Iran

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Chad
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Iran

Post by Chad » Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:09 pm

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-2 ... rince.html

It worries me how no one seems to understand why Saudi Arabia doesn't want a deal between the US and Iran. It's not because Iran is evil, Obama is being tricked by the Iranians, or the Saudi's are a more moral government. It's because allowing Iran to join the world community (this is what a deal with the US would allow, even if not directly stated) would allow them to grow into a powerful opponent to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi's want war between the US and Iran, so they don't ever have to bother. We should not fight their wars for them. Especially, now that we and the world are much less reliant on them for oil.

I know this isn't exactly ERE stuff, but this has been on my mind.

elegant
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Re: Iran

Post by elegant » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:19 pm

Well, that's kinda easy to say when you're out of ballistic missile range.

Don't get me wrong - Saudi Arabia is one of the most brutal, unfree and unequal places on earth. I haven't the slightest sympathy for them.

But I can fully understand them.

The Saudis know a thing or two about Iranian treachery, I would dare say, more than the Americans.

They know that an agreement with Iran won't just "let them grow into a powerful opponent". It means military nuclear power for Iran. This in turn would shift the balance of power in a dangerous way. Heck, it could start a middle eastern nuclear arms race which has a deadly potential.

The Saudis know that a Nuclear Iran will be the epitome of the centuries long Persian quest for regional hegemony in the Arab gulf. There will be no other way for Saudi Arabia to act other than to acquire nuclear weapons of its own.

So now it would seem that the Saudis have a lot more in common with the Israelis than with the Americans, which by itself is quite interesting...

I firmly believe in the realist paradigm of international relations, according to which history is set to repeat itself as the global balance of power changes over and over again.

Basically this is just a replay of the Sudeten crisis of 1938. The great powers try to appease the belligerent actor, sacrificing smaller allies on the way.

We all know how well that ended ...

Chad
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Re: Iran

Post by Chad » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:50 pm

I don't think this is like 1938 at all. I'm not talking about giving up Saudi Arabia or even the small emirates to Iran. We obviously wouldn't put up with that. All I'm suggesting is any war we fight with Iran is one we are really fighting for Saudi Arabia. The below book does a good job of highlighting this.

Image

Also, if we actually compared citizens to citizens. The US citizen has much more in common with a Persian citizen than a Saudi citizen. It should also be noted that the average Saudi citizen (not necessarily the enormous royal family) is far more religiously extreme than the average Persian citizen. Saudi Wahhabism is where all this current nastiness began (Genghis Kahn is maybe to blame for the long ago original spark).

With all of this, why be 100% behind the Saudi's at the expense of Iran? There is no reason. Our main goals should be the stability of the region and the continuation of our influence in that area (unfortunately, we sacrificed much of this over the prior 12-13 years). Tightening the noose around Iran does neither of these.

All the noose does is force Iran into war, as eventually the regime will crumble due to these sanctions. They will go to war before that happens.

I'm much less concerned about Iran being nuclear. Pakistan is crazier than Iran (really not that crazy) and they have been nuclear for quite a while.

There are only two ways to stop Iran from going nuclear: a treaty or war. War pushes them right into China's arms (our real challenge in the coming century), kills 30-50k Americans, and smashes our economy. A treaty ruffles some feathers in Saudi Arabia (who cares) and Israel (it's time we put them in their place anyway).

This book provides a good argument for and against proliferation.

Image

slimicy
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Re: Iran

Post by slimicy » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:20 pm

@Chad: Iran's leadership is on the record as saying it wants to "wipe Israel off the map." How do we allow that leadership to advance towards nuclear weapons (and we are) and expect the region to stay stable?

elegant
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Re: Iran

Post by elegant » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:39 pm

Re: Israel

I think the US government should be more concerned about the possibility that the ISRAELIS themselves will turn their attention elsewhere (i.e China).

Look at this from the Israeli Foreign Minister:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Poli ... tes-332385

I think people (Israelis, Saudis, etc) are genuinely worried, not to say afraid, of Iran. I don't know about the Saudis, but I get the feeling the Israelis WILL take action if they deem it necessary as they did here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Opera) and here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Orchard).

No questions or permissions were asked in neither case, as far as I know.

While as the average american has a lot more in common with the average Iranian person than with the average Saudi person, the closest place in the middle east that resembles USA is Israel (and perhaps the christian parts of Beiruth, or whatever is left of it).

