FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Iran Deal

by BINOY KAMPMARK

This was the limited deal, one designed to halt Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapons option and stave off the proliferating actions of other states. It is a deal replete with unresolved issues – but then again, it was not expected to. For one thing, what is on the table contains the classic contradiction of sovereignty – that other states may acquire nuclear options or have them, but not Iran.

So far, the details of the deal, brokered between Iran, and the Permanent five plus one (US, Great Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) involve a six month corridor of taking various measures. The entire stockpile of 20 percent of enriched material to be diluted, or at the very least rendered unsuited for further enrichment. The stockpile of 3.5 percent enriched uranium is not to alter between now and six months. Excess material will have to be converted to oxide. There will be no more centrifuges to be installed. Numbers of current centrifuges are not to be operated.

Of vital importance is the emphasis placed on preventing Iran was undertaking the second option of creating a bomb, namely via the plutonium route. For that reason, the parties were in general agreement that the Arak reactor will not be further pursued along those lines. Construction will be halted.

Now what of the Iranians? They will have to, or at least have promised that they will, allow for some regime of inspection. Teheran has been promised that they will not receive any further sanctions in the next six months. Some will even be suspended, notably on various precious metals and gold. Money will be released for Iranians studying overseas. A certain portion of oil-revenue, some $4.2 billion, will be transferred. What is astonishing about these concessions is the extent of how belligerent the sanctions regime has been against the Iranian regime.

The observation being made here is that, while Iran is not gaining much, it is not giving much either. Iran will be allowed to continue some elementary form of uranium enrichment, though Washington has never taken a direct stance approving it. Israel, seeing demons everywhere, has asserted, at least rhetorically, that Iran has no such right to any form of enrichment.

The hawks aren’t happy by this latest development because their beaks have been blunted and their wings clipped – for now. Iran is a mortal enemy, to be shunned, to be boxed in the category of international untouchables. For the conservatives and hawks in the U.S. and Israel, all forms of discussion short of the gun and imposition is impossible. Former US Senator Joe Lieberman stated it in the most simple terms: there was “American blood on Iranian hands” going back to the bombing of the Beirut embassy by Hezbollah in 1983.

Lieberman shows again how he refuses to be blessed among the peace makers. Like a child retreating from the playground with wounded pride, he finds the Iranians incapable of being trusted. They had “a terrible record of not keeping agreements and frankly of lying.” Naturally, Washington’s assertions that it doesn’t spy on its friends and leaders of the misnamed free world shows purity of thought and action.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, showing the sophistication of an intoxicated pugilist, lamented the miniscule adjustments to the sanctions regime against Iran, claiming that “we had the chance to deliver a body blow.”

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has proclaimed this negotiated pathway a “historic mistake”, one which “reduces the pressure on Iran without receiving anything tangible in return, and the Iranians who laughed all the way to the bank are themselves saying that this deal has saved them.” The Gulf states are distinctly underwhelmed, fearing that this will hardly be enough.

None want to see Iran’s power in the region legitimised, even if the power is highly circumscribed. But what such states fail to realise is that they, themselves, can be triggers for the very non-proliferation they want to avert. Attempts to disable and cripple all forms of nuclear pursuit will simply be a recipe for that pursuit to become more aggressive.

The doves can hardly be said to be cooing either. This may turn out to be historic, but the true history of this occasion lies at one apex: the fact that diplomatic conversation has long last taken place. What we got, at least, was conversation, and a concession that such conversation is vital. Jaw-jaw, as mentioned by Winston Churchill, among others, tends to be better than war-war, as fascinatingly irresistible as the latter option may be.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  He ran for the Australian Senate with Julian Assange for the WikiLeaks Party.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail