Author Topic: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?  (Read 1734 times)

velcro

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« on: May 08, 2018, 08:21:34 PM »
Today President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA). There is no evidence that Iran violated the agreement*, but nonetheless the President withdrew.

The downsides are obvious:
-Iran is free to continue developing nuclear weapons without external inspections or oversight, if they choose. While the JCPOA was in effect, the progress was halted.
-We are back to the situation in 2015 when Iran was actively developing weapons (despite sanctions), but we do not have billions of dollars in frozen assets to offer, and we do not have the cooperation of our allies in maintaining a sanctions regime, i.e. our negotiating position is much worse now.
-Rather than some controls being phased out in several years under the JCPOA, all controls could be eliminated very quickly if Iran chooses.
-The United States has broken an international agreement, which reduces our credibility in future negotiations, e.g. North Korea
-The Trump administration has provided no path forward in preventing Iran from getting nuclear capability, other than the hope that they might negotiate a better deal. Neither our allies nor Iran has expressed any interest.  (Trump promised to renegotiate TPP, the Paris Accords, and NAFTA, but nothing has come of those.)

Other than the slim possibility that Iran will negotiate a better deal, is there any upside?

*Iran occasionally went over the 130 ton limit on heavy water by a fraction of a ton, but quickly resolved the issue. And while ballistic missile testing violates UN resolutions, it does not clearly violate the JCPOA

DonaldD

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 07:22:28 AM »
Well, nobody's talking about Michael Cohen...

yossarian22c

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 08:28:39 AM »
Trump gets to take an action to undo an Obama era accomplishment. That seems to be the consistent motivating force in his actions.

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 08:53:03 AM »
The point here was to dump nuclear detente in order to stick it to Iran for funding terrorism and growing in regional non-nuclear military power. That's why the Saudis and Israelis are the only ones pleased with the situation internationally.

The Trumpian path forward will be to bully and threaten, and if necessary use military action to destroy nuclear facilities. The administration will not be able to offer terms to Iran to make another deal. To them, the upside is a neutered or demolished Iran. Why do you think Bolton is so giddy? It's parallel to the Iraq intervention predicated by having medium range missiles and poor compliance with agreements.

If you are ATK, Grumman, Halliburton, or other companies that supply weapons, ammunition, and logistics, there's a potential enormous upside.

There's one more potential downside. Europe and others continue to honor the deal and don't reinstate their sanctions. This would trigger US sanctions against them.

rightleft22

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 10:50:52 AM »
Upside... The US is seen for what it is, no more pretense required. USA, USA, USA!
The Deplorables are happy! With the bonus of increasing the possibility of getting to bomb people. That’s always good.
Israel Is happy… but I wonder at what cost.   

Only a fool would deal with Trump or the US if they didn’t have to 

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2018, 11:11:23 AM »
I don't know what to make of this move. It's most likely a result of backroom diplomacy so I have no idea what's behind it or the expected result. I hope it isn't a move designed to bow to Israeli pressure, which there's a good chance it is, but on the other hand maybe (optimistically!) it's just a move to stick it to Obama.

Btw, did any of you read Obama's Facebook post that he wrote right after this happened? Looks like he's taken to social media after all.

D.W.

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2018, 11:17:13 AM »
The very first link I saw of it was Iran Times.  Had to wait a little longer for a domestic link to the same.  He certainly didn't pull any punches.

I must say I like your optimistic view that it's a result of backroom diplomacy, as opposed to just pure reckless ego on Trump's part.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2018, 11:32:42 AM »
Today President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA). There is no evidence that Iran violated the agreement*, but nonetheless the President withdrew.

***

Other than the slim possibility that Iran will negotiate a better deal, is there any upside?

Sorry for reordering your post, but I think addressing the upside first make sense.  Here's a link to an article that walks through a lot of the issues that were being balanced as the deal got made Other than the slim possibility that Iran will negotiate a better deal, is there any upside?.  It's important, I think, to understand what goals were compromised in the trade.

