“Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.” Edmund Burke
“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it,”— Winston Churchill
“Today, the grounds for the annihilation and collapse of the Zionist regime are [present] more than ever… Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles that are ready to hit Israel to liberate the occupied Palestinian territories”. Hossein Salami, commander in chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)
“Tehran will continue to develop ‘peaceful’ nuclear capacities. We seek peaceful use of nuclear energy.” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
“This is the modus operandi of Iran’s deep state: engaging while raging against the world.” Jason Brodsky
if you aren’t strong and powerful, you’re basically on the menu.” James Carafano
This week and next I want to take us back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the JCPOA. Why? I think that the ramifications of the JCPOA have consequences as catastrophically significant as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the decade-long war in Syria. It is no small turn of history. It would be easy for diplomats and the current US and European administrations to lose sight of the significance of the JCPOA by focusing its efforts completely on Ukraine.
I am not saying that the Ukraine crisis is not tragically and immediately important. I am suggesting that the Iranian government is and will be doing all it can to exploit this distraction by what they are calling a crusader-on-crusader war. Western leaders need to be looking over their shoulders carefully as the Iranians have every intention of establishing a new world order, one where they emerge as a member of the elite Nuclear Power Club, able to exert their will on whoever comes within their area of nuclear destruction.
I want to examine the juxtaposition of Tehran’s public statements to the global community and its committed position internally to determine if a new JCPOA will genuinely add to global security in any meaningful way. We will explore the possibility that Tehran’s promises may once again prove to be simply a smokescreen as they seek more time to develop the needed technology to find themselves nearer the top of the international food chain, especially as it relates to their role as a leader across the Islamic world.
I want to explore Iran’s modern history of strategic goals, which ultimately leads to the destruction of Israel, its history of non-compliance to international verification, and its relentless pursuit of the Islamic meta-narrative, one that differs little from that of ISIS and al Qaeda.
The Iranians have been engaging in what tacticians refer to as the “Do and Deny” tactic: carry out a destabilizing attack, make sure everyone assumes you did it, and then deny you had anything to do with it. The Mullahs in Iran have been engaging in this tactic for almost 40 years. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has deftly mimicked and exploited the carefully curated, reform-minded public personas of other presidents and policymakers to deceive the international community for years. What amazes me most is that politicians and intelligentsia are still falling for it, four decades later, with no sign of letting up.
“The original JCPOA agreement required Iran to send about 98 percent of its enriched uranium abroad to limit its nuclear capacity, with independent observers monitoring the progress. In return, the US removed sanctions that opened Iran up to the world economy. The JCPOA, according to international monitors, achieved its goal “of curtailing Iran’s nuclear program.” Or did it?
Over the next couple of weeks, we will look at several questions. What does Iran want and why? Is Iran really committed to the procurement of nuclear technology solely for peaceful purposes? Has Iran acted in good faith concerning verification of its progress on nuclear power? What can we expect from Iran and the international community in the future?
Let’s begin by asking, What does Iran want?
First of all, let me address the question by looking at four decades of duplicity and why it has been necessary. Why is Iran creating instability in the region and why is Iran so determined to become a regional nuclear power in the Middle East? According to James Carafano, “To most people, that would seem to make no sense, but it makes sense from an Iranian perspective.
The Iranians are in a tough part of the world. In that part of the world, if you aren’t strong and powerful, you’re basically on the menu.” Iran watchers are conscious of its sophistry, and beyond its posturing and high-decibel rhetoric, its words ring hollow. So, as the US pushes back with sanctions against Iranian influence in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, Iran appears weak to the very countries they intend to influence and overwhelm.
Iran has positioned itself to become the next oligarch state in the Middle East. It has been using its influence and lust for power over its Sunni neighbors for almost 4 decades. Its attainment of a nuclear weapon is paramount to the achievement of its goals. With a nuclear weapon, it will be able to call all the shots with its Arab neighbors. Remember: Iran is neither an Arabic State nor a state which practices the typically Arab form of Islam known as Sunnism. Iran will jealously guard and recklessly pursue its ability to obtain a nuclear weapon at nearly any cost.
One of the significant differences between Iran and the West is its ability to wait to achieve its goals. Ten years from now, twenty years from now, it makes no difference to them. They are really good at playing the long game. They even have a name for it. It is called incrementalism, a policy-making process that produces decisions only marginally different from past practice. They are simply not in the same hurry that Westerners are.
It feels like this generation of diplomats is playing what I will call the “delay game.” They just do not want war to break out during their watch. So they believe that these measures contained within the JCPOA will hopefully (though I am not sure they actually believe it) slow the Iranian’s nuclear weapons program down. At best (from these diplomats’ perspective), it will delay this probability until the next generation, and then it will be someone else’s problem to deal with. Phew! Disaster averted!
Iran, under its current regime, has a very aggressive strategy. It will pursue those aims with great vigor. It is proving itself quite willing to undergo great hardships and subject the entire country to misery to accomplish its nefarious goals.
Let there be no confusion. Iran is playing a dangerous game. “Do and Deny” is central to its strategy. It is the same strategy that Russian President Putin is employing, as well as Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, China’s Xi Jinping, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, North Korean President Kim Jong-un, and Afghanistan President Mullah Baradar. It is not a stretch to believe that many Western leaders are also quite guilty of using the “Do and Deny” strategy. Why? Nobody believes politicians anymore. Populations are tending to support politicians who are telling the lies that they can live with.
Knowing how Iranian and other world leaders lie because they simply do not care if they are caught or not, will better inform our understanding of how politicians mislead for political expedience and how we can better interpret these false machinations.
Ask yourself what lies you are prepared to believe. Are you just feeding your fear and ignorance by only reading a particular genre of journalism? Or are you seeking to understand by putting the work into it? One of the things that many pundits are counting on is that you will not have the time to put the necessary work into gaining the truth. They think that we will allow them to become our consciences and that we will believe whatever they write, mostly because they are assuming that we will blindly follow.
I am doing my best to make it as easy as possible for you to check my work. I list for you at the bottom of each and every More than Meets the Eye what resources I am using to come to my conclusions. One single action I would take is to start validating the truth of at least one point of what I am reading.
If you can gain a better understanding of just one thing each day, you will become a better human being. If we make decisions or have opinions based on the ignorance or flawed presuppositions of others, odds are likely that our understanding will be flawed as well. Whether our flaws are just ignorance, willful deception, or laziness, one thing remains: our understanding will be flawed.
Taiwan issues war handbook for citizens with QR codes and stockpile lists amid worries of China attack… https://fortune.com/2022/04/12/taiwan-issues-war-handbook-citizens-qr-codes-stockpile-lists-worries-china-attack/
China using social influencers to push propaganda on TikTok, Instagram… https://nypost.com/2022/03/30/china-using-social-influencers-to-push-propaganda-on-tiktok-instagram/?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=roundup_2022-04-07_rsnd&utm_medium=email
For your comments or questions about any of our digests please feel free to write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org