Dear old pals, jolly old pals
The smiley-smiley hoo-haa in the light of last week’s Iran ‘nuclear deal’ reminded me very much of the Cop21 self-congratulation jamboree in Paris late last year. The ‘deal’ was impeccably timed to add a dollop of low-fat cream to the Black Dude’s State of the Union message. Obama used it to the full: the only thing he didn’t do was wave a piece of paper and say “I have brought you peace in our time”, but then he knows the track record on that one – he’s far too smart to put his foot in a bucket.
In fact, Barry made such a good job of it, by the end of the SoU even I thought his Presidency hadn’t been too bad after all. A swift masochist slap to the face was enough, however, to bring me back to my senses. Uncle Tomobama has been a terrible President. He must know the following things perfectly well:
1. We got to this stage with Iran because the US used its clout to bully Tehran into submission, a new more moderate government is in power there now, and Benny Netto threw his toys, bile, and best yamulka out of the kibbutz nursery about Iranian nuclear intentions.
2. Iran bought into the deal in order to get back into the global economic community in general, and the oil market in particular. But that side of the deal is already a lose-lose for the Iranians: the last thing the oil sector needs at the moment is yet more oil coming out of the ground with nowhere to store it, and the world is in an economic slump. Iran has barely enough money to fund the street lighting let alone a QE programme.
3. This would be irrelevant had not the ‘reforming’ President Hassan Rohani not promised his boss Ali Khameini all kinds of goodies pouring into the Iranian economy as the quid pro quo for allowing him to sup with the filthy Satan. When they don’t materialise, I think we can assume it’s a safe bet that the President will be fired.
4. The Iranian people are about as far from stupid as it’s possible to be. Written off privately by most in the West as just another bunch of uppitty towel ‘eaded Ayrabs, that’s our ignorance not theirs: a majority of the population are not Arab/Semitic at all, and despite the fundamentalism of the Ayatollahs they are a far more discerning electorate than us.
5. Just watching interviews in the streets of Tehran (and reading despatches from the country) over the weekend, I felt their attitude was overwhelmingly sceptical of the ‘deal’. The US, they felt, could renege on it overnight, but not Iran: the reactors have been so comprehensively neutralised, they would still have the technical knowledge to get back on track, but we’d be talking years – maybe decades – not months, for that to unfold. Let’s face it, Washington will effect régime change there if they can long before then.
6. The government in power in Iran is, basically, on trial: “OK, we tried burning flags and taking Embassy staff hostage and that didn’t get us anywhere”. But if this new direction doesn’t bear fruit – and soon – let’s get real: if you’re flat broke and feeling oppressed, then burning flags and hanging Americans is much more fun than smiling after the manner of Ben Benanke on a quiet day.
Some of the grisly bared teeth and snarling lip behind Khomeini’s smile poked out briefly as he approved the agreement in a televised speech. While the news media reported that Iran’s real ruler had said “the only people unhappy with this deal are destructive extremists”, what he actually said was, “this deal will make only the Zionists, American extremists and other warmongers among our detractors unhappy”. How about the Salvation Army, Greenpeace, Kim Il Jong, and José Mourinho, Khomo…. what’s your view on their feelings?
Whatever one thinks of the rights and wrongs of Iran’s sense of injustice, my own view remains unchanged overall: to believe the guff about them developing nuclear capability for peaceful purposes you would have to be off with the fairies. Neither the science of what they’ve achieved nor the Iranian climate support such a defence: it is Page One that, for electricity generation, going for a combined solar and HEP/Wind solution would’ve been far cheaper and the results almost immediate: they have the sunlight scores, mountains, and regular high winds many other States would die to have.
The Iranian leadership élite holds at best a NIMBY attitude to Israel….at worst, their anti-Semitism is genocidal. And that, in the end, is why this deal won’t hold. It suits both sides for the time being, and as such is a triumph of mutual cynicism over antithesis. Which, funnily enough, is what they said about the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact too.