Divide and Rule

Obama & Romney on Iran

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Divide and Rule
by Christiane Amanpour
16-Oct-2012
 

The international war of nerves over Iran ebbs and flows.

Talk that Israel, the United States, or both might launch a pre-emptive military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities has been ever-present this year - but with the U.S. presidential election less than a month away, the idea of starting another war in the Middle East seems to have faded, at least for now.

Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense under both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, said in a speech this week: “The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world."

“(A strike would) make a nuclear-armed Iran inevitable. They would just bury the program deeper and make it more covert," he said.

Iran and its nuclear ambitions present perhaps the most difficult strategic dilemma in the world today, directly affecting Israel, Arab states, Europe and of course the United States.

Bill Clinton not persuaded by Iran on nuclear weapons

The most important ingredient required to resolve this standoff would be a functional relationship between Iran and the United States, at least one in which officials from both sides could engage in extended and constructive diplomacy.

But they cannot.

The Iran-U.S. relationship was broken after the Islamic revolution of 1979 and has been dysfunctional ever since.

For 33 years, deep mistrust on both sides, coupled with election year politics in both countries, has made any meaningful diplomacy moot. So the name of the game has been nuclear management.

If President Obama wins a second term, will he revive his early first term offer of a new approach to Iran - to resolve once and for all the nuclear case - or will the war drums beat louder again?

So far Obama’s administration has launched covert actions and sabotage efforts against Iran's nuclear facilities.

It has also imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Iran. The European Union has done so as well.

Last week saw the collapse of the Iranian riyal and flash street protests in Tehran. The crippling sanctions are hurting ordinary Iranians like never before. They are hurting the economy and therefore the state itself, but they have not changed the government's position: that it has the right to enrich uranium under international law.

Iran says its program is for peaceful civilian purposes, and a senior Iranian official laid out for me a detailed proposal for ending this nuclear impasse by improving trust and transparency.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, called for a step-by-step process whereby the U.S. and its allies would receive total transparency from Iran, in return for lifting sanctions and providing security guarantees among other things.

But the U.S. and Iran are at odds over sequencing.

President Obama has vowed never to allow a nuclear-armed Iran, but says he believes there is still time for diplomacy to work as the sanctions take their toll.

But several rounds of talks between the U.S., its allies and Iran have not been conclusive, and a former member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team told me that so far the U.S. is "offering peanuts for diamonds".

Governor Romney has a lower bar than President Obama, saying if he were president he would not accept Iran reaching "nuclear weapons capability."

But experts are divided as to what exactly that means and how it would be defined.

In his recent foreign policy speech Romney said: “I'll put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.”

The word "capability" means Romney’s red line is in a different place than Obama’s. Romney appears to be implying that any enrichment of uranium to weapons-grade would be prevented. So far, Iran has enriched uranium to 20 per cent, and has enough at that grade to produce four or five nuclear bombs, according to independent observers, should it decide to enrich that stock further. Highly-enriched uranium that would be usable in a nuclear weapon usually contains around 90% uranium 235.

On a visit to Israel this summer, Romney seemed to back a pre-emptive Israeli attack on Iran, and his rhetoric has been more bellicose than Obama's. But like the president, Romney calls for "crippling sanctions."

Iran is convinced that the U.S. nuclear pressure is really about “regime change” – a phrase Obama has steered clear of using. But Romney says it’s worth working with groups inside Iran “to encourage regime change.”

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Obama told CBS’ Steve Kroft, “If Governor Romney is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so.”

No one is going to lose the U.S. election by sounding and acting too tough on Iran, but resolving this nuclear issue will require creative and comprehensive engagement, and direct U.S.-Iranian negotiations. Doing so would set the stage for a more stable and secure Middle East and the world.

It could be the next U.S. president's greatest foreign policy achievement.

First published in cnn.com.

