The US secretary of state has set out 12 tough demands for inclusion in a new nuclear treaty with Iran. The conditions, listed by Mike Pomepo during a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, on Monday, will require Iran, in his words, to: ...
For decades, since the Iranian Revolution, the United States has engaged in a quasi-war with Tehran. Washington backed Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War, described Iran as being part of an “axis of evil” alongside Iraq and North Korea, launched the Stuxnet cyberattack on Iranian nuclear facilities in 2009, and provided weapons for Saudi Arabia to fight a proxy war against Iran in Yemen. Today, the United States and Iran still lack formal diplomatic relations. President Donald Trump described Iran as “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” with a “sinister vision of the future.” Meanwhile, Iranian propaganda pushes a narrative of resistance against the United States—the “great Satan”—as well as Israel. It’s striking, then, that since 9/11, major U.S. foreign-policy gambits in the Middle East have consistently aided Iranian interests. America is not so much Iran’s frenemy as its fremesis: a supposedly mortal adversary that unintentionally gives critical support. By scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, Trump is following an established U.S. playbook of helping Tehran.
President Donald Trump has just fulfilled a campaign pledge to tear up the Obama administration’s signature foreign policy achievement, a multilateral agreement constraining Iran’s nuclear enrichment (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA). In doing so, the president went against the advice of, among many others, his secretary of defense, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Washington’s three most important European allies, and almost-two thirds of Americans who believe that the U.S. should not withdraw from the deal, according to a CNN poll released on Tuesday morning. Trump appears absolutely determined to undo as much of what Barack Obama accomplished as possible. In addition, the sheer perversity of his personality may well explain today’s action. But it may also be useful to follow the apocryphal advice that Watergate’s famous “Deep Throat” offered to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in All the President’s Men, particularly in the unbelievably corrupt swamp of the Trump era. Indeed, today’s unpopular announcement may have been exactly what two of Trump’s biggest donors, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, and what one of his biggest inaugural supporters, Paul Singer, paid for when they threw their financial weight behind Trump. Marcus and Adelson, who are also board members of the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition, have already received substantial returns on their investment: total alignment by the U.S. behind Israel, next week’s move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and the official dropping of “occupied territories” to describe the West Bank and East Jerusalem
Donald Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday was welcomed in many quarters of official Washington as a kind of deliverance—or evidence, perhaps, of justice served. The crowing could be heard all the way to the pages of the The Atlantic, whose contributors have made Tillerson a kind of Foggy Bottom piñata. It would be hard, for instance, to find a more damning criticism of “T-Rex” than the one leveled against him by author Eliot Cohen, expert on everything military and drum major for the interventionist set.
Iran remains a primary nation-state challenger to U.S. interests and security within the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Iran’s national security strategy focuses on deterring and, if necessary, defending against external threats, securing Iran’s position as a dominant regional power, and ensuring continuity of clerical rule, economic prosperity, and domestic security. Iran is engaged in the region’s conflicts to further its security goals and expand its influence with neighboring countries, at the expense of the United States and U.S.-aligned regional partners.
This volume is part of a sub-series that documents the foreign policies of the Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower administrations. However, this volume is a retrospective volume that is meant to supplement Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, Volume X, Iran, 1951–1954, published in 1989.
The U.S. and Israel have reached a joint strategic work plan to counter Iranian activity in the Middle East. U.S. and Israeli officials said the joint understandings were reached in a secret meeting between senior Israeli and U.S. delegations at the White House on December 12th.
In order to understand Donald Trump’s foreign policies, a person must be totally open-minded to at least the possibility that the U.S. is the world’s most aggressive, war-mongering nation, so that when an international poll was taken of the publics in 65 nations in 2013 as to which country is “the greatest threat to peace in the world today”, the 67,806 respondents were correct to place the United States as being overwhelmingly in that position, “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” — far ahead of any other nation.
At a midday meeting in the Oval Office in late July, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley came to President Donald Trump with an offer. Trump had grudgingly declared Tehran in compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal earlier in the month, at the urging of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Trump hated the deal. But the two men pushed him to certify it, arguing in part that he lacked a strong case for declaring Iran in violation. A refusal to do so would have looked rash, they said, convincing Trump to sign off for another 90 days. Haley, in that July meeting, which also included national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Vice President Mike Pence, asked the president to let her make the case for decertification. “Let me lay a foundation for it,” she said, according a source familiar with the proceedings. The president agreed.
2017-10-13Treasury Designates the IRGC under Terrorism Authority and Targets IRGC and Military Supporters under Counter-Proliferation Auth
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) pursuant to the global terrorism Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 and consistent with the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. OFAC designated the IRGC today for its activities in support of the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), which was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007, for providing support to a number of terrorist groups, including Hizballah and Hamas, as well as to the Taliban. The IRGC has provided material support to the IRGC-QF, including by providing training, personnel, and military equipment. Additionally, today OFAC designated four entities under E.O. 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters, for their support to the IRGC or Iran’s military.