U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna
Source: Iranian daily Shargh
Those who actually believe (perhaps better than 95% of the public here) that the main purpose of the nuclear agreement reached between the world powers and Iran was to delay and hopefully to stop Iran’s clandestine efforts to develop atomic weapons can now be cautiously optimistic that the mission has been accomplished. Iran, they believe, was brought to its knees under the pressure of the sanctions and forced to accept the terms of the agreement. But just to be on the safe side, they are told that all options to react to any misbehavior by the Islamic Republic remain on the table, including re-imposition of the sanctions, as well as military action. So, what more could one ask for?
The only viable alternative, as the Administration tells us, would have been war, something that nobody would want; not again, and not this time against a local superpower!
In the meantime, again we are being told by the Administration officials and the mass media that Iran continues to be the world’s biggest supporter of terrorism and is busy destabilizing the region by backing the Assad regime in Syria, the Shi’a militia in Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen.
The Iranian administration, reading and hearing the foregoing rhetoric on a daily basis, is certainly not going to take all the allegations and insults without reacting in kind. Both sides must remain actively engaged in window dressing and face saving charade for some time.
In the latest theatrical stage show we have John Kerry reacting to recent comments made by Ayatollah Khameneh’i as though he was genuinely shocked by the Iranian leader’s remarks about America’s behavior in the Middle East. An exchange between US Ambassador to the UN and her Iranian counterpart is another example of the post-nuclear-agreement Cold War between the United States and the Islamic Republic:
Samantha Powers, the US Ambassador to the UN, had recently leveled a barrage of charges against the Islamic Republic just a week after the signing of the nuclear agreement. She said that the agreement “doesn’t change our profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about instability Iran fuels ... from its support for terrorist proxies to its repeated threats against Israel, and its other destabilizing activities in the region.”
Mr. Khoshroo, the Iranian Ambassador, countered: “It is ironic that the distinguished ambassador of the United States accused my government of destabilizing the region and terrorism. The country that invaded two countries in our region and created favorable grounds for the growth of terrorism and extremism is not well placed to raise such accusations against my country. Feckless and reckless acts of the United States in our region for so many years are at the root of many challenges that we are now facing in our neighborhood.”
It makes one wonder what kind of arrogance, self-righteous indignation or even insanity is it where it is OK to accuse, insult and threaten Iran right after the nuclear agreement was finally signed, creating a workable detente between the parties, and not expect a blowback in response!
Well, it is not OK; it is simply tit for tat and it is part of the window dressing routine that both sides have to engage in for a long while.
Imagine President Obama or his Secretary of State, John Kerry, trying to sell the merits of the nuclear agreement to the public while avoiding the routine criticism of Iran as the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism, something that the public has taken for granted in so many years of indoctrination. And imagine expecting the Iranian government selling the same deal to a nation where America has for decades been seen as the Great Satan playing in the hands of international Zionism.
Is it really surprising that Hillary Clinton who is seeking the presidency of the United States would embark on a tirade against Iran in speech after speech? Would any candidate have a chance to be voted to office by telling the truth about their real feelings in this kind of toxic atmosphere, either here or in the Islamic Republic of Iran?
Mr. Obama appears on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and makes similar statements to a cheering crowd. The Pentagon Chief, Ashton Carter, assures Mr. Netanyahu that America’s military action against Iran remains an option. And now, Mr. Kerry is surprised and disappointed at the remarks by Iran’s Ayatollah Khameneh’i that Iran’s attitude toward the United States is not going to change?!
But what’s happening behind all the saber rattling and rhetorical nonsense is far more important. The resolution to the concocted scenario about Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions has now created a new potential for a reformed Middle East:
Not bad; Hey!
| Kambiz Zarrabi is the
author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion.He has conducted lectures and seminars on international affairs,
particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues. Zarrabi's latest book is Iran, Back in Context.
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