Steven Erlanger reports in the New York Times how the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council—the U.S., Russia, China, France, and Britain—plus Germany) are in talks with Iran for the first time since January 2011. At those talks, Erlanger writes, the Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili “lectured rather than negotiated, and demanded preconditions for serious talks that were unacceptable to the six powers.”
Okay, let’s translate that. What happened was that the U.S. and friends (read “U.S.”) were demanding that Iran surrender its “inalienable right” under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, and Iran was insisting that its rights under the NPT first be acknowledged by the U.S. before negotiations could move forward. The U.S. refused, and the talks failed.
So what you had was the U.S. lecturing Jalili, and demanding a precondition that Iran surrender its rights under the NPT, which was of course unacceptable to Iran. This is the situation Erlanger describes as Jalili having “lectured rather than negotiated, and demanded preconditions for serious talks that were unacceptable to the six powers.”
Now the U.S. has upped the ante, issuing an even stronger ultimatum to Iran. Iran must now, the U.S. demands, renounce its right to enrichment and close down and dismantle its Fordow enrichment plant, “the one facility that is most hardened against airstrike” (New York Times), which Iran constructed precisely because it the U.S. and Israel constantly threaten to bomb its nuclear facilities.
As I posted a couple days ago, the talks will fail because the U.S. is not serious about negotiating. But this will be reported in the media as Iran not being serious about negotiating, despite the extraordinary efforts of the U.S. to engage in “diplomacy”, and when “diplomacy” fails, the only “option” remaining “on the table” will be violence. Iran will reject the U.S.’s ultimatum, and the U.S. will ultimately need to uphold its “credibility”, either directly or via Israel, and there will be war.
Maybe not soon. The U.S. punished the people of Iraq for nearly a decade—Secretary of State Madelleine Albright infamously declaring that the “price” of half a million dead children as a result of sanctions was “worth it”—before it had the pretext (9/11) required to manufacture consent for the military “option” to enforce its “credibility” by taking out Saddam Hussein.
And U.S. policy towards Iran has about as much to do with its nuclear program as its policy towards Iraq with WMD and ties to al Qaeda. Iran’s sin is that it won’t follow marching orders from Washington, and this will not be tolerated.
Let us hope either Ron Paul is elected or the financial collapse occurs and the empire is bankrupted before this plays out to its endgame.