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masoudA

Dear Amir Parviz

by masoudA on

I agree with you - and I know we both agree the expansion of Islamic regimes will benefit nobody in the world - especially it won't benefit the IR theocracy, because the recent expansions are all of the Vahabi Sunni kind!!

but here is my "theory":  I think when it comes to Democrats and Republicans......there is as you said very little difference with one exception - foreign policy.   My theory is that US Foreign policy is ALL dictated from Europe (Read UK) when Democrats are in charge.   The Republicans still care when it comes to USA intrests abroad...unlike Obama who openly implements policies against US interests!!   Now - the question is: Why UK and the rest of northern Europe Royals are pressing for expansion of Islamist Theocracy.    Again - my theory is since UK feels they have a good solid grasp on Saudi Arabia and both the Sunni and Shiite Clergy.....the Islamists shall always remain under their control......but that is a tragic mistake.......I also have a supplemental theory which is: after the London bombings of several years ago - UK is now officially a hostage in the hands of the Vahabi ISlamists........ either way these are just theories........just guesses which are highly prohibited by the established powers in the west - always discarded and discredited as "Conspiracy Theories"....as if there are no dirty games in the world of politics.    

 


amirparvizforsecularmonarchy

Dear MasoudA, very true

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

The policy of 1972 just went into over drive, not change we can believe in, the number of khars we had supporting Obama and now we have Romney that will be just as bad, they both lied in the debate, Romney said he would make the USA energy independent in the next 8 years that are now possible, but weren't before, thats a lie, it has always been possible but if you read the club of romes recommendations in limits to growth you'll see why neither person can deliver that, that policy is set by the powers that pay for the office of president and what happens on energy policy will be regardless of who comes to power, what a masochstic democracy indeed, when its offices are in the hands of unchained capitalsts!


masoudA

Dear Amir Parviz

by masoudA on

This whole article by Ms. Amanpour was written to promote this punch line:   '"........................If President Obama wins a second term, will he revive his early first term offer of a new approach to Iran - to resolve once and for all the nuclear case - or will the war drums beat louder again?............"

This is a pointed article to get Iranians to once again vote for Obama.  It is election time after all and the left is doin ALL they can.   I just find it Ironic for ANY Iranian including Ms. Amanpour to support a man who has facilitated in Middle East a policy to take more countries out of the hands of nationalists and hand them over to Islamists (Tunisia, Lybia, Egypt,........Syria).    And if anybody thinks a Middle East ruled by Sunni Islamists can benefit anyone..... you are sadly mistaking

 


elmcoint

We have to be more constructive rather destructive

by elmcoint on

This is exactly my point. If All Iranian scholars and intellectuals all over the world get together with their vast financial structures and knowledge, They can change " THIS SET POLICY" on Iran. This is what we need; influenced Iranians who can talk, cut, and implement. If we get together we can do it, we can change a set series of decisions, Jews did it, why not Iranian. To all influential Iranians businessmen in all Over the world: start sending men to Washington and Tel Aviv by implementing what ever it takes businesswise to change the direction of hostility the WEST has towards Iran and Iranians. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I can't emphasis any more; Iranians already paid their dues, it is time to change the course of the one directional policy and start playing a fair and square game. Inside players( inside Iran) need outside players to get engage as well.

 

Politics is a game of chest that if you don't play it right you will be "CHECK and MATE".

So please be more constructive rather destructive. See it on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QR1l7DyjxZ8


alimostofi

Fake War

by alimostofi on

O: The US forces need to keep their jobs. They mostly vote republican. Some went with Obama because he did not make drastic cut-backs. But without threatening remarks from the IRGC etc, the US leaders would not be able to keep the US forces in the Middle East. US sold $60bn of arms just this year. So it is the threat that is important. Nothing else.

@alimostofi
FB: astrologer.alimostofi


omeedvar

"Grand Bargain"

by omeedvar on

Grand bargain between Iranian Regime and the United States is not the solution. The reason it has taken so long to solve the problem, is that most European countries, as well as Russia and China have their own interest in Iran, and do not honestly cooperate with the US. Sanctions take longer when some of these countries continue to buy cheap Iranian oil despite sanction. The longer it takes, the more suffering for the people of Iran.

Thirty four years of tyranny and misery has to stop in Iran. Iranians do not need nuclear facilities, when despite their vast natural oil and gas resources, people can not feed their families. They can always buy needed nuclear material for medical purposes from other countries, cheaper and with no risk of nuclear catastrophy that happened in Japan and Rassia.

Iran has been a multi ethnic, multi religion, and multi language country for more than two thousand years. The only option that brings peace and security for Iranians as well as the world, is to have an independant secular Iran; and do not continue to impose an Islamic fundamentalist regime onIranians.


amirparvizforsecularmonarchy

Responses to writers below

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

As a Journalist Christian Amanpour doesn't have a dog in this fight for the people of iran or not.

