Thinking the unthinkable


Thinking the unthinkable
by Niloufar Parsi

Al Jazeera's Marwan Bishara has a real interesting take on the latest fiasco in Tel Aviv.

Poor Joe Biden. He's come to deliver the good news: The US is back in the Israeli fold and will continue to have boots on the ground in the Middle East. And what does he get in return? A shoe in the face.

A superb analogy.

This may be the moment for Iranian-US negotiations. There are no good options left for the US against Iran. More on this later.

What actually was behind the episode is described by Marwan as follows:

"The US president's appearance of neutrality at the outset of his first year, as expressed in his Cairo and Ankara speeches, and his administration's pressure on Israel to freeze the illegal settlements, have for all practical purpose, ruined his chances with the Israeli Right.

No wonder, Obama's popularity in Israel is one of the lowest in the world. And his standing is even worse among the supporters of its right-wing coalition."

and he concludes:

"Biden can explain all he wants about his Roman Catholic Zionism and Obama's friendship and support for the "Jewish State", but the Israelis are not buying into this whole "tough love" Bul****t!...

Meanwhile, the Israel Rightist leaders continue to gain from the US military support and presence in the region, just as they benefit from growing hostility towards Barack Hussein Obama, which they nurture.

When it comes to the Obama administration, Israelis are voting with their shoes. Go figure!"

yes it's rather plagiaristic! but just loved the piece for its superb analysis and originality with an enlightening short section on internal tribal politics in Israel. you can find it here.

All this is quite interesting for Iran.

The Americans are running out of options. Sanctions don't work and harsher ones won't be approved. the military option is not viable for the US (too tied up and broke) or Israel (too weak). there is no sign of a regime overthrow from within Iran. The US needs Iran's help in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to keep the Persian Gulf safe and secure for shipping oil etc. Russia is growing powerful again and has Iran in its camp. China, as the banker of the US, has no incentive to ruin her relations with Iran. Israel just gets weirder by the day.

The most rational option for the US may be to mend fences with Iran. This could have enormous benefits for the reform movement in Iran as well as the economy.

Happy Norooz everyone! Hope we hear some good news at long last :) 


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Anonymous Observer


by Anonymous Observer on


I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

I didn't understand you for a long time

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

Now I do, Nilofar. Once I made a very rude comment toward you and I accused you of something stupid. I apologize.

Ignore Observer. Talk is cheap. Suddenly these people care so much for the "meehan." Ha. 

Beautiful picture you chose here.

Anonymous Observer

You're right Niloufar

by Anonymous Observer on

I AM angry today.  I am angry to see IRI's brutality on display yet again in my homeland.  I am angry at seeing young Iranians get tortured, beaten ad taken to jail because they celebrate a national holiday.  I am angry that while this is all happening, people like you are praising the IRI and hoping that it expands its power and influence throughout the region, something that will surely prolong its survival.

I think that KouroshS very nicely explained my Japan analogy.  They asked for a war and they got one.  It will behoove people like you to study that part of world history.

But at the end of the day, you should just come out and admit it.  You are a self proclaimed my opinion, of the 1950's and 60's Bolshevik type (non necessarily that old, but of that mentality). You see Israel as a vestige of that imperialism and you want to see it destroyed.  And you see that salvation in the IRI.  You have created this fantasy world for yourself where the IRI is so powerful that it will cause the U.S. to back off and leave Israel alone so that it will collapse, and for that, you are willing to sacrifice every man, woman and child in Iran.

Case in point.  Here's a video from today's protest in Iran:


It's posted in  The women's screams in the video are chilling.  It appears as if they are being taken away by IRI's thugs..  Where are your comments on that thread??  Where's your outrage?  Now, if this was a Palestinian woman who was being arrested, you would be all over the thread, commenting, raising hell and may be even writing a letter to the UN.  Just look around.  Just within the past week, you have been on every blog that has anything to do with the Palestinians, but there isn't even one comment from you on the threads where Iranians are being abused.  Much to the contrary, at the same time the IRI is brutally oppressing Iranians, you are writing a blob hoping that it becomes more influential, and expands its power.  Need I say more?