The Iranian sanctions were originally imposed because Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism.  Iran's regional activities have been consistently horrible.  This deal traded the entire sanctions package for a single point of concession - Iran gave up it's nuclear ambitions.  However, this deal not only left intact Iran's regional militant and and terrorist policies it took off the primary leverage for improvement.  Specifically, Iran got a major windfall in Sanctions Relief and a massive cash payment that buoyed everything about Iran, both good and bad, but specifically including it's government and their regional policies. 

Exiting the deal allows those other issues to be addressed.

Quote
The downsides are obvious:
-Iran is free to continue developing nuclear weapons without external inspections or oversight, if they choose. While the JCPOA was in effect, the progress was halted.

Iran is no more free to do so than they were prior to the deal, where crippling sanctions were limiting their ability to do so.  They are also not free to do so if they want the European members to keep the remaining parts of the deal.

Moreever, the deal didn't limit Iranian work on missile technology, guidance systems or any of the components they would need to deploy a bomb and gave them a boost in funding and access to technology guidance.

Quote
-We are back to the situation in 2015 when Iran was actively developing weapons (despite sanctions), but we do not have billions of dollars in frozen assets to offer, and we do not have the cooperation of our allies in maintaining a sanctions regime, i.e. our negotiating position is much worse now.

This is of course a great point.  Whether the deal itself was garbage - which I think it was - at this point we've already paid them a huge pile of cash that can't be taken back.  The question today, isn't whether the original deal was bad, just whether it's continuing price was worth the continuing benefit.

The real price is of course whether trading limiting the nuclear ambitions for ignoring Iran's sponsoring of terrorism and hardliners in countries like Syria is a good deal.

Quote
-Rather than some controls being phased out in several years under the JCPOA, all controls could be eliminated very quickly if Iran chooses.

Not sure this is a real point, Iran is a sovereign it could act at the same speed in either case, just a question of what the consequences would be.  I doubt that the EU countries would act rapidly on Iran breaches, which means they would probably be able to move faster under the JCPOA with less real consequences if Iran really wanted to do so.

Quote
-The United States has broken an international agreement, which reduces our credibility in future negotiations, e.g. North Korea

Maybe, on the other hand this particularly agreement was known to be an artifact of the Obama administration that was specifically not a treaty, and Iran had notice from US Senators that the agreement wouldn't be valid without ratification by the Senate.  While Congress did pass legislation that authorized it, it's  pedigree isn't all that clear.

In any event, US credibility is pretty much garbage.  Obama reversed Bush's policies, Trump reverses Obama's the rest of the world already knows that the US may betray them every 4 or 8 years.

Quote
-The Trump administration has provided no path forward in preventing Iran from getting nuclear capability, other than the hope that they might negotiate a better deal. Neither our allies nor Iran has expressed any interest.  (Trump promised to renegotiate TPP, the Paris Accords, and NAFTA, but nothing has come of those.)

In making this claim you're not acknowledging that the sanctions themselves were used for that express purpose for decades longer than this agreement.  Whether he has plans beyond the sanctions is a good question, but certainly negotiation will require that Iran agrees to participate, which it has not.

Honestly, this really boils down to a dispute over whether giving up (for a decade to 15 years) active pursuit of nukes is worth more than the ability to apply sanctions for a whole host of rogue nation behavior.  It's kind of hard to believe this deal was worth the trade and not see why every rogue country, or country looking to force a deal, won't focus on nuclear proliferation to the exclusion of all other goals.

What was the plan to contain Iran's terrorist supporting activities after all leverage was given up in support of this deal?

Wayward Son

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 11:39:01 AM »
For anyone interested, here is a link to Obama's full statement.

The best outcome I can see is that the other signatories of the treaty--EU, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia, Japan, and India--all come together and continue with the treaty, and Iran continues to honor it.  This would be difficult to achieve without the U.S. being involved, but it could be done.  And if done, that foundation could be used for other cooperative ventures without the inclusion of the U.S. or our interests.

So the best outcome is that the U.S. international power is weakened.

The worst, of course, is that the Iranian hardliners gain control and restart the nuclear program.  The only way to stop them then (since our word is worthless now) would be war.  Which could have been the plan all along.

