Trump has repeatedly condemned the deal brokered by Barack Obama as a dangerous capitulation to Iran, but six months into his presidency he has not abandoned it.
In this regard, as well as in the case of the Middle East, we had a conversation with political activists we would draw your attention to it.
. How will Trump behave towards JCPOA (nuke agreement with Iran) in the coming months?
.Will the expansion of the US presence in the Middle East (Syria and Iraq) and the intensification of its military actions lead to a military confrontation with Russia and Iran?
.What are the views of European countries about the intensification of US military operations in Syria and Iraq?
Mrs Sherry Amanpour:
One can never predict the future but my own view is that America is an Empire engendering its own collapse they are $20 trillion in debt as internally the country and its people suffer. The trajectory is similar to Empires of the past–where over reach and inability to sustain have engineered collapse (Rome, Persian, British, ottoman, Greek Empires etc…) Putin is a master strategist playing a very interesting ‘game of chess’…while Russia and China are on the ascent, Superpower is on the descent. I do not believe Superpower will go to war with Iran ,they have been unable to prevail in Syria for the past 6 years…Iran, in my view, has been brilliant in aligning with Russia and China as well as preparing itself militarily with missiles…we are living in times of deep geopolitical shift towards a more balanced world (with China, Russia and Eurasia on the rise)..I only hope not too many people will suffer as Superpower remains in delusion about it’s reach…hope this is somewhat helpful….
I think like his predecessors Trump is the front man, a brand, for the real anonymous players (corporations, military interests, profiteers, CIA, Deep State) etc…he was (s)elected to keep our minds off the real issues of a rigged 2016 election, a floundering economy, overseas wars, mass incarceration, collapsing infrastructure etc..you can google FDR’s statement–‘Presidents in America are selected, they are not elected’—mass propaganda provides distraction, diversion and obfuscation from real issues…Presidents in America change but policy remains the same..that at least is my view…
MR Leonid Savin:
1- In general if we will follow to Trump’s behavior and take in attention his environment there will be two main lines
A- Trump tries to cut or stop many initiatives started during Obama’s administration cause he feels it was wrong, but it is not (at least some agreements such as JCPOA is good also for U.S.);
B-Trump is under influence of Israeli lobby cause it is implemented in his family. With reorganization of relations with Israel it will be clear that Washington would to impose more sanctions against Iran (and he does) and finally to freeze JCPOA. Of course this decision depends of IAEA too, but anyway U.S. has power to do anything in own way.
2-They will try to avoid direct fights, but will use own nets of intelligence and proxy agencies there for the deterrence and projection of military power. Good news about intensification of cooperation for security reasons between Iraq and Iran as well as last visit of Iraqi vice-president (ex-prime-minister) al-Maliki into Moscow. So Russia and Iran can joint efforts with Iraq. For Syria situation depends also of Turkey and Kurdish groups. Turkey not recognize Kurds as actors of peace building process cause recognized them as terrorists. As NATO member Turkey also still tied with the West, but from day to day Ankara turns into more independent policy. So Russia and Iran must to support Turkey to get out of control of the Western powers. So Kurds are actors only who directly linked with U.S. (terrorist groups linked indirectly) and provided them land for deployments.
3- Europe not interested so much what really happens in Syria because it is so far. Only homegrown terrorists and more migrants (majority is not from Syria and Iraq) are reasons to be worry there. Only NATO operation will bring more debates because EU need to send more troops abroad. But now in EU main artificial threat is Russia. “Atlantic resolve” Operation started in 2014 and still conducted is main idee fixe. Myths about Russian intrusion into Baltic states on table for high level political discussions. EU is pragmatic enough not to interfere in Syrian crisis, they will wait and see what happens.
These questions are difficult to answer, in part because the situation is changing quickly now that the latest round of [completely unjustified] sanctions against Russia and Iran have been passed and we have yet to see how severe the EU response to them will be. I will, however, attempt to give you some of my thoughts on the three issues you mention.