I frankly don't care who you support.  You want to be concerned only about Palestinians or any other nation, hey, it's your choice.  But puhleeez don't get Iran involved in your crusade. That's all. 


Niloufar khanoom

by KouroshS on

I believe that the japanese affair of the 40's serves as a great analogy to today's enigmatic situation between iran and US. What Ao is saying I think is that Japanese dared the US to do something they never thought it would have had a chance of taking place , because of all the economic problems that americans were facing and Yet what we actually witnessed was the total opposite.

Now how many time have we heard the same thing being said about Today's US? How many times do we hear that Oh, they are economically bankrupt and financially stretched beyond belief and are having a hard time getting the approval needed from their people and No way that the congress would go for it this time around. Well guess what. Things have been happening lately in this country not even the most astute and savvy Political speculators and scientist and Think-thank Mullahs had never imagined. 

I think what he is emphacizing on is for Iran to not Push it and Trigger unfortunate events and eventually a disaster to take place, by resorting to nonsense and outrageous and untrue claims. IRI's inflated ego is writing checks it's Gandideh Body can't cash.

Niloufar Parsi

AO jaan

by Niloufar Parsi on

we are in the comic strip mode now that you are here aziz :)

actually i was talking about iran going up a notch in influence and regional reognition. one of the problems with the current regime is how far they lowered iran's international standing especially in the early years of he revolution. now there may be a chance to rectify some of that. i do not see it as a problem. there is enough incentives for both sides. it just takes an ice breaker.

your twisted story about the israeli/palestinian conflict is blown out of proportion. of course it is important in that the us should not interfere in iran's regional affairs, but it is not the only or most important part of the story.

and btw, you have missed the story. i was discussing iranian-american relations, not the greatest most important issue to most iranians inside iran today, i agree. but i was not claiming to talk about the latter.

i have outlined a whole set of issues of common interest to both countries. what makes this biden issue important and relevant is that it reflects badly on aipac and its influence on the US government. it opens up new opportunities for detente.

 yes i have heard many claim that this all means nothing in the final
analysis. but they forget that the final analysis searches for a net
gain from costs. israel is becoming too costly lately.

now if the us does not NEED iran, and that iran is no power and no
player of any significance, then how come the us spends so much time and
energy harrassing iran constantly for decades? the chinese say you do
not use a cannon to kill a fly.

i know that really hurts your eyes. the inner anger you exude today is quite glaring. i actually enjoyed a couple of your jibes :) (but ouch!]


re the japanese, isn't this point of yours a little like G va shaqiqeh anyhow? you won't even let me go as far as palestine in terms of relevant issues. what the heck has japan in 1940-something got to do with what's happening with iran today?



pulling out of Iraq after the devastation???

by capt_ayhab on

Commentator notes:[No I can't admit we're surrounding Iran,we are pulling out of Iraq.I know bombs will continue but the Iraqi's will get it.]


Here is location of US military presence around the globe, particularly in the middle east. Darker the shade of RED[how ironic  that USSR was always designated with color red] more the troop concentration.




Anonymous Observer

Are you fantasizing again Niloufar Jan?

by Anonymous Observer on

Are you back into the comic strip mode where the IRI is an all powerful hero battling "imperialists?"  I thought we decided that you wouldn't do that again. :-))

Anyway, as someone said below, the ups and downs in the U.S. / Israel relationship has nothing to do, and has no impact whatsoever on Iran.  the only people who think that it does are Those who are obsessed with the Israeli / Palestinian conflict and see everything through that narrow prism.  Israel's settlement building activities in the face of U.S. demands to the contrary have happened many times before with many presidents, and at the end of the day, they have kissed and made up. The U.S. does not need the IRI for anything.  The U.S. is not afraid of the IRI either.  You can humor yourself into thinking that the IRI's re-painted 50 year old aircraft and re-painted 40 year old ship and a bunch of reverse engineered North Korean missiles pose a threat to the U.S., but the sad reality is that the U.S. can obliterate Iran from thousands of miles away without as many as one U.S. soldier setting foot on Iranian soil.  And this is not being "anti-Iranian", it's reality.

