The American Bear


Got war if you want it | Pepe Escobar

Under the NPT, a member state with a consistent civilian nuclear program essentially may also acquire a nuclear weapons capability - what is also defined as a “nuclear option”. Japan, Brazil and Argentina, for instance, all NPT member states, have maintained their “nuclear option” for decades. They could ditch the NPT and build a nuclear bomb in a few months if they wanted to. They won’t. But Washington, on a mission from God, believes Iran will.

The fact is Tehran is not doing anything illegal in its pursuit of nuclear technology. It has even agreed to talk in Baghdad about suspending its 20% uranium enrichment. But then Iranian negotiators found out in Baghdad that for the US, the red line - no enrichment at all - is definitive. At best, in exchange Iran might receive supplies of medical isotopes.

So Tehran won’t be moved from its position; it will only consider suspending its 20% enrichment if the ultra-harsh Western oil embargo plus the financial war via banking sanctions is reconsidered.

By the way, Iran’s Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani said that Tehran has already activated an alternative payment clearing system to SWIFT - thus foiling another vector of Washington’s relentless economic war. What this means is that Iran, BRICS members Russia, India and China, plus Iran’s trading partners in the developing world are moving one step beyond in their flight from the US dollar as global reserve currency.

Even in the - unlikely - possibility that the leadership in Tehran suddenly decided to stop all uranium enrichment, and kill the whole nuclear program on the spot, Iran would still be under US sanctions. The sanctions have practically nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program. It’s all about regime change.

By 401-11, Congress in the US last Friday approved a resolution that goes even beyond “crippling” sanctions.

US sanctions are bound to remain forever unless President Obama certifies to the extremely unpopular US Congress (14% approval rate), “Iran has released all political prisoners and detainees; ceased its practices of violence and abuse of Iranian citizens engaging in peaceful political activity; conducted a transparent investigation into the killings and abuse of peaceful political activists in Iran and prosecuted those responsible; and made progress toward establishing an independent judiciary.”

There’s more; Obama also has to certify, “The government of Iran has ceased supporting acts of international terrorism and no longer satisfies certain requirements for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism; and [that] Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of nuclear, biological, chemical, and ballistic weapons.”

Into this mire of wishful thinking steps Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey. He told CNN on Monday, “the military option should be considered”. Oops, but that refers to that other war in the making - in Syria. General Dempsey said he would prefer for the “international community” to effect regime change in Syria, but - just in case - the Pentagon is ready to pounce (“Of course, we always have to provide military options.”) The NATOGCC compound is barely containing its shrieks of joy.

So what’s it all about, Barack? So many wars to choose, so little time till Re-election Day. [++]