Tillerson on Iran

Rex Tillerson on Iran:

“An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and to take the world along with it,” Mr Tillerson said.

Well, perhaps. Take the region with it, maybe. The world? I’m not so sure. This is neither the time nor subject for hyperbole.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Tillerson said a review, which he had announced in a letter to Congress a day earlier, would look at the whole US policy towards Iran – taking in not only Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear deal but also its actions in the Middle East.

This is sensible. Obama’s deal with Iran stank to high-heaven and should have been torn up the day after Trump’s inauguration.

He accused the country of “alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilising more than one country at a time”.

Which has been the case since 1979.

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against Israel.”

Okay, but perhaps the US would do well to re-evaluate some of those interests. Why is the US so preoccupied with what Iran is doing in Yemen, for example? Sure, it’s engaged in a proxy war with Saudi but why should America be dragged into it? And Syria? Well, I’ve said enough about that already.

As part of a long list of charges, he criticised Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict and its support for President Bashar al-Assad.

Look, I’m no fan of either but Iran has every right to support Bashar al-Assad. This is none of America’s business, they should concentrate on defending their clear interests, not engage in woolly moral judgements about who is supporting whom.

America has tried policing the Middle East and it has been an utter disaster, they really ought to quit. Iran is a threat to US interests for the reasons Tillerson has cited, but by including issues in which the US interests are unclear serves only to provide ammunition to those who think Trump’s administration has been captured by neo-cons baying for war.

Everyone knows what Iran is like, we don’t need any more accusations or statements of the obvious. Just state clearly where and how they are in direct conflict with American interests and take firm action in those areas, and leave the rest well alone.

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20 thoughts on “Tillerson on Iran

  1. Why is the US so preoccupied with what Iran is doing in Yemen, for example?

    Because it’s right on the Gulf of Aden?

  2. Because it’s right on the Gulf of Aden?

    Okay, there is a vital international waterway nearby. In which case, the US should state that this is why they are involved and explain precisely how backing Saudi in a proxy war with Iran will safeguard it.

  3. At least Iran keeps those Sunni and Takfiri head choppers in check.

    So it’s about the nukes, and all the nations that overseen the Iranian nuke deal are, well, armed to the teeth with nukes. It’s not as if the West asks others if it is okay for them to be tooled up with nukes is it.

  4. Fair enough.

    But, why should the US explicitly state it? They’d run the risk of declaring “red lines” all over again, and looking just as silly.

  5. Okay so he should just say that we are with Israel when it come to our position on Iran, then it is clear.

  6. So it’s about the nukes, and all the nations that overseen the Iranian nuke deal are, well, armed to the teeth with nukes. It’s not as if the West asks others if it is okay for them to be tooled up with nukes is it.

    It’s a valid question, but not one that has not been asked and answered already. The current consensus, which Iran has signed up to (but Israel hasn’t) is that there should be no new nuclear powers. I can understand if Iran wants to walk away from this agreement, but thus far they seem unwilling to – probably because it will lead Saudi and the other Gulf States to do the same.

  7. Okay so he should just say that we are with Israel when it come to our position on Iran, then it is clear.

    Yes, exactly.

  8. But, why should the US explicitly state it?

    So we know what “interests” they are talking about defending. To me, a lot of these so-called “interests” seem a little unclear.

    They’d run the risk of declaring “red lines” all over again, and looking just as silly.

    Not at all. I’m not saying the US should explicitly say what they will or won’t do in any given situation. They should simply say that “X action is now going to take place because we have an interest in Y which is as follows”.

  9. “I can understand if Iran wants to walk away from this agreement, but thus far they seem unwilling to”

    I don’t think that unwilling is the right word, Iran consider it a done deal and just want to get on with buying lots of aircraft from the yanks and modernising their huge hamstrung economy.

  10. Iran consider it a done deal and just want to get on with buying lots of aircraft from the yanks and modernising their huge hamstrung economy.

    Yes, but without surrendering their ambitions to become a nuclear power. If anyone believed them, the sanctions would have been dropped years ago. They found a couple of buffoons in Obama and Kerry who did believe them, but they’re probably not going to be able to bluff Trump and Tillerson for much longer.

  11. Obama’s deal with Iran stank to high-heaven …
    I can’t understand why this didn’t/doesn’t cause more outrage. If the Iranians had something on Obama to leverage this ‘deal’, then it should out; if they didn’t, and it was all Bazza’s own work, that too should be made explicit.

  12. I can’t understand why this didn’t/doesn’t cause more outrage.

    Because it was done by Saint Obama.

    If the Iranians had something on Obama to leverage this ‘deal’, then it should out;

    The leverage they had was that he isn’t half as bright as everyone thinks he is and he was hell-bent on securing a “legacy” to the point he’d agree to anything.

  13. “He accused the country of “alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilising more than one country at a time”.” Spot on. And the same is true of Iran too.

  14. the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism
    I thought that was Saudi Arabia?

  15. No they are good guys that are busily preparing for the Aramco IPO, the worlds biggest by far. Their CEO said the other day that oil will be in higher demand shortly after the IPO.

    I think that they still have the Death Ray machine though, hidden in the desert.

  16. “those who think Trump’s administration has been captured by neo-cons baying for war.”

    I think this growing image is intentional and plays into the hands of those intent on reforming the UN. These unilateral threats that are now being made by the US on Iran and say on North Korea recently will start to raise the fear of the US taking unilateral action that the UN is powerless to stop as the US will veto any UN action proposed to stop it.

    The only solution left when we are at the brink of say Trump dropping a MOAB on Incirlik Air Base to prevent the Turks from getting the nukes or something similar will be to remove the unilateral veto system.

    Only then will we be truly safe from the injustices of unilateral action.

  17. I think that they still have the Death Ray machine though, hidden in the desert.

    The Iraqi Supergun de nos jours.

  18. Unlike the Iraqi Supergun, the Saudi Death Rays are real, I have seen them.

    There is satellite imagery of uniform small excavations along the Qatari border, road transport of nine weapons, and further imagery showing what looks like nine recently backfilled desert patches.

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