And stop asking and itching for an apocalyptic war so that the great imperialists can be humiliated and the Zionists can be driven into the sea, because you may get one.  That's what the Japanese said and did in WWII.  They taunted the U.S. and thought that just because the U.S. had just come out of the Great Depression it wouldn't be able to fight them.  We all know what happened to them...and they were at least a thousand times more powerful and more technologically advanced that Iran under the rule of incompetent, halva eating mullahs.  Although, I may add that perhaps your definition of a "win" in a conflict with the U.S. is akin to that of Hassan Nasrollah, where when almost half of South Lebanon was destroyed and 1400 people were slaughtered in a war that he had started for no reason, he came out of his hole and declared victory because he had survived.  I guess if the U.S. attacks Iran and turns it into a parking lot, but Khamnei somehow survives and crawls out of spider hole alive, he--and you--will claim victory.

And how in the world will further legitimizing this regime help the reform movement in Iran?  

Just remember this: IRI is no power, it's no super power, it's no regional power, it's a backwards military thugacracy that kills, rapes and tortures its people.  The only "power" that it has is the one that it uses against its own defenseless civilian population.  And no amount of carefully concealed attempts at connecting "g**z to shaghigheh" (i.e., connecting the Israeli / Palestinian conflict to the fate of the people of Iran) is going to change this fact. 

PS/ Niloufar jan, whatever happened to the S-300's that the great IRI supporter Russia was supposed to deliver to it?  Mullah-khor shod?  :-))  Did the IRI get the $800 million back that it pissed away to the Russian mob for those things or is that money gone too...another chunk of Iran's wealth squandered by the mullahs! 

Niloufar Parsi

easy tim

by Niloufar Parsi on

i was not trying to insult you by the question. it was a genuine one, as i often come across israelis speaking on behalf of americans on the internet. your chosen name mixed with your english gave me the feeling that you may be israeli. what is your origin if you don't mind me asking? (and no lectures about separating people pls!)

the answer to both your questions is 'no'. just so that you do not accuse me of ignoring them... actually i am a mix of yazdi, kurd and azeri, and was born in tehran.



A Question to you Niloufar

by timothyfloyd on

Well Niloufar your response makes my point and that is that you over exaggerate the threat of America.

No I can't admit we're surrounding Iran,we are pulling out of Iraq.I know bombs will continue but the Iraqi's will get it.

I agree Iran and America needs to be friends but I disagree either country needs one another.Of course,Islamic Neocons need America and Isreal.

English is my chosen language.I'm not Isreali are you a Palestinean?

A Question for you,Do you think we should separate people by language's and religion's and why?

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

america has killed more americans than iran ever has. so what is your point? the 2 countries can still become more friendly. of course the iri has to stop making stupid chants of death. no one is blaming the us alone for bad relations, but you have to admit: it is us troops surrounding iran not the other way round.

on a different note: english is not your first language, is it? are you an israeli?

Captain khan: thanks for the kind words. am so glad to see a group of people here with a clear vision that does not confuse foreign ploys with partiotism. unfortunately, several people here are ready to sell their soul for some democracy-burgers with freedom-fries washed down with zion-cola.

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

i never said it was simple. just that there are two sides to the coin. it is the dominant discourse among expats that is simplistic.

whether or not the us needs it, iran is a counterbalance to israel. cutting off aid to israel  would elevate iran's position.

i agree with you about russia. that was my point too, and i was saying that iran can switch sides or become more distant from russia.

i was not saying that china was the master. just that china is an equal player in the games and does not have any real incentive to harm iran.

a middle east in turmoil costs the us too much unless she withdraws her military in which case oil shipments will be threatened and iraq and afghanistan will become even more unpredictable. hence her need for iran's cooperation.

to be able to suppress, the regime needs the support of the security forces. without a foreign enemy, many more of them would refuse to attack their own people.

