“Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that's what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is do not develop a nuclear weapon. That's a red line for us.”
Keep in mind that, since 2005, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has stressed that his country is not seeking to build a nuclear weapon.
Washington continues to push a vision of a world from which Iran has been radically disconnected.State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland is typical in saying recently,“Iran can remain in international isolation.”As it happens, though, she needs to get her facts straight.
So Iran may be “isolated” from the United States and Western Europe, but from the BRICS to NAM (the 120 member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement), it has the majority of the global South on its side. And then, of course, there are those staunch Washington allies, Japan and South Korea, now pleading for exemptions from the coming boycott/embargo of Iran’s Central Bank.
Westerners seem to forget that the Middle Kingdom and Persia have been doing business for almost two millennia. (Does “Silk Road” ring a bell?)
On the nuclear front, Tehran has expressed a willingness to compromise with Washington along the lines of the plan Brazil and Turkey suggested and Washington deep-sixed in 2010. Since it is now so much clearer that, for Washington ~ certainly for Congress ~ the nuclear issue is secondary to regime change, any new negotiations are bound to prove excruciatingly painful.
The IAEA is positive: no bomb-making is involved. Nonetheless, Washington (and the Israelis) continue to act as though it’s only a matter of time ~ and not much of it at that.
Translation, if any was needed: in the near future, with the Europeans out of the mix, virtually none of Iran’s oil will be traded in dollars.
Follow the money. Leave aside, for the moment, the new sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank that will go into effect months from now, ignore Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz (especially unlikely given that it’s the main way Iran gets its own oil to market), and perhaps one key reason the crisis in the Persian Gulf is mounting involves this move to torpedo the petrodollar as the all-purpose currency of exchange.
It’s those “threats,” so the story goes, that are leading to rising oil prices and so fueling the current recession, rather than Wall Street’s casino capitalism or massive U.S. and European debts. The cream of the 1% has nothing against high oil prices, not as long as Iran’s around to be the fall guy for popular anger.
For all practical geopolitical purposes, the Gulf monarchies are a U.S. satrapy.
So yes, this larger-than-life psychodrama we call “Iran” may turn out to be as much about China and the U.S. dollar as it is about the politics of the Persian Gulf or Iran’s nonexistent bomb. The question is: What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Beijing to be born?