There is an article being published in this week's Time Magazine that basically makes the case that the Nuclear impasse on Iran is reminiscent of the impasse with Cuba and the Soviet Union when missiles were stationed there. Its a good analysis, but I think it totally misses the point. I believe the parallels with Cuba go far beyond the nuclear missile issue - consider the following:
1) The deal that was finally cut between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was that the U.S. would NEVER invade Cuba! And go back to 1981 - and the Algiers Treaty between the U.S. and then Khomeini's Iran - the U.S. made a very similar comitment before the U.S. embassy hostages were released. One simple reason that MIGHTY US can not invade or touch CUBA or IRAN is its legal obligations (which the U.S. will actually honor under all circumstances - otherwise no one will ever enter into an agreement with the U.S. government again - it has to and will honor its word). An Iranian attack must be carried by some other party/country NOT the U.S. - that is why Israel is doing the sabre ratling.
2) After the Cuba agreement was reached, the U.S. went on to sanction Cuba and has since essentially the mid-sixties banned trade with Cuba, while basically presenting open arms to all Cuban immigrants to the U.S. The very same exact situation has occured with Iran, where Iran has now faced mounting sanctions for over 30 years, while the population of Iranian expats in the US has steadily grown...like the Cuban community.
3) In the early hey-day of the Castro regime, the U.S. mounted an effort to topple Castro that failed; and in a similar vein the U.S. made an effort via the Nodjeh coup in 1981 to do the same and it failed miserably. In fact the Cuban Missile installations was in some ways a response to the failed 'invasion' of Cuba. And by the way, the militarization in Iran has been very similar - it is the regime's core insecurity that drives the desire to build more sophisticated and lethal weapons.
4) In both Cuba and Iran, the core political agenda, is as they put it "protection of the revolution'. In both countries "ideology" trumps common sense, and protection of the "leader's ideological" tendencies trumps any popular will. Citizens are encouraged to sacrifice in order to essentially support a 'revolutionary movement' in support of a greater ideology that impacts every aspect of their lives. They have revolutionary supreme councils; and paramilitary local groups that act as "comittees for the defense of the revolution (CDR's)" that report "counter revolutionaries" ...
5) Cuba, like Iran, meddles in regional political and 'revolutionary' affairs - and has supported insurgents to U.S. backed regimes in Central America; much in the same way as Iran's regime helps Hezbollah and Hamas as well as insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
6) The visual parallels of an old man with a beard - the el Supremo - whether its in military garb or religious garb are NOT to be forgotten either.
I could go on and on. So maybe, just like Cuba, all this anti-Iranian talk on the political stage is just nonsense. Sanctions and vitriol will go on and on for another 50 years - and nothing of substance will change. The U.S. has no "core" desire, interest or motivation to topple the Castro regime. Cuba is considered a major potential competitor to florida's tourist industry - and ironically it is the Floridians (where there is the largest population of Cubans) that secretly lobby for a status quo with Cuba. The same could be said of Iran - the Mullahs serve a purpose. Iran would be a major industrial and economic competitor to the West as well as India and Russia in the region. The harvesting of the Caspian Sea by major oil companies would be at risk. It would be the death of Dubai - if ships could dock directly in an Iranian port. The last thing they want to do is to actually normalize relations with Iran...they need excuses to perpetuate the sanctions.
Just like Cuba, we are looking at 50+ years of sanctions sn vitriol. Put your seat belts on - this will be a long ride.
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