Seneca
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Re: Iran

Post by Seneca » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:12 pm

I have a Persian colleague who fled Iran over fears for his life. For being a Christian. We've had some interesting conversations over the years, he certainly wouldn't agree Americans are anything like Iranians.

The Persian people themselves seem somewhat moderate, but it's certainly not a bastion of tolerance. The Guardian Council however, is a nasty group, about as un-Democratic as you get.

I think I'd pick Turkey as the most "western" Muslim nation in the ME.

The more books I've read, the more people I've known from the region, and friends I've talked to who visited there, pretty much has convinced me Americans are about as ill-prepared to understand the region as anyone can be.

Chad
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Re: Iran

Post by Chad » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:38 pm

slimicy wrote:@Chad: Iran's leadership is on the record as saying it wants to "wipe Israel off the map." How do we allow that leadership to advance towards nuclear weapons (and we are) and expect the region to stay stable?
It's rhetoric for the hard liners. It's like when Republicans say they will balance the Budget, but never do. Or, Democrats say they won't spend a lot. They know if they launch a nuke at Israel they would be hunted down like dogs. Not even Russia would offer protection or even vague verbal support.

Iran isn't crazy. They nukes are purely a negotiating tool and a last ditch defense if we invade for regime change.

Chad
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Re: Iran

Post by Chad » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:51 pm

elegant wrote:Re: Israel

I think the US government should be more concerned about the possibility that the ISRAELIS themselves will turn their attention elsewhere (i.e China).

Look at this from the Israeli Foreign Minister:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Poli ... tes-332385

I think people (Israelis, Saudis, etc) are genuinely worried, not to say afraid, of Iran. I don't know about the Saudis, but I get the feeling the Israelis WILL take action if they deem it necessary as they did here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Opera) and here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Orchard).

No questions or permissions were asked in neither case, as far as I know.

While as the average american has a lot more in common with the average Iranian person than with the average Saudi person, the closest place in the middle east that resembles USA is Israel (and perhaps the christian parts of Beiruth, or whatever is left of it).
In reality, why do we even care about Israel? They have been nothing but a pain in the ass since we created the damn country for them. We then spent over half century protecting them and feeding them aid totaling over $1.6 Trillion from 1973 to 2003 and roughly $3 billion a year since.

http://ifamericansknew.org/stats/cost.html

They don't have any oil. They oppress and kill Palestinians (no saints themselves), while slowly stealing their land...errrr..."settling" it. They continually poke a stick in the eye of every country around them and then ask us to help them clean it up.

The only benefit we really get is intelligence and we wouldn't even need most of it if we didn't support them on the above.

We need to make it clear that if they want the current status quo to continue they need to jump when we say and shut up when we say. We don't need them. They need us.

Let China have them. They don't bring anything to the table.
Last edited by Chad on Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Chad
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Re: Iran

Post by Chad » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:16 am

Seneca wrote:I have a Persian colleague who fled Iran over fears for his life. For being a Christian. We've had some interesting conversations over the years, he certainly wouldn't agree Americans are anything like Iranians.

The Persian people themselves seem somewhat moderate, but it's certainly not a bastion of tolerance. The Guardian Council however, is a nasty group, about as un-Democratic as you get.

I think I'd pick Turkey as the most "western" Muslim nation in the ME.

The more books I've read, the more people I've known from the region, and friends I've talked to who visited there, pretty much has convinced me Americans are about as ill-prepared to understand the region as anyone can be.
Yes, us dumb Americans. They don't know us either. The idea that they do and we don't is insulting. I tire of being told that by foreigners. Not suggesting we don't make mistakes, big ones even, but so do they.

You have kind off put words in my mouth. I by no means suggest Iran is a bastion of tolerance. I only suggest that the Saudi's have been our close allies for a long time and aren't any better than the Iranians, so there is obviously no moral reason the US can't work with Iran.

Agreed on Turkey being the most moderate, but the Arab world will never follow them for numerous reasons. One of them being that the Turks look down their noses at them. A Turk I used to know, who was highly educated (Ph.D), made this clear. (Unfortunately, Erdogan is consolidating power, which looks a little like a run at a semi-dictatorship. This consolidation has pushed Turkey towards a religious conservatism we haven't seen in that country.)