1- Trump had nothing but disdain for the JCPOA during the long campaign against Clinton. Of course at the time he was, like the other Republicans, opposed to anything that had been cone by the Obama administration. Trump called it something hyperbolic like “the worst agreement ever” and insisted that it “would be completely renegotiated” by a Trump administration. Since becoming president, however, the formerly urgent issue has hardly been emphasized by him. Why is that? Here one can only speculate, since the internal factions over what to do apropos JCPOA seem to be a bit different than those over what to do about Russia, where the careerists in the “deep state” or “the swamp” as Trump calls them are virtually all neocon hardliners content to continue the ongoing policy of provoking Russia at every turn, quite oblivious to the great dangers involved. With respect to JCPOA, on the other hand there seems to be no consensus, since some of these people were involved in the Obama negotiations and see the outcome as being quite acceptable. Those opposed, who seem to have Trump’s ear more than this first group, are again the more virulent neocons who are determined to “pivot to Iran” now that regime change in Syria has been foiled, at least for the time being. Many of these people also have very strong ties to the strong pro-Israeli lobby within the US government, — the faction most paranoid about “the Iranians obtaining the bomb” — so nothing would please them more than getting hostilities started between the U.S./Israel and Iran. In fact, given the strength of these war-disposed forces, it strikes me as interesting, and a bit mysterious, why they haven’t already managed to get at least small scale hostilities started, which they have certainly tried repeatedly to do with all of the ridiculous naval “incidents” off the coast of Iran. It may be, of course, that they are merely waiting to see how the situation in Syria plays out, as they are not yet convinced that they can’t find some way to reheat things there, and if they do, they may then be faced with the prospects of fighting two increasingly unpopular counter-revolutionary wars simultaneously, and Venezuela might even add in a third should they be daft enough to attack there as well. On the other hand, they simply might not know yet just how to initiate and sell a war with Iran to the American people [the easier part] and the rest of the world [who have really had more than enough of American imperialist adventurism of late]. In any case, the most frightening aspect of what is to come is that one can be pretty certain that whatever decision is finally made will have little to do with good intelligence and reasoned argumentation, but only with a rather arbitrary emotional snap judgment made by Trump and then disseminated via the usual “group think” government/military echo chamber to all of his many underlings who will by that time all be too frightened to tell the emperor that he is naked. All things considered, therefore, I would hate to be a member of the Iranian intelligence attempting to figure out just what the Americans are most likely to throw at them soon, — and they will throw something I am quite sure. The decision making process under Trump is simply too chaotic for anyone to make a good “reasonable” guess. And, as I said earlier, it depends on the entire context of what else is happening with American foreign policy. So, right now, just to use a timely example, we are about to see the EU kick back at the US over these latest sanctions. When they do so, the U.S. side will either be forced to admit that they have terribly overplayed their usual bullying hand and make concessions, especially regarding North Stream 2. In that case, we would expect to see the much desired conflict with Iran put on the back burner until the administration can make some more plausible case for war [relatively speaking that is, since there is NO rational case for war whatsoever.] If, on the other hand, the EU merely complains loudly but does nothing, like say slap on serious counter-sanctions against the U.S., then the chances become better that Trump will move forward more quickly with the neocon’s diabolical plans against Iran. The best outcome for Iran, then, would be for some other big crisis to come along for Trump to make a huge mess of so that hostilities toward Iran must be tabled, perhaps even indefinitely. Unfortunately, the more likely outcome is that the U.S. will continue to provoke a conflict. Iran has of course, already shown great patience in the face of such continual bullying by the Americans. There is, however, a line beyond which they can simply no longer “turn the other cheek.” Should that happen the U.S. war forces may well learn the full meaning of the saying “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.” ……. That’s all for now from me. I need to do a bit more research to answer the other two questions, even if they are actually a little easier to answer than this first one is. All the best from an overcast and muggy Pittsburgh, Bill F.
I just had one last thought which I think is worth mentioning, and that is that in this situation time is on the side of Iran. The longer Trump delays on allowing the war faction to act, the better the chances that everyone will become more accepting of the current “status quo.” To some extent this has already happened with respect to opinions about JCPOA. If there is no strike against Iran in the next several months, there may well be none at all, especially if the Americans can be convinced that Iranian defenses have now been bolstered to the point where any attack would be disaster — which in fact may well be the truth even now. O.K. that’s all.