Niloufar Parsi

i analyzed it

by Niloufar Parsi on

and it looks like you are living in that 'dark hole' already. and that 'kiaani' weirdo is stuck in a fantastical history that never existed, yet he, and he alone will speak on behalf of an imaginary nation.


It's an ironic ,joke of history

by SamSamIIII on


when Ommaties talk about "Iran" & her interests. It's like Navab Safavi speaking on behalf of Ferdowsi or Osama as head of US DHS.


Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan // //



by timothyfloyd on



Bijan A M

Please analyze this

by Bijan A M on

With all the push for alternative energy, and all the huge discoveries of new fields offshore Africa and all the new shale-gas discoveries and plays in the US, what kind of negotiating position will IRI have? Let’s look beyond this decade….

Israel screws Palestinians and vice versa, more refugees, more debates, more politics, new US presidents, more peace conferences, etc... but, no more IRI, and what do you think we will have?

Let me tell you my vision: a more democratic Iran and ME. The Arabs will be begging and sucking west’s ass to sell their oil to survive. Israel will still be around with a clear border with Palestine after a two state solution is agreed on. The likes of Nillofar, Jaleho, No Fear, Sargord,…..will remain silent and hide in their dark holes (out of shame and fear of their lives).

  Now, this is thinking the unthinkable….



by divaneh on

No, it’s not as simplistic as that.

US having a little raw with Israel, and if you ask me Jange Zargari, does not mean things have changed. US does not need Iran as a counter-balance to Israel. All it needs to do is to cut the huge military and civil assistance aid to Israel, and Israel will fall to its knees.

Yes, Russia uses Iran as a bargaining chip. It is not friendship and Iran is always for sale, including in this case as it still awaits an operational reactor and a defence system that it will not have.

If you only hear the discontent outside Iran, it’s because there is worst case of suppression inside and I already referred you to 22 Bahman security arrangements. Jailed journalists are each a further evidence of the fear of internal threat.

China is as dependent on the US and Europe as they are on its cheap labour. Do not forget that a huge proportion of China's export is contributed by multi-national Western and Japanese companies operating inside China and it needs those investments.

Unlike you, I think US would love to see the ongoing war and a middle east in turmoil. This is their policy to keep that oil reach area backward and in permanent conflict. Huge oil companies influence on this should not be overlooked.

If IRI unleashes such brutality on people at the time that it needs the support of the nation more than any other time, then it will not be any better when it can rule in total security.

Niloufar Parsi

no rush, but

by Niloufar Parsi on

obama has already committed himself to negotiations publicly. it would be no failure for him to enter into negotiations. it would look more like he was a man of his word.

in any case, their PR machine would present a victory for them no matter how much they give in to iran. iran would do the same. but both sides could be winners.

as for the nuclear issue: it's already widely accepted that iran will be nuclear-capable.

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

i have a different take on most of those points.

someon threw a shoe at biden means that aipac is falling out of line with us policy. it works to iran's advantage. it actually serves us interest to have a counterweight to israel in the region. israel will clearly never go for peace. it needs to be checked. iran can help to establish and maintain peace - at least more of it.

iran is a good friend of russia, which is growing in influence again especially in the former soviet union region. russia often uses iran to haggle with the us. moving iran closer to the us serves the interests of both countries as both iran and usa want russia checked.

No sign of overthrow from inside Iran witnessed by the fact that the greens have fizzled out. in fact, there never was any real plan to overthrow the regime. the great majority of the greens do not believe in, nor desire a revolutionary regime overthrow. they are 'evolutionaries'. that revolutionary dream is more strongly fixated in the minds of expats like us.