Of course, the Arabs won't follow Iran either and barely follow the House of Saud. The only country who could truly lead the Arabs is Egypt and they are a mess right now.

My argument is that a war with Iran doesn't benefit us, it benefits Saudi Arabia. In fact, a war with Iran would be a big negative for us and more sanctions keeps us on track for war.

These sanctions also push Iran towards China. Iran is too important to the stability of the region for us to let them go just to placate a dictatorship in a country that basically funded and founded al Qaeda.

We hurt ourselves when we forget about Machiavelli:
Politics have no relation to morals.

elegant
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Re: Iran

Post by elegant » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:09 am

They have been nothing but a pain in the ass since we created the damn country for them.
Actually the most dominant great power in the formative years of Israel (1948-1956) was the Republic of France, which is actually responsible for the fact Israel is a nuclear power.
We then spent over half century protecting them and feeding them aid totaling over $1.6 Trillion from 1973 to 2003 and roughly $3 billion a year since.
Unlike the money invested in Arab dictatorships, which usually finds its way in the pockets of the dictators themselves, most of the funds you mention can only be used to buy American weapon systems from American manufacturers.
They don't have any oil
True, however there are huge pools of recently discovered natural gas.
They oppress and kill Palestinians (no saints themselves), while slowly stealing their land...errrr..."settling" it.
Technically that isn't true, because the land was never "Palestinian", there was never a sovereign "Palestinian" political entity (or a "Palestinian" people for that matter. Palestinian nationalism is an artificial counter movement to Jewish nationalism known as Zionism).

The land mentioned was Ottoman, then British, then Jordanian. It was never "Palestinian".
The only benefit we really get is intelligence
Don't forget actual combat experience with US weapons, defending NATO's southeastern flank (without even being a part of NATO), conducting leading scientific research, etc.

Besides, Israelis contributed a thing or to to mankind. From the top of my head: 12 Nobel laureates (including Daniel Kahneman's theory of irrational human economic choices), Babylon, ICQ, Viber, GetTaxi, Waze, Israeli kuskus, Krav Maga, Rummikub, USB Flash drives, Uzi submachine gun, Merkava tank, rooftop solar hot water system, cherry tomatoes.. etc

Without American support Israel would have been destroyed by now and none of this could happen.
Let China have them.
BAD idea

Chad
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Re: Iran

Post by Chad » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:13 am

You skirted all the serious points. These arguments are mostly semantics or not relevant to our support of Israel.
elegant wrote:Actually the most dominant great power in the formative years of Israel (1948-1956) was the Republic of France, which is actually responsible for the fact Israel is a nuclear power.
I was exaggerating for effect. France did provide nuclear weapons and did help found Israel, but to say they were the main supporter is a stretch. Both the US and USSR backed their founding, with the British actually giving territory.
Truman established a special cabinet committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Henry F. Grady, an Assistant Secretary of State, who entered into negotiations with a parallel British committee to discuss the future of Palestine. In May 1946, Truman announced his approval of a recommendation to admit 100,000 displaced persons into Palestine and in October publicly declared his support for the creation of a Jewish state.
http://history.state.gov/milestones/194 ... ion-israel
elegant wrote:Unlike the money invested in Arab dictatorships, which usually finds its way in the pockets of the dictators themselves, most of the funds you mention can only be used to buy American weapon systems from American manufacturers.
This is hardly a reason to support Israel. Maybe a reason not to support certain dictatorships, but it is by no means a positive in the support of Israel.
elegant wrote:True, however there are huge pools of recently discovered natural gas.
So, does everyone and their brother (except Europe), and the US has a ridiculous amount. This is not a good reason to support Israel. Maybe for Europe it is, but not so much for us.
elegant wrote:Technically that isn't true, because the land was never "Palestinian", there was never a sovereign "Palestinian" political entity (or a "Palestinian" people for that matter. Palestinian nationalism is an artificial counter movement to Jewish nationalism known as Zionism).

The land mentioned was Ottoman, then British, then Jordanian. It was never "Palestinian".
This is just semantics. If I just say Israel is killing Arabs or Muslims is that better?