2- Will the expansion of the US presence in the Middle East (Syria and Iraq) and the intensification of its military actions lead to a military confrontation with Russia and Iran? That depends on several factors both military and political. If, as I suspect swill happen, the U.S. neocons can come up with some deceptive, if also very feeble, excuse for keeping American troops in and near Syria and Iraq — you know like there recent claims that they are needed to provide “stability,” just as they have so wonderfully provided it in all the other nations they have razed to the ground in the pious name of “democratic regime change” so far, it will become easier, especially logistically, for them to make their so desired pivot away from Syria and Iraq to their for some mysterious reason still more reviled new target, Iran. Now just why exactly the have so much animus toward Iran is anybody’s guess. In fact, I frankly doubt that they have any idea why themselves! They have simply been demonizing the country for so many years now — indeed since the 1979 revolution — that they never question their own motives but simply continually re-ASSUME that Iran is the crown jewel in Regan’s childish “axis of evil.” And, of course, the fact that Iran has bent over backwards trying to be as accommodating as possible to their thoroughly unreasonable, sovereignty risking demands — as say with the major concessions over JCPOA — only seems to enrage them further and lead them to make ever more, still more unreasonable demands. and of course blame Iran for all of the intransigence that is in fact coming only from the U.S. side. [In that it is very similar to the latest “sanctions on Russia” fiasco, except perhaps that Russia has finally figured out that the Americans are simply incapable of negotiation or any other type of conventional diplomacy, and hence will only respond to counter-threats, while Iran still seems to be learning that same important fact. . . . in any case I agree with the short article I sent you yesterday that as long as the neocons remain in charge of U.S. foreign policy and attack on Iran upon some trumped up — no pun intended — excuse is very likely to happen. I also believe however that if the U.S. militarist think they can pull of a kind of murderous “Shock and Awe” v. 2.0. they will be in for a big shock of their own since Iranian defenses are vastly stronger and better organized than were Iraqi defenses in 2003. The keys to defending the nation will include preventing their SAR systems from being knocked out by cruise missiles in the first two to three days after the onset of hostilities. This means these radar facilities must be either very well defended, or better, constantly moved from one dummy location to another, perhaps by rail as in the old Soviet ICBM defensive system. Since they will probably only have a limited window of time to do so, I expect that the Iranian side must be fully prepared to strike back very quickly with its anti-naval weapons, something which a lack of steel nerve might well prevent, with disastrous consequences for the nation. With respect to a conflict between the US and Russia that I think the US will attempt to avoid as simply too risky with respect to starting a nuclear WWII. For its part, however, the Iranians must develop still closer ties with the Russians, by, say, allowing them to have further use of air and naval bases within Iran. If it looks to the US high command like Russia may well stand behind Iran as forcefully or even more forcefully than they already have stood behind Syria, this too could well prevent and American attack. . . .
3- What are the views of European countries about the intensification of US military operations in Syria and Iraq? The Europeans are plenty tired of year after year of military adventurism on the part of their reckless juvenile delinquent “allies” across the Atlantic. They have, however, never yet shown themselves to have the backbone to stand up against even the most outrageously and gratuitously reckless American enterprises, like the 2003 invasion of Iraq. They are, however, blisteringly angry right now about the US Congress passing still more ridiculous “sanctions” the costs of which will be borne almost exclusively by the Europeans not the Americans! We will thus have to wait to see whether they will this time have the courage to strike back in the form of counter-sanctions against the US.. Obviously if they do, and a new and serious split between the US and Europe occurs, that can only be a good thing for Iran, since it should at least dally any further reckless bellicosity against Iran until better relations within NATO can be re-established. And in any such scenario time, once again, is on the side of Iran and peace, not the US neocons and war. Americans are among the most impatient and memory-challenged people in the world, so if the delay gets long enough, as say it has in the case of North Korea, the country may well be challenged by new problems somewhere else in the world and never, or at least no time soon, get back to nefarious designs on Iran, which of course would be probably about the best outcome that we who want no more thoroughly unnecessary murderous American wars anywhere can hope for.