Continued from yesterday:
The Trump administration is, in fact, experiencing increasing difficulty finding allies ready to join a new Coalition of the Willing to confront Iran. The only two charter members so far, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are, however, enthusiastic indeed. Last month there was a rally in Warsaw to promote war, featuring Netanyahu as the ringleader of the war party. He was heard remarking that Israel and its Arab allies want war with Iran. “This is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.” (He later insisted that the correct translation should have been “combating Iran,” but the damage had already been done.) Many of America’s allies, staunchly opposing Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear accord, would have nothing to do with it. In an effort to mollify the Europeans, in particular, the United States and Poland awkwardly renamed it: “The Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East.” But the French, the Germans, and the European Union, among others, flatly declined to send ministerial-level representatives, since their policy is to salvage the Iran nuclear deal and to circumvent American sanctions (Trump and Pence are furious). The many Arab nations not in thrall to Saudi Arabia similarly sent low-level delegations. Turkey and Russia boycotted altogether, convening a summit of their own in which Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Iran’s Rouhani.
In past year the Iranian has taken a nosedive, the currency has plunged, inflation is rampant, and there have been street demonstrations with shouts denouncing the Dictator. Zarif, Iran’s Western-oriented foreign minister, who supported the nuclear deal, resigned, although Rouhani rejected the resignation. However, there are hard-liners who want Rouhani to go, want to abandon the accord and resume the nuclear program. The Zarif resignation crisis threw into stark relief the deep tensions within Iranian politics and raised a key question: As the Trump administration accelerates its efforts to seek a confrontation, will they find an echo among Iranian hardliners who’d like nothing more than a face-off with the United States. Maybe that’s exactly what Bolton and Pompeo want. If so, prepare yourself: another stupid and unnecessary American war unlikely to work out the way anyone in Washington dreams it might.
An edited (for length) version of an article by Bob Dreyfuss, an investigative journalist, published in TomDispatch . He is the founder of The Dreyfuss Report and a contributing editor at the Nation. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, the American Prospect, the New Republic, and many other magazines. Original Copyright 2019 Bob Dreyfuss.
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