China is the US banker in that without China's enormous investment in US bonds, the US would probably have suffered far more from the crisis. China's multi-trillion dollar savings are propping up the US. To harm Iran, China needs an incentive. on the contrary obama has repeatedly irritated china with the dalai lama, nagging about her currency and selling arms to taiwan. china has no incentive to harm iran. if anything, these two most ancient of powers have a lot of respect for each other.

Israel just gets weirder by the day leads to never-ending war and a major drain on us economy at a time of crisis. the zionist project is costing the us dearly. imperialism is not as profitable as it used to be.

if the iri kisses and makes up with the us, iri will not have the same excuses left to be so brutal. the pressure from below will increase on the regime to open up. and if the us is a kissed and made up friend, she will be a positive influence on her new, nuclear capable friend.

am not claiming this is about to happen. but it is a real option. they may even go for it. as 'no fear' says: they have been trying for years.




by Bavafa on

"It should be more of a concern Iran has killed far more Iranian's than any American's have. "

I beg to differ with you on that?  Not even Shah and IRI combined have killed more Iranians then US has.  In fact we Iranians owe all this blessing (NOT) of Shah and IRI to the US.

 This does not mean that Iranians are blamless, hardly, but one can not ignor the US role in all of this mess, including the mess in between Palestinians and Israelis, which has been created by the Zionist.


No Fear

No Rush for negotiations ...

by No Fear on

We are not in a hurry to negotiate, neither is US.( next presidential campaign is 3 years away)

As i said, time is on our side and we will have better leverage over time , if negotiations starts in the future.

It is time for Iran to stand firm on its demand and continue its hardline , no compromise approach towards its nuclear research.

The opportunity for a grand bargain with US has passed and Iran's nuclear research is at a point of no return.

Why should Obama enter negotiations with Iran now , just to show the world that he has been outplayed and out smarted by Iran and by giving in to Iran's demand?




by timothyfloyd on



better than Politics for Dummies book

by divaneh on

So let me see if I got it right. Someone threw a shoe at Biden which means US now has to work with Iran. Iran is a good mate with Russia and that is why Russians have found technical problems with the S-300 defence system that Iran needs. No sign of overthrow from inside Iran witnessed by 22 Bahman high security and frenzy about the Chaharshanbeh Souri. China is the US banker despite Dollar being the world currency and US imports surpass its exports to China. And weehee, top political statement: "Israel just gets weirder by the day". Finally if IRI resolves its problems with the US, it will then kisses and makes friend with Greens, Mousavai will be el presidente and Janati will promote press freedom in his sermons. I never thought politics was so simple. This is better that politics for dummies.


Ms. Parsi

by capt_ayhab on

Insightful and logical analysis, which I agree 100%.

Sanction will only devastate ordinary Iranian lives, who are already struggling with 25% inflation rate and close to 20% unemployment. Obama still has a nice ratings among the populace in Iran, but when it comes to sanction no one will support him within the boarders of Iran.

Thanks for the links and thanks for sharing.



بزك نمير بهار مياد



بزك نمير بهار مياد

كمپزه با خيار مياد

I am sorry, but it is so naive to think that the Islamic Regime will reform itself or somehow a little "dust up" between Obama and Netanyahu will have any bearings on Iran

The regime played the "good cop - bad cop" role for many years, but ultimately it showed its true face. These people will not give up power voluntarily. The price has to be made extremely high

This will take a while

Niloufar Parsi

no fear

by Niloufar Parsi on

i understand your points and do not have any major arguments with them. what i was pointing to is a fairly new situation: the US seems to be at a dead end with Iran with no 'good' options left. this opens new possibilities for a negotiated settlement between the two countries on a more equal par.

