By Edgar Mana-ay
Ever since 1979, the US could have recognized, if it had a mind to, that the very purpose of the Iranian revolution when it overthrew the Shah of Iran, was to destroy western-style democracy and its way of life, and to impose Shite Islam on the whole World. It identified the US and Israel as Satan, the enemy.
“We wish to cause the corrupt roots of Zionism (a political movement of the Jews to return the scattered Jews to Israel), Capitalism and Communism to wither throughout the world and to destroy the system which are based on these three foundations (Zionism, Capitalism and Communism), and to promote the Islamic order of the Prophet.”
But just recently Iran made its biggest foreign deal of the century by signing a lopsided joint venture with Communist China on exclusive oil sales to China, upgrading of Iran’s infrastructures by China, including the station of 20,000 Chinese troops in its soil to protect Chinese investments.
Iran is a proven source of state-sponsored terrorism, a rogue state, so that most of the civilized world wants to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear arsenal- the consequence of which could be world-shattering. Joe Biden, then vice president of Obama during Obama’s eight years presidency had helped the administration in shaping the US Iran diplomacy. Just like a newborn babe, they were so naïve at that time to believe that Iran could be coaxed out of its desire to become a nuclear power and be brought back into the fold of civilized nations.
And so Obama conceived the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a deal which Iran agreed that would somehow curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against the regime. JCPOA also injected a huge financial “sweetener”, the opening of Iran to global trade but Iran violated all restrictions on its nuclear program and even increased its influence and aggression across the Middle East.
When Trump took over from Obama, he immediately saw how lopsided the JCPOA was and how it was flagrantly violated by Iran, but he cannot immediately tear it up because there are other 5 European nations signatories. But finally, frustrated by Iran’s expansion of its missile capability, and by evidence from Israel’s seizure of secret documents that proved Iran’s continued adherence to its nuclear ambitions, Trump withdrew the US from the deal in May 2018 and instituted a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against Tehran.
During the presidential campaign, Biden promised to resurrect the JCPOA and return to the nuclear deal provided Iran returned to full compliance of its provisions. Upon election of Biden, Iran immediately demanded the lifting of sanctions severely imposed by Trump as a condition to return to the negotiating table.
A preliminary summit was held in Vienna last April 13 at the very city where the JCPOA was signed in 2015 attended by representatives from the US, Iran, Russia, China, France and Britain, all signatories to the nuclear deal. While US and Iran are holding indirect talks on returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, the same day, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that “in less than four months, we have produced 55 kg. of 20% enriched uranium . . . in around 8 months, we can reach 120 kg.”
The announcement showed that despite taking every concession offered by Biden for the resumption of the nuclear deal, Iran’s leaders will NOT BUDGE an inch from their ultimate ambition – to become the dominant political and religious power in the Middle East. Iran is now closer to a nuclear bomb than it was before the Trump pullout. It also doesn’t hide their intention to sweep aside all Western-style democracies and to impose their own Shite version of Islam to the entire World.
Even if the Vienna initiative brings US and Iran back to compliance with the original deal, it will do nothing to remedy Biden’s false assumption that appeasement of the Iranian regime is the correct policy and will yield results. In the book, The Art of War, the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu said: “Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will not be defeated in a hundred battles.” It is therefore wishful, naive and “born yesterday” thinking on the part of Biden that appeasement and accommodation will reform a rogue nation like Iran. A clear-headed look at the facts suggests that subservient diplomacy will not simply work with Iran. The Iranian regime is not, and has no intention of ever becoming one of the comity of civilized nations on earth. To do so would negate its fundamental purposes underlying the revolution, purposes to which the Ayatollahs remain unshakably committed.
What Biden should do in order to fulfill US objective to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon through diplomacy are:
- Correct the Obama nuclear deal’s biggest flaw. It ignored two Iranian threats which are development of conventional missiles with extended range, improved precision and ability to carry a nuclear warhead, and Tehran’s support of terrorist groups to undermine regional stability – Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, Houthis in Yemen and Syria.
- Biden should create a regional coalition comprising of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States. Led by the US, this partnership should also include key members of the EU, and most importantly, Israel. All parties to such a coalition have a common objective: to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon, continuing its missile project and perpetrating terrorism.
Trump, because of his overpowering personality during his time was able to broker the Abraham Accord (a Middle East Peace Process agreement signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco) bypassing the thorny Palestinian issue to which pundits believed was impossible to do so at that time.
Has Biden the clout, personality and prestige to compel Iran to abandon its nuclear ambition through diplomacy? Biden is not Trump, in fact, Biden is perceived by other superpowers like Russia and China as a weak leader and so his subservient (obsequiously submissive) diplomacy will not work with Iran.