Although I'm not sure which would be worse: a war with Iran that increases Russian influence in the Middle East, or other Middle East countries obtaining the Bomb in order to defend themselves from Iran. :(

D.W.

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 11:42:44 AM »
I think it was less of a plan, and more conceding that sanctions were not the solution.

Maybe it is a case of the Obama admin. 'losing their nerve' and backsliding / hitting the reset button when we were 'almost there' with the sanctions doing their job?  I don't see it that way, but I guess the argument makes some sense.

Quote
Honestly, this really boils down to a dispute over whether giving up (for a decade to 15 years) active pursuit of nukes is worth more than the ability to apply sanctions for a whole host of rogue nation behavior.
I think that is an accurate statement and distills the issue down to the two competing views nicely.  I think it was worthwhile. 

I don't believe there will be a "better deal".  The bet is that sanctions will be so terrible as to tie their hands financially so that they can't finance disruptive actions in the region.  I don't buy it, because I think if anything, we've seen how economical asymmetric warfare can be.  Alternately, or additionally, the people of Iran may overthrow the current regime.  I also wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

So IMO, yes, using our leverage to get something rather than nothing was a good plan. 

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 12:05:23 PM »
I'm far less concerned about U.S. public image and far more concerned about this being a prelude to intended escalation of violence against Iran. Certain parties have been rattling sabres about Iran for over a decade and would like nothing better than to burn it to the ground. I hope that this rescinding of the agreement isn't a precursor to a campaign for regime change.

Wayward Son

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 12:10:55 PM »
Quote
So IMO, yes, using our leverage to get something rather than nothing was a good plan.

Except, D.W., how are we going to get something out of this?

Iran now considers our promises to be worth garbage.  The Iranian hardliners (who thought this was a bad deal from the get-go) will not allow any negotiations with the U.S. at least until Trump is out of office, and probably well beyond that.  There is no basis for negotiation anymore.

If Donald wanted something out of this, he should have used the threat of pulling out to get the Iranians to the table.  But now that the threat is actual, what else is left??
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 12:16:04 PM by Wayward Son »

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2018, 12:28:11 PM »
Wayward thanks for linking the Obama piece, it reminds me how gifted communicators with bad decision making abilities are a real danger to a democracy in the age of information.  The entire problem with this deal can be traced to Obama's hubris and unwillingness (or if you prefer possibly inability in the face of Republican disagreement) to expose the final deal to the Senate confirmation.  He valued getting something signed, over getting something good with broad support that dealt with these issues signed.  That decision led to a flawed deal, and ultimately prevented the deal from being a treaty with the backing of the whole government.  While Trump could have still pulled us out of a treaty (or at least probably) I don't think he would have found it nearly as easy as this, and would have faced severe consequences politically for doing so.

Quote
So IMO, yes, using our leverage to get something rather than nothing was a good plan.

Except, D.W., how are we going to get something out of this?

Not entirely clear, but I think he was reluctantly endorsing the deal not the withdrawal.

Quote
Iran now considers our promises to be worth garbage.  The Iranian hardliners (who thought this was a bad deal from the get-go) will not allow any negotiations with the U.S. at least until Trump is out of office, and probably well beyond that.  There is no basis for negotiation anymore.

I disagree.  All that the Iranians have seen is that Trump isn't afraid to carry through on what he says.  They knew Obama's administration was a push over that would back down and needed a win.  They may believe that holding on and not negotiating a deal with Trump is the right answer, both because they know the deal will be fundamentally worse than the deal they had and because they hope that it won't be long till they get a easier counterparty to deal with.  But I doubt this moves the needle at all on their view of American credibility, though I grant you they'll use it in their propaganda.

Quote
If Donald wanted something out of this, he should have used the threat of pulling out to get the Iranians to the table.  But now that the threat is actual, what else is left??

Well he did, but they choose to "call the bluff" only to discover it wasn't a bluff.  I wonder if Kerry's interference had anything to do with that decision, he's apparently been undermining the administration's negotiating position in a number of cases by telling the other side not to make concessions.  That actually sounds like to treason to me.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2018, 01:10:56 PM »
Here's an interesting take in the NYTimes.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/world/europe/europe-iran-trump.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

It kind of hints around at something that I think doesn't get clearly stated often enough, that the "U.S.'s role" in international agreements is not to look after its own interests but to look after the west's in general or even the world's.  The Europeans are struggling on how to deal with a US government that isn't being a leader but that instead is looking after it's own interests.  Why this is material to me is the implications of that philosophy.  Europeans literally are free to pursue their own specific interests on any matter because they are relying on the US to subordinate it's own interests to the group as a whole.  They get to have their cake and eat it too.  Effectively, the change they are finding so disconcerting is for the US to act in the same way the Europeans are currently acting, leaving them without a grown up in the room to make sure a good deal gets done in the end.

D.W.

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2018, 01:16:37 PM »
Quote
Except, D.W., how are we going to get something out of this?
FYI, I meant the agreement that Trump just torpedoed was the "something".  I was pointing out that maintaining the sanctions, expecting other less plausible but grander changes to take place was the "nothing".

Wayward Son

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2018, 02:42:57 PM »
Quote
The Europeans are struggling on how to deal with a US government that isn't being a leader but that instead is looking after it's own interests.  Why this is material to me is the implications of that philosophy.  Europeans literally are free to pursue their own specific interests on any matter because they are relying on the US to subordinate it's own interests to the group as a whole.

That assumes that we have been "subordinating" our interests.  And, to a certain extent, we have to, since our interests do not always align perfectly with every other country's interest.  So with any agreement (other than a unconditional surrender), all of our interests won't be completely fulfilled.

But it ignores our influence on the final decision of what are the group's interest.  As leader, we have the opportunity to make sure that the group's interest is not detrimental to our own interests, and hopefully even align with our most important interests.

Being just another nation in the group means we don't have as much influence on the final decision.

And being outside the group means that we have no input on that final decision, and can only object to it.

The U.S. will never get its way in every instance of international deals.  The main question is will we get more of our way if we are leading the negotiations, being one of many participants in the negotiations, or being outside of the negotiations and objecting to them.

It seems like common sense to me that the leader is in the best position.  But, of course, I didn't write "The Art of the Deal."  :) 

(Of course, neither did Donald Trump. :P )

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2018, 02:57:14 PM »
We shouldn't expect much different from the Donald. This is what he's used to:

I get everything I want.
I bully and threaten the people I'm negotiating with to give up everything they want.
If I later decide it is in my own interest, I will tear up agreements and bully people into accepting new terms.
If someone decides they will defend their interests, I will wear them out with resistance through litigation.

This isn't unique to him, a good number of people "negotiate" in this fashion. Except that now he gets to threaten people with death and destruction instead of litigation and withholding payments. The exact opposite of finding a win-win approach (which you will never hear discussed in his books, at least not the one I read).

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2018, 02:58:58 PM »
Wayward, as a tactical matter you may be correct.  It's certainly been the way the US has operated since the end of WWII.  But I'm wondering, aloud, if the US acting like the grown up all the time hasn't let other countries that should be grown ups off the hook.  Rather than transforming the world into a group of less self interested countries, it's transformed into a group of juveniles free to pursue their own selfish interests knowing that mommy's going to make sure it turns out right in the end, even if she has to cut back on her dreams to do it.

Why aren't the European countries leading any charge into correcting human rights abuses?  Why aren't they the ones putting their economic interests behind their principles?

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2018, 03:17:50 PM »
Why aren't the European countries leading any charge into correcting human rights abuses?  Why aren't they the ones putting their economic interests behind their principles?

I would argue that there was never a basis for group 'leadership' in the first place among nations. I don't recall ever gathering the impression that as of the end of WWII there was some kind of laying down selfish ambitions in favor of working together. The United Nations as a symbol may have meant to a lot of people that the era of cooperation had begun, but in my view this was never its real function. Star Trek in the 60's riffed on what the United Nations should be, which was radically different from what it actually was, which at the time was more of a clearinghouse to divvy up Third-World nations between East and West.

