Growing and unaddressed antagonism against Saudi Arabia in the United States created a „blame the victim“ response following the ARAMCO attacks. ...
[…] In this piece, I want to draw attention to the systemic problem of “Iran expertise” in Washington, which is neither new nor limited to the hawkish political factions now running this country’s foreign policy. I assert that the US foreign policy establishment has collectively created a culture of expert impunity when it comes to Iran, which has contributed in no small part to the unstable and dangerous policy conditions we see under Trump today. ...
Iran is the 8th country in the world based on high impact and high citation articles and the only country from the Middle East in the top ten countries in this field.
We know that Donald Trump does not read books. He is more of a television enthusiast and a Twitter aficionado. His knowledge of international relations and history - Middle East history, in particular - is limited at best. But as we stand on the brink of a war with Iran, with catastrophic repercussions that would dwarf the fallout from the Iraq war, basic knowledge of the history of the country that President Trump almost bombed last month, would serve him, and his supporters, well. Iran is located in West Asia in the heart of the Islamic world. The key themes that shaped its modern history and informed its political culture broadly overlap with the experiences of other developing societies in the global south. In his magisterial study, From the Ruins of Empire, Pankaj Mishra reminds us that Western history is not universal history. At the start of his book, he observes that for most of the developing world, the key events of the 20th century were not the two world wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War or the fall of the Berlin Wall. The central political developments that shaped the modern history and identity of millions of Asians and Africans revolved around the struggle for self-determination and independence from Europe.
Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has turned up the heat on Tehran. Way up. As part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at curbing the malign international activities of Iran’s ruling regime, the White House has dramatically intensified sanctions, blacklisted the country’s clerical army, and put foreign buyers of Iranian crude on notice that they need to pull out of the Iranian market or face potentially catastrophic consequences.
A U.S. strategy to either coerce Iran to the negotiating table or trigger an uprising against the Iranian government is not only fraught with faulty assumptions, but it also threatens to undermine the United States in an escalating great power competition with China and Russia and tip the global economy into recession. …
Berlin, Paris and London assumed Tehran could not afford to leave the JCPOA even if it was not receiving any of the promised economic rewards. Now the EU3 are facing the hour of truth, writes Pepe Escobar.
The Iranian economy is mired in a deep recession. The real or productive sector of the economy is paralyzed, largely by out-of-control (and often illicit) imports that have replaced domestic production. Rent seeking, corruption and the looting of national resources is pervasive. Both unemployment and inflation are extremely high. National currency is on the verge of collapse, and financial resources of the country are disproportionately invested in unproductive or parasitic activities such as buying and selling of precious metals, foreign currencies, real estate, and the like.
In a cycle of habit borne out repeatedly in the mainstream western media, demonization and fear mongering against Iran is picking up pace again in the face of attempts by the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to rebuild relations with the west and work toward international cooperation. The techniques and methodologies used by the west in perpetuating the geopolitically-motivated, neo-imperialist, agenda against Iran often come across in the media as clumsy and awkward in their reasoning. Before delving into the hard geopolitical reality, a much needed word on the disingenuous leveraging of human-rights against countries such as Iran is critical.
Iranian policy makers has been focusing on the new economic and political capacities of the Far East and the Middle East. Playing an important role in the Silk Road international project is an instance of the policy.