Jul 15, 2015

The US - Iran Nuclear Treaty

It's far more involved than the superficial news bytes we see on the television

1-First, it's not just a US-Iran deal. On the US side was the UK, French, Germans, Russians, Chinese; the treaty has worldwide favor. Equally important is that all these countries have been honoring Obama's embargo, which is what forced the Iranians to sign. Had he held out for the harsher terms the GOP is now demanding, the Iranians would not have signed – and our allies indicated they would not continue the embargo if they felt the US was being unreasonable. A key part of the embargo was China refusing to buy Iran's oil; losing their best customer was what caused their economy to collapse.

2-While most of the Middle East is Sunni, Iran and Iraq are Shia; that puts Iran in conflict against the Sunni's, regardless of security or economic issues. While both are Muslim, there's a huge difference between the two; the Shia believe they need to proselytize, while the Sunni's are not so in-your-face.

2A-It's also a Saudi vs Iran fight for military influence in the Middle East. While the Saudi's have money, they and their OPEC allies lack the will to fight. Yes they buy billions of dollars of our weapons, but they lack cojones to use them. Note how the Iranians have troops in Iraq fighting ISIS (which complicates the Sunni-Shia problem, since we, the Saudis, Jordanians, and UAE are fighting ISIS also) while the Sunni's fight by airstrikes. Also, the Saudi's, etc al remember the Iranians marching thru Iraqi minefields during the Iran-Iraq War...that sort of motivation beats technology every time when the fighting is door-to-door.

3-Israel. Not the Israeli Defense Force of the 1950's-70's. The IDF got their ass handed to them in 2006 by Hezbollah,and last year the vaunted Israeli Intelligence missed 200+ tunnels being dug, so they responded by shelling civilians. On the wrong end of a 20-1 population disparity, Israel needs to realize they need to co-exist by more than sheer firepower.

No one is asking Israel to stand-down, but Iranian PM Rouhani has put his life on the line signing this deal, so maybe Bibi needs to take a step back and see if the Iranians perform. Plus 60% of the Iranian population is under age 25; they have ZERO interest in sanctions, war, etc. They – like the Israeli kids who also don't want to fight (and claim the religious exemption so they don't have to serve), want a normal life. Two issues here: if the Israeli's won't defend their own country, why should we defend it for them, and 2-the Arab armies are not ganging up on Israel any longer; Israel's biggest problem is internal, as they debate if they're a Jewish country or a democratic country.

4-Who's the big dog economically? Back to Saudi vs Iran: The Iranian people are proud of being Iranians, they work hard, and built a successful country centuries prior to oil. It's called the Persian Gulf for a reason. The OPEC countries, who hire foreigners to do their work, don't have this mindset. Basically they've wasted the 37 years since Ayatollah Khomeni sent Iran back to the stone age, and now they're scared of what the Iranians want to accomplish economically after all their years of isolation. And they outnumber the Sunni's by 8-10 to 1.

5- The GOP's concerns are more anti-Obama rhetoric than truth. Sanctions don't come off until the centrifuges are decommissioned, and other nuclear equipment is destroyed or turned over. The Iranians need to do a lot of things first...all which the GOP forgets to mention in their continued anti-Obama frenzy,

5A-If Bibi and the GOP want to tackle a real nuclear threat; let them look to Pakistan. A failed state where Nigerian-levels of corruption fuels Taliban and Islamic extremism and their ISI plots against India, the US, and the civilized world...let's not forget they have 60+ nuclear weapons now, along with missile delivery systems that can reach Saudi Arabia, Israel, and most Indian cities. Iranian weapons in 3-5-10 years? The Paks have nucs now.

6-America's role? I'm not sure. Sending troops is not an option (hear that, GOP?), but maybe we beef up our existing Middle Eastern bases and do more joint training. But I do know if the GOP halts this treaty, the EU and China will abandon the embargo, trade with Iran, and doom us to the role of the odd uncle ranting from the sidelines as the game goes on without him.

Oh, it'll be interesting.

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