also, and because of a hint of anger in your post, i would add that there is nothing personal in any of this. The US, as an empire, and a fading one at that, would naturally aim to dominate Iran and other countries in the world's oil reserves region. Iran has done quite well to resist this domination (though it might have done better), and the US is being forced to consider more peaceful options particularly as her position has become rather shaky. This will nevertheless be designed to favour the US, while Iran will push for her own interests. Regardless of how it turns out, the US' ultimate goal would be to reduce Iran's influence, as the worst possible outcome for US interests would be a strong regional power in the middle east. So I do not think the Americans can be 'trusted', and the only people who would strive for the best deal for Iran would be the Iranian government, regardless of the regime. However, their power is rather limited compared to the US, China, Russia etc. So Iran has to play a fine balancing act. Now that Israel continues to shoot herself in the foot, and the US is much weakened by the economic crisis, and Russia and China are rising fast, Iran has an opportunity to gain some currency out of the situation.

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

the answer is simple: anyone with the name 'parsi' puts the national interest of iran above that of personal issues or the current regime.

i suggest you do the same so that we can actually discuss real issues rather than wallow in expat fantasies.

No Fear

Niloufar ... Have faith in our Meehan.

by No Fear on

We have tried to communicate and open negotiations with US for quite sometimes now.

Rafsanjani tried to get the americans to negotiate first, followed by Khatami ( who basically bent over backwards for it )and even Ahmadinejad broke the taboo and sent both US presidents private and public letters.

None of these diplomatic gestures had any results for us and was ignored by US administrations and even mocked upon on the international level by US. Some anti Iran cheer leaders might argue that the IR deserved to be treated this way, but truth be told, on the international diplomatic level, this sort of behaivour by the US is considered being just plain arrogant and rude towards Iran.

So ... what to do now?

Iran has repeatedly stated that the US has to `change its tone`. This translates in to Stop giving orders and telling us what to do.

I agree %100 with this policy. We have NOT been defeated in a war and they can`t dictate terms with us. Their behaivour is actually quite insulting , specially when they demand that we waive our nuclear rights.

Only through aggressive diplomacy and power brokering throughout the middle east, we might be able to force the americans to accept a fair negotiation condition. I personally don`t see any otherway. The americans have responded well when their soldiers lives are at danger.We have to remind them about this fact every now and then. Middle east is Iran`s backyard and any peace anywhere in this part of the world can not be secured without Iran`s involvement. Iran has demonstrated and proved this simple fact over and over in the past and present and it will do so for the future as well.

Time is on our side. Our neighboring countries are becoming our allies and there is no imminent danger of war under the world current state of economy.

I don`t see israel as a power broker or an effective political force throughout the middle east. Can they be a nuisance and start a war with us` possibly, but very unlikely. Should we be concerned about their conflict with the palestinians... of course, every part of middle east is Iran`s concern.

As i said, our issue is with US and we even declared that any attack from Israel and we will bring them in to the conflict as well.

The US can not ignore us for much longer . I bet they will be a bit more down to earth when we meet them on equal terms.

Obama still believes he can dictate terms with us. Under these conditions, we must refuse any negotiations. He has to get its troop out of afghanistan or Iraq sooner or later and he has time until the next presidential campaign to fix the situation in these countries.

What would you do , if you were Iran ... would you help or take him for a ride around the block...





mullah appologist alert!


mullah apologist! regime apologist! IRI apologist! apologist! apologist!

this is the sound of someone not having a clue about anything and just wants to character assassinate people they dont agree with. its amazing how sure of themselves these people are!

mooollaaaah apologist!!



by shushtari on

perfectly put!!!


it's funny how anyone named 'parsi' is always an apologist for the mullahs....


i wonder why, despite 31 years of hell, brutality, theft, repression and attempts to destroy iran's culture, these individuals somehow still have the nerve to try to convince everyone that these mullahs should be legitimized and they're miserable existence prolonged!!!?


as you said, 'better luck next time!' 

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

are you saying that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has no relation to Irano-US relations? if so, it is your analysis that is absurd and hallucinatory. 

benross: deal!