What did happen after WWII is that the U.S. claimed unilateral control over both the world's currency and the security of Europe, thus making them the de facto world police and also the economic power of the world. I don't think this was ever framed as a responsibility thing - like, "we are now taking responsibility for your well-being" or anything like that. It was about U.S. self-interest from the word go, and Europe was in no position at the time to contest this, being as heavily in debt as they were from the war. But at such a time as the U.S. should embark in actions that don't benefit European countries (or sometimes even itself) I don't think it's particularly valid to suggest that some sort of change in relative responsibilities has taken place. It is as it always has been; each country does what it can to gain more and succeeds as well as it can. If they don't like it then they can take whatever actions in response that they think benefit them.

So to Seriati's point, I don't think it's that USA was anyone's mommy and held their hand, but rather it was their daddy and laid down the law. At such a time as the U.S. doesn't have the fear of daddy behind them others won't be as prone to do whatever they say.

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2018, 03:52:50 PM »
There were a lot of reasons for the United Nations as a whole, but it might be more illuminating to look at the security council. The general idea was to create a mechanism to enshrine the most powerful nations of that time to impose their collective will on less powerful nations while never being held accountable themselves. A kind of "we're on top right now, lets keep it that way!"

As for being the adult in the room, I'd say not so much when it comes to ICC, climate change, executions...

More like the world's drunk violent uncle who always says he's sorry and loves you very much.

velcro

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2018, 09:38:17 PM »
While some may think it is important to look at the shortcomings of the original deal, it is irrelevant.  The only relevantl question is this:

Are we better with the deal we had, or without it?   

Everything else is just attempts to obscure the question.

So despite lots of distractions, false blame, and misinformation (we are not *ignoring* Iran's sponsoring of terrorism - we have sanctions in place for that specifically), the only actual upside mentioned is that by scrapping the deal we can now reapply sanctions to stop ALL of Iran's misdeeds, instead of just the nuclear ones.

In other words, the US, acting without cooperation from any allies, and without many of the frozen assets to return, will strike a better bargain than we could achieve with those advantages.

Is this a serious argument?


Greg Davidson

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2018, 01:48:52 AM »
The Iran Deal put more stringent controls on Iran's nuclear program than any other sanctions regime achieved except by military conquest. Most of those blathering about what a terrible deal it was don't even know what's in it. Please, Seriati, without looking it up, just write down everything that you believe that was in the Iran Deal.

This profound ignorance is widespread among the so-called experts on the right. I went to AIPAC  in 2016 and attended 7-8 sessions where the Iran Deal was discussed, and in every one each speaker talked about the provisions expiring in 10 years or sooner. I went to a session where AIPAC had their "expert" on the Iran Deal, and in front of an audience of 400 people I asked him to name the provisions that lasted more than ten years, and at first he didn't respond, and then when I insisted he acknowledged that there were several provisions but they were too technical for him to remember. They are not. I'll toss in one of those provisions that I am sure Seriati would not be able to call back from memory, with the Iran deal the inspectors could continuously monitor Iran's uranium mines and mills through the year 2041 (yes, that's 25 years).

I get that some people hate and fear Iran, and that Republicans like hating anything that Obama did, but in pursuit of this arrogant ignorance we have cut the 10 and 15 and 25 and 45 year limits on Iran's starting a nuclear weapons program down to nothing. 

NobleHunter

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2018, 09:51:34 AM »
I'm expecting the GOP to loudly insist whatever regime NK signs up to (presuming they are going to de-nuclearize) is better than what Iran agreed to. I imagine it will be darkly amusing.

rightleft22

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2018, 10:17:41 AM »
I cannot imagine NK giving up its nuclear weapons

A Upside to Withdraw from Iran Nuclear Accord - Higher Oil price, money, money money!

Wayward Son

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2018, 11:45:14 AM »
I'm expecting the GOP to loudly insist whatever regime NK signs up to (presuming they are going to de-nuclearize) is better than what Iran agreed to. I imagine it will be darkly amusing.

