I object to the current US-Iran Nuclear deal. I think that the current deal does nothing to address the real issues and historic bad blood between the US and Iran, which is what everyone really wants to heal. This is also what I have come to understand is what the folks who are in favor of this deal want too. I even think that John Kerry and Javad Zarif want this as well.
But this deal won’t ever get us that.
And I will suggest (like I always do) that the fault lies with Iran. Or to be clear, since I am always accused of hating the Iranian people when I say Iran, the Government of Iran. Got it? When I say Iran I mean the Government of Iran. I won’t say GOI, because I am always too easily tempted to spell it GOH.
In 1975 under the “brutal” Shahanshah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi, Iran had not only been granted the 4 nuclear power plants that the US was planning on building for us, but had in fact been green lighted for 8. The long range plans of the Shah to build a total of 28 nuclear power plants to provide Iran with clean nuclear energy, had also been given the go ahead. Above is the ad to show just how trusted Iran was back then.
Not only was the Shah approved for 28, his real plan to bolster his self appointed role as the “Policeman of the Gulf” required him to have nukes as well. Say what you will about the Shah but he never met a weapon system he didn’t like. And in spite of your now almost certain doubt that the Shah was denied them, in fact the CIA reported that if the Shah’s nuclear power plant plans went ahead as planned, Iran’s nuclear power generation would come online by 1979, and the Shah and Iran would be a nuclear armed nation by 1984.
And, hold onto your makhmal shorts, the CIA reported that strategically for the US, this would be “entirely acceptable”!
What this means is, as early as 1975, the US was perfectly fine, and completely comfortable with Iran getting nukes by 1984. Presumably because it knew it could easily convince the Shah to point some of them towards the North and you know who. Presumably the Shah also knew that he could gain more leverage by where he pointed them too.
So, that happened. Because it did. This is not my theory. Or my opinion of history. Look it up.
Today, no surprise that this cartoon version of Iran (GOH) has ironically done nothing more than dust off the Shah’s original 28 nuclear power plant plans. Including the ones that gets Iran nukes. Yet the same US that approved these plans in their entirety, is horrified now, and has mobilized every civilized country on the planet to staunchly oppose, what was essentially their own plans for Iran in the first place!
The difference? The Iranian government (GOH). Today’s GOH is a really bad one. I’m not talking from the perspective of just how badly they treat the people of Iran. And even forget for a minute how bad Iran looks on the outside.
Rampant corruption and street robbery by the Bazar merchant class as they continue to loot the Iranian people forcing them to pay the high prices for the greedy concessions and monopoly scams they have been running since the shortages of the Iran-Iraq war showed them how hoarding gets you higher prices.
Systemic poverty, as result of no investment other than the Bazar merchant class that only imports. No industries that put Iranians to work. A deep desire and the total capability for a robust internet economy that can’t seem to take off, because it always comes down to not having the ability to process financial transactions, if people don’t have any money to spend online.
A Zombie Middle Class that is so confused by all the contradictions it sees in the outside real world on DVDs and satellite TV, as compared to what real life in Iran is like. The Middle Class now doesn’t know if it should buy an iPhone or get a nose job. Trust or mistrust among the middle class is at an all time high. People writing bad checks, swindles, and disloyalty in the bedroom as well as the many small startup company boardrooms is rampant. Everyone lies to survive. Before you say it, Iranians in LA or the US or Canada or the UK lie too. They do it mostly for fun though. Everyone has a day job. And a Lexus. Yes it is a lease. So what?
An economy that aside from the sanctions, is structurally in such utter shambles because there is nothing except oil that Iran makes that it could sell to anyone outside of Iran. Saffron is being sold wholesale to Spain as Spanish saffron! The Caviar industry isn’t even certified and the Petrossian family has locked Iranian caviar out for decades. I can’t even spit out Pistachios as a commodity Iran could reap. Mr. Rafsanjani controls all of that. And even if the falling oil revenue Iran makes from selling oil in a glut market, was paid out in the form of individual checks to the citizens of Iran, like the citizens of Alaska get each month from the sale of their state’s oil rights to big oil companies, would still not really float enough, to keep Iran from sinking. And Iran (GOH) would never send out checks like they do in Alaska. Or Saudi Arabia. Where only about 30% of Saudis actually hold jobs. They just smile serenely and get paid. And seem pretty happy usually. And apparently sexy.
I’m not even going to mention political oppression in Iran and all the executions, and imprisonments, or even Jason Rezaian. But all of that too.
These problems, are all a direct inarguable result of a really bad Iran (GOH).
Which now likely brings you to your obvious question.
“If the current US-Iran Nuclear deal is so bad Mr. Bahmani, what do you propose instead?”
To which I wold respond, “First off, Mr. Bahmani is my father. Call me Behrouz.”
Then I would outline a better deal in 3 steps:
1) The US must admit and concede that it cannot in any good or honest conscience stop Iran from getting nukes now. It cannot inspect Iran enough, or measure the radiation enough, or in any way prove Iran cannot cheat. So why bother? Also, it is very insulting for the US to sit as judge now and assert that it is perfectly fine for Israel, India, North Korea and the very worst of all Pakestan, which has harbored the worst fugitive leaders of Al Qaeda, and now the Taliban, to be allowed to have hundreds of nukes, but Iran must be prevented from having even one. That would be the definitive definition of stupidity on the part of the US. And what the press in Iran have been singing so gaily about. So stopping Iran would be removed from any negotiations. Because it’s simply stupid to argue stupid with stupid. Iran would be acknowledged as a big boy now, and would be allowed to decide what it wants to do, and suffer the consequences of endangering the lives of its people if it so chooses. And what Israel decides to do, when they decide the last chant of “Death to Israel” ends up being, is up to Israel. Good luck to both countries with all of that Cold War ahead of you.
2) The US and Iran must immediately re-establish full diplomatic relations. With fully staffed embassies in each capital and effective consular offices in each major city. Isolation has been the problem with these failed policies on both sides. Maybe the unwitting Iranians chanting “Death to America” would think twice if they had to look an American diplomat in the eyes in Tehran. Maybe an American mother of a jailed Iranian-American journalist would like to protest the unlawful arrest of her son in front of the Iranian embassy in DC. Maybe the US embassy could hold workshop classes on “Here’s how a Democratically elected free government, civics, and civil rights works in the US”. Maybe the million Iranians living in the US would like to exercise their free speech rights of objection in the form of human rights rallies in front of the Iranian embassy in DC. All these benefits would be possible with open diplomatic relations. Which is why they would be demanded and negotiated for in my deal.
3) Lifting of all sanctions immediately. You didn’t think that this Deal objector would be against the sanctions did you! I most definitely am. For, when US capital investment in the form of factories and businesses that hire Iranians (not French sales offices to sell Iranians Peugeots they can’t afford) that get their paychecks from American companies invested inside Iran, Iranians might be a little less willing to listen to anti-US rhetoric and propaganda and maybe argue back a bit more. Sanctions have only increased the systematic looting of Iran by the Bazar, by giving them the best reason to hoard more and provide an unprovable excuse for their higher prices. Removing the sanctions removes this excuse, exposing the Bazar for what they are, Iran’s historically worst thieves, liars, and traitors. Free and fair trade benefits everyone. Especially the people of Iran who are literally dying to live and work in an open marketplace, in a healthy economy, which magically allows everyone to win, and prevents anyone from losing. Sort of.
So, to repeat my better deal for the US and Iran:
3) Fair Trade
No, I know. It will never happen. That’s why I am often bitter and cynical in my old age. The world would be a much better place, if I was in charge.