There is barely any real historical evidence of a sovereign political entity for Israel either. As you point out the land has been part of other countries and empires for almost all of history. The argument for Israel as it's own country is also the best argument for Palestine (see below).
Throughout 1947, the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine examined the Palestinian question and recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. On November 29, 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948 when the British mandate was scheduled to end.

http://history.state.gov/milestones/194 ... ion-israel

elegant wrote:Don't forget actual combat experience with US weapons, defending NATO's southeastern flank (without even being a part of NATO), conducting leading scientific research, etc.
This is big part of my argument against further support of Israel unless they get in line. This hasn't been important since the Berlin Wall fell, which makes supporting them now highly questionable.
elegant wrote:Besides, Israelis contributed a thing or to to mankind. From the top of my head: 12 Nobel laureates (including Daniel Kahneman's theory of irrational human economic choices), Babylon, ICQ, Viber, GetTaxi, Waze, Israeli kuskus, Krav Maga, Rummikub, USB Flash drives, Uzi submachine gun, Merkava tank, rooftop solar hot water system, cherry tomatoes.. etc
I will give you the Nobel Laureates and some scientific research, though much of it would probably have been done some where else if Israel hadn't been an option. But, "Babylon (I assume you mean the translation software), ICQ, Viber, GetTaxi, Waze, Israeli kuskus, Krav Maga, Rummikub, USB Flash drives, Uzi submachine gun, Merkava tank, rooftop solar hot water system, cherry tomatoes", these aren't that important. Most have direct competitors that were created without the help or, as a result, of the Israeli company. The others like the Uzi and the Merkava are at best interesting iterations on former designs, but it's not worth what we paid for it.
elegant wrote:Without American support Israel would have been destroyed by now and none of this could happen.
That's my point. They owe us. We don't owe them. They need to listen more (of course, we need to lead better than our past two Presidents).
Let China have them.

Bad idea?
First, I only made this comment because you suggested it was an option. Us cutting off aid and being a little tougher on them isn't exactly declaring them an enemy of the US. I would prefer to keep the aid and force a solution for the Palestinian problem.

But, why is it so bad if Israel did get close to China? Other than Israel giving them an actual military base on the Mediterranean, which they wouldn't do unless we actually threatened to invade Israel (which we would never do), what would be the downside?

7Wannabe5
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Re: Iran

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:50 am

Most of my guests for Thanksgiving this year will be Iranian immigrants or graduate students here on Visa. Every well-educated, liberal-minded Iranian I know is pinning their hopes on Rouhani. Internal politics in Iran are such that the conservative hard-liners will win more power if Rouhani loses face. My husband believes that Israeli lobbyists have many members of the US Congress in their pockets and that is the reason for the continued push for harsh sanctions. Also, lets not forget that it is the number one stated goal of Al Qaeda to eradicate the Shia, not Americans. Also, those Iranians who are currently making money on the black market due to the sanctions are also interested in avoiding a settlement.

Modern Iranian culture is very complex. The poetic philosophy of Rumi and other ancient Persian influences mixed with centuries of shared love of Fashion with France mixed with Muslim ideals (which really have a lot in common with the ideals of the novels of Dickens -focus on the orphan) mixed with British education mixed with American technology. Interesting to the point of being a bit baffling at times but not very scary, unless you think a pretty 22 year old girl who very politely serves tea with homemade cakes flavored with rose water and makes very spicy pickles and wears red high heels with jeans and Skypes her grandmother on a regular basis and majors in Industral Engineering and wish to someday own a Jaguar and have a couple babies but does not date boys is scary.

ira_kart
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Re: Iran

Post by ira_kart » Wed May 09, 2018 8:09 am

With all the facts well laid out in the open not by any government, but by IAEA, why did the GOP backed establishment still pull out of the nuclear deal. This is not a business whenever the environment turns sour, we can either pull out of a contract or renegotiate. This is a government commitment and can never be backed off. I understand Iran backed off from its commitment to safeguard US diplomats whatever the situation may be, but I felt we are well past those times/years.

On a side note, this whole episode makes me remember either last year or the one before that, James Cameroon or some other Minister from his cabinet politely refusing to part away with Koh-i-noor diamond stolen from India long ago with the simple explanation that they belong to the Empire. Really? found the quotes as follows; I find it amusing to hear rather than to have moral ascendancy even after all those years of colonisation, he chose to have his Museum filled up with stolen articles. Where to bang my head for living in a world with these fellas. :roll:
In July 2010, while visiting India, David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said of returning the diamond, "If you say yes to one you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty. I am afraid to say, it is going to have to stay put".[42] On a