I hear you, Noble.  I really want to see a list of everything that's wrong with the Iranian deal (and what's right), and compare it to what the North Koreans agree to.

But that's assuming there will be a NK agreement...

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2018, 12:11:20 PM »
Quote
“Pyongyang is estimated to have about $3 billion in foreign exchange reserves,” Kim Byung-yeon, a professor of economics at Seoul National University, wrote in a recent article for the Korea JoongAng Daily . “The coffers will fall further this year. By the second half, North Korea could be short on foreign exchange.”

If we unfreeze, I'd bet Republicans won't describe this as they did the Iran unfreeze, that we "paid" them the money.

NobleHunter

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2018, 12:32:39 PM »
I cannot imagine NK giving up its nuclear weapons

A Upside to Withdraw from Iran Nuclear Accord - Higher Oil price, money, money money!

They've said they're up for de-nuclearization.

yossarian22c

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2018, 12:45:21 PM »
They've said they're up for de-nuclearization.

Are they going to give up their ballistic missiles? Prison/slave labor camps? Decommission their artillery zeroed in on Seoul?

That is why Trump scrapped the Iran deal. Nothing to do with their nuclear program but the fact that the deal didn't impose tougher restrictions on their other activities.

Hopefully Trump can cut a good deal to get the Nukes gone but the odds of him cutting a deal significantly better than the Iranian deal are virtually 0.

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2018, 10:04:42 AM »
Now official, the EU has protected European companies who wish to do business with Iran.

DJQuag

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2018, 06:12:38 PM »
Now official, the EU has protected European companies who wish to do business with Iran.

This is why I was and am dismayed about Brexit. The European Union is the only chance that any European country can hope to have any influence in world politics.

The EU will get away with this because they are, collectively, big enough to have some weight to throw around.

Britain leaving the EU is like California or Texas leaving the US. Yeah, they'd still have a voice in the conversation, but their influence would pale next to the remaining US.

Britain is and has been taking this thing on like it's still 1890, Victoria's rotund behind was still on the throne, and there was still an Empire. The EU absolutely has all the leverage.

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2018, 10:28:38 AM »
And now, this.

Quote
Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.


TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2019, 02:57:48 PM »
Let's see how that deal is working out.

Iran's nuclear program restarted.
Iran apparently blowing up shipping lanes.

D.W.

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2019, 03:05:06 PM »
If... hypothetically one WANTED war with Iran, I'd say it's working out splendidly. 

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2019, 03:12:06 PM »
Iran apparently blowing up shipping lanes.

Are you talking about the tanker attack?

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2019, 03:35:03 PM »
Two incidents. 4 tankers in May, 2 more today.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2019, 03:54:30 PM »
Two incidents. 4 tankers in May, 2 more today.

Ok, although it's odd that Iran should proceed to rescue sailors from the sunk craft. That said I read that there are divergent factions in the Iranian government, so perhaps one side blew up the ships while another rescued the sailors. Incidentally, Khamenei denies that Iran is pursuing a nuclear program, even though he insists that American couldn't stop them should they choose to do so.

Hard to know what to make of all this.

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2019, 04:16:28 PM »
Sure. But they have made a statement that they are going to start enriching and stockpiling more uranium than they were allowed to under the JCPOA.

rightleft22

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2019, 04:20:22 PM »
Who would benefit from a confrontation between Iran and the US?

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2019, 04:26:09 PM »
Who would benefit from a confrontation between Iran and the US?

The Saudis, Israel, weapons manufacturers, American oil, the petrodollar system, partisan politics, and corporate insiders.

rightleft22

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2019, 04:38:12 PM »
Who would benefit from a confrontation between Iran and the US?

The Saudis, Israel, weapons manufacturers, American oil, the petrodollar system, partisan politics, and corporate insiders.

 :'(

I don't see any positive outcome for a conflict. There may be some partisan support but my feeling is that the majority of Americans are tired of such conflict and I doubt the US could put much of a  coalition together.

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2019, 04:41:43 PM »
It is entirely possible that Iran is being framed. There's a rich history of naval conflict precipitating war. The Maine and yellow journalism created the Spanish-American war, and that turned out to just be an accident. The Lusitania helped get America involved in WWI. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution led to Vietnam.

Naval attacks are relatively easy to fake or mistake. "Because we can" isn't a good reason for the international community anymore. You have to make the other guy appear to be the aggressor.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2019, 04:42:21 PM »
Let's see how that deal is working out.

Iran's nuclear program restarted.
Iran apparently blowing up shipping lanes.

Notwithstanding, that you may not have your facts correct.  Did Iran use nuclear weapons to attack shipping, or did they use some of that giant pile of cash Obama gave them that they spent on conventional weapons and to foster dissent and conflict in the neighboring region?

It's like you guys believe effects don't follow causes.  Giant pile of cash, no restrictions on fostering terrorist activities and open conflicts in the region.

Later, region massively more unstable as a result of massive influxes of weapons and resources.  No  connecting of the dots.

D.W.

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2019, 04:55:30 PM »
One would hope, that until we see who's holding the pen making the dots we don't rush to follow the connection to where we're being lead. 

Though I expect we'll see that exact connection either way, and act "appropriately". 

Maybe it is as simple as all that.  This is Iran lashing out.  They either see something to gain, or their hardliners enjoy being in an adversarial mode vilified by the outsiders because they can more easily consolidate power internally.  It's not crazy, per se, but far from the only explanation as well.

With nothing else to spend that wad of cash on, why wouldn't they get up to self destructive shenanigans?   ::)

rightleft22

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2019, 04:56:26 PM »
Quote
Later, region massively more unstable as a result of massive influxes of weapons and resources.

One could also argue that this is a result of hard stance against Iran at work. That's the problem with connecting dots - theirs no rule that says everyone must connect them in the same way in in a  a straight line.

I wonder had the US stayed out of Iranian politics after WWII what Iran would look like today.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 05:01:08 PM by rightleft22 »

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2019, 04:59:24 PM »
Once again, there were always strategies and sanctions in place to curb terrorism. It is a false statement to say that there are no restrictions on fostering terrorist activities.

So they attacked shipping because they had a pile of cash? You're suggesting they wouldn't have had the money to buy some mines, and that not having the money would prevent that scenario?

And, again, the question on the table is not whether the JCPOA was a good idea, but whether withdrawing was a good idea once it was in place. We didn't get that cash back by withdrawing.

If you are connecting a dot, aren't punishing sanctions a much more proximate cause of retaliation? Or is it your contention that Iran would have been blowing up ships if we had stayed in the JCPOA?

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2019, 08:36:34 PM »
Once again, there were always strategies and sanctions in place to curb terrorism. It is a false statement to say that there are no restrictions on fostering terrorist activities.

Of course, the primary strategy was the international sanctions regime and freezing of Iranian resources that starved Iran of the financial resources to pursue its regional ambitions.  Iran's regional aspirations have been ongoing for decades.  What was it Obama lifted again?  Oh yeah the majority of the financial sanctions, and much of the frozen cash.  I mean honestly, that was a time when a President could decide to fly a plane full of hard currency to one of the largest terrorist nations on Earth without any oversight or approval of Congress and every Democrat on earth defended it as a reasonable and proper exercise of executive power.   Lol.

Pointing to a sanctions regime that Obama dismantled as protecting us is beyond ridiculous.

Quote
So they attacked shipping because they had a pile of cash?

I don't know who attacked shipping.  I know that Iran has massively increased spending on military and terrorist interventions throughout the regime, and those that have opposed Iran (for decades) with and without US support have massively increased their own spending.  We have proxy wars between regional powers in multiple countries, some of which have been directly criticized on these boards.

Tell yourself lies all you want, those are directly attributable to Obama's decisions on the sanctions regime, and exactly what Trump has been trying to revert by returning to a policy of cash starving Iran.

Quote
You're suggesting they wouldn't have had the money to buy some mines, and that not having the money would prevent that scenario?

Sustaining a conflict is expensive, or did you miss the complaints about how we're "still paying" for "Bush's war."  I don't find a throw away about some mines persuasive against a broad based regional offensive.  And yes, but for Obama's decision, Iran would not have had the money to push the lever on broad based regional conflict to the place we are.