Fred, Ali, vildemose, elmcoint, masoudA not sure if you are looking at this article correctly. The role of a journalist and reporter like amanpour in the USA is to ensure USA foreign policy can be implemented, her angle, talking points and views are to enable what the USA has been doing for the last 33 years in keeping the IRI. Her work comes about after the policy has been settled. Of course you may disagree with her, each person is entitled to their own views, however amanpours job is not to help iranians, human rights or democracy, her work is that of the media in democracies, to defend the interests of the powerful. If she wants to succeed and have her work read, she needs to serve those who brought the IRI not anyone else.


masoudA

Dear Ms. Amanpour

by masoudA on

As one Iranian - let me assure you I do not consider you a friend of Iran or Iranians......in fact, knowing how little you know about our history - especially in the last 100 years - pains me everytime I see you commenting on anything relating to Iran.    To prove my point at least to you - I suggest you go read about the Anglo-Russian Entente on Iran......with the exception of a short 30 years after WW2 - it has been them who have been calling the shots in and for Iran....still do. 

Do you really think Obama can call any shots relating to Iran?  or are you just trying to get him re-elected to help your network?


elmcoint

As must ke bar must

by elmcoint on

Don't you think Iran and Iranians have paid their dues for past 33 years? The Iranian all over the world with their vast financial resources should follow suit and push for independent Iran. They should push the world system specially WEST to keep its hands off Iran at any means. Jews did, Why not Iranians? How can a person breath when others have their hands on his throat and his balls? This is the problem that the current Iranian system has; There has never been a peaceful moment for them for past 33 years, the war, unrealistic comments, and now the unsubstantiated nuclear issues . The Iranian abroad should create this for the country that they have connections with. They should tell the USA and its allies that enough is ENOUGH. Iran can not go towards democracy through revolt, it has to go through so many gradual modifications. We change the system today, another system will start with a different type of corruptions. The modification has to start at the people's level not at the government or system level. The 200 years of neglected mentality can not be changed or modified by means of wars, SANCTIONS, or revolution. The WEST knows this, but as I said before; the West is not ready to let Iran go loose and this is the problem. The real problem is not IRI, The real problem is the loss of PETRODOLLAR for the United States of America.


The only way to cure this, is through constant push from all over the world by strong Iranian scholars and businessmen to change the current mentality towards Iran that has been establishes for past 33 years by the some elements in the USA and its allies. When this is fixed, dealing with IRI is very easy, believe me.

These elements in US admistration are after the whole country "NOT" after the system change, today Iran Khodro, tomorrow TAKHTEJAMSHID. It is the job of every single Iranian to push both systems for direct negotiation immediately. As Amanpour said, "The most important ingredient required to resolve this standoff would be a functional relationship between Iran and the United States, at least one in which officials from both sides could engage in extended and constructive diplomacy."


vildemose

 "The most important

by vildemose on

 "

The most important ingredient required to resolve this standoff would be a functional relationship between Iran and the United States, at least one in which officials from both sides could engage in extended and constructive diplomacy."

Good luck. The IRI's structural foundation as a state is dysfunctional. Even Khamenie does not have all the power at all times. He could not rein in Hojatieh and IRGC intime to prevent the sanctions.  How can anyone trust such an ustable  government?

 

The uses and limits of Iran sanctions

 http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/15/opinion/frum-iran-sanctions/index.html

 

All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


alimostofi

Childish

by alimostofi on

Notice how little CA has written on Iran in all these years. And then she writes this. Wow.

@alimostofi
FB: astrologer.alimostofi


Fred

"Grand bargain"

by Fred on

What Amanpour’s bottom line boils down to is the “grand bargain” which the regime, its lobbies and oil concerns have been pushing for many, many years.  

With the existence of the Messianic Islamist regime in Iran, in any shape or form including the “reformist” which Amanpour is too chummy with, establishment of peace and tranquility will never get a chance in the Middle East.

The Messianic Islamist regime is ripe for regime change by Iranians for Iranians with the logistical help from the Democracy Central, DC, and her allies.

Trying to cut a deal wit the Messianic Islamists is nothing short of copying Chamberlain’s humongous mistake and misunderstanding what Nazis were all about.


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