the Americans’ priorities are as follows; 1. Israel, and 2. Keeping the Saudi regime on-side. I’ll come back to that shortly, but it’s also of use to note that Iran is one of America’s “boogeyman” countries, as they view it as a “rogue nation”, like they do Russia and China, and the allies thereof.
Like Iraq before them, and subsequently Syria and Libya, Iran is a country the Americans would deeply love to see fall to another regime, preferably a Sunni radical government as has been the trend of US intervention through the years. However, as a majority Shia country, this is unlikely to happen in Iran, therefore it is imperative for the Americans that Iran’s influence in the region is neutered as far as possible.
With reference to my two aforementioned points; Saudi Arabia and Iran are essentially what the US and the USSR were to one another during the cold war. They have two competing worldviews and religious ideologies and have come to blows in a series of proxy wars in the region, without ever realising a head-to-head confrontation that they’re both aware would end in the familiar MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).
But why the Americans (and by extension, the British, French, Germans and the rest of America’s western vassals) have chosen to take the side of Saudi Arabia and the Sunni sect is even more interesting. Consider this; Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest and most economically active sponsor of terrorism. They barely even conceal their funding of groups such as Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, The Taliban and a multitude of other Wahhabist terror organisations around the world. It’s also common knowledge that the Saudis had a hand in the 9/11 attacks, and they’re funding Mosques all over Europe that essentially export the same brand of Sunni Islam that entices radicals to shoot up a theatre in Paris, or let off a bomb at a concert in Manchester.
Iran, on the other hand, do none of the above. Their only links to “terror groups” are their erstwhile affiliation with Hamas and Hezbollah – two groups who don’t shoot up theatres in Paris or blow up concerts in Manchester. They’re “terror groups” specifically routed in the Middle-East – and I place ‘terror groups’ in a quote fashion given the fine line between one man’s terrorist and another man’s freedom fighters, as the only terrorism they commit is in their own territory occupied by the Israeli military.
This, in turn, leads nicely onto the point specific to Israel. Saudi Arabia, despite their flagrant violations of human rights, their funding of extremist Mosques all over Europe and all their other abhorrent indiscretions, is the only major power in the region that will secure the future of Israel. It appears they have a gentleman’s agreement with the United States, that the latter will overlook the ISIS-style governmental practises, in return for Saudi Arabia’s compliance in perusing the neo-conservative agenda.
Iran, on the other hand, will not. The Iranians hold a different worldview to that of the Americans, and they’re firmly allied with Russia who, as we all know, also diverge from American neo-liberalism in quite a drastic way. And this is precisely why the Iranian state has got to go, in the eyes of the American conservatives. A strong Iran is a problem for America’s interests in the Middle-East.
Thus Trump’s assault on the deal is merely posturing in order to create greater animosity between America and its allies, and Iran. The isolation of the Iranian state is beneficial, therefore an excuse to rip-up the deal and re-implement the economic sanctions is what the Americans desire. Of course, deal or no deal, the Americans would never allow Iran to become fully nuclear – they’d financially cripple the country, hire a Soros-style “colour revolution”, or simply invade as they’ve done with Iraq and Syria.
Imagine the scenario; a fully-fledged nuclear Persian state, allied with the mighty Russia and a supporter – if somewhat tentatively – of Bashar al-Assad remaining in power, and an open supporter of the Palestinian liberation movement. Such a scenario would dramatically shift the balance of power in the world and, for the first time, those opposed to Western (American) liberal capitalism would have the upper hand.
This scenario can absolutely never be permitted to exist, in the eyes of the American administration/deep-state. Nevermind the fact that through their continued support of Saudi Arabia, the neo-cons are ensuring the continuation of Europe’s mosques being filled with Wahhabist propaganda, nor the fact that Israel and Saudi Arabia are creating the conditions for de-population and ever-greater flows of refugees to Europe. These points, of course, do not enter their considerations.
For those who wish to see a change in the liberal consensus in Europe, a strong, nuclear-powered Iran is exactly what we need. Such a scenario as outlined above would dramatically change the balance of power in world geopolitics and curb America’s ability to act as the world’s policeman, enacting conversion-by-the-sword to liberal, finance-based globalised societies. Tearing up the Iran Nuclear Deal, despite the fact the deal effectively prevents such a scenario, would simply pave the way for further intervention and the destruction of the Iranian regime more generally.
Note: I have referenced “America”, or “the Americans” multiple times in this article. This is not an assault on the American people, nor their judgement, but rather the factions of their country’s “deep state” who manipulate geopolitical situations to the determent of Europe, the Middle-East and the average American citizen.