Quote
And, again, the question on the table is not whether the JCPOA was a good idea, but whether withdrawing was a good idea once it was in place. We didn't get that cash back by withdrawing.

I agree.  Sending the cash was just pure stupid.  Even if it was given back it could have been tied to controls and testing, or even been paid through a kind of EBT card that restricted its use.  Instead we flew in the exact type of payment that is most directly useful and easily converted into terrorist funding.  I don't care where else you are on this issue, that is so far beyond stupid as to be criminal.

But to the larger point, we aren't getting that specific cash back, but killing the JCPOA allowed us to close down the continuing and expanding cash pipeline that was being put in place.  Legit oil sale stabilization with Europe would make the cash payment look like chump change. 

Quote
If you are connecting a dot, aren't punishing sanctions a much more proximate cause of retaliation? Or is it your contention that Iran would have been blowing up ships if we had stayed in the JCPOA?

My "contention," really its just a fact, that Iran increasd its spending on terrorism and regional military proxies immediately and far before we left JCPOA.  Iran's neighbors have been paying Obama's price in death and disruption ever since the decision he made.

So yes, even without leaving the JCPOA they'd be committing hostile acts, and they'd have billions more in spent military resources and billions more to come.

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2019, 12:19:28 PM »
There was no other way to get a deal done than sending cash. There are legitimate arguments that have been made that the whole process was illegal in any event, I won't delve back down into that, I'll stipulate it was a terrible idea, designed to subvert normal treaty process.

Sanctions were not preventing the enrichment of uranium. It remains unclear if the EU will return to the original sanctions in any event. NK has plenty of sanctions and still acquired nuclear weapons. Working through congress would be impossible. The alternative to a deal was military action, which is right where we stand having cancelled the deal. I'd tolerate any amount of terrorism rather than have a full scale war.

As far as destabilizing influences, Iran didn't invade Iraq. Iran didn't support the overthrow of Assad. That's the vacuum that ISIS filled. By the way, Iran fought against ISIS since they are Sunni - thus reducing terrorism at the same time as supporting it elsewhere.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2019, 12:35:13 PM »
There you go, from CBS News:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oil-tanker-attacks-gulf-of-oman-tanker-owner-seems-to-dispute-us-account-of-gulf-of-oman-attack-today-2019-06-14/

Quote
The Japanese owner of the Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz, said Friday that sailors on board saw "flying objects" just before it was hit, suggesting the vessel wasn't damaged by mines.

That account contradicts what the U.S. military said as it released a video Friday it said shows Iranian forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the two ships that were hit.

Company president Yutaka Katada said Friday he believes the flying objects seen by the sailors could have been bullets. He denied any possibility of mines or torpedoes because the damage was above the ship's waterline. He called reports of a mine attack "false."

rightleft22

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2019, 01:33:47 PM »
It feels like some in the Administration really really want to pin the attack on Iran.
If they are able to pin the attack on Iran would the American people support a military response:?

I don't think the vast majority of Americans would support another conflict so it feels like whatever this administration is doing the end result will be to further diminish America's standing (whatever that is)

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord - Any Upside?
« Reply #49 on: June 14, 2019, 01:42:15 PM »
It feels like some in the Administration really really want to pin the attack on Iran.

Remind you of Syria?
 
Quote
If they are able to pin the attack on Iran would the American people support a military response:?

They always have before. But remember that "support" has now come to mean "will not protest in the streets about it and riot", rather than "endorse or encourage such an attack." The willingness of the people not to outright oppose such an action is all that's needed for those in power to commit to an attack. No other kind of positive support is required or even requested.

Quote
I don't think the vast majority of Americans would support another conflict so it feels like whatever this administration is doing the end result will be to further diminish America's standing (whatever that is)

I think the main conflict is between certain parties trying to initiate hostilities, with others opposing them, both sides of which are obscured. So all we'll see down here on the ground is conflicting news reports, while scratching our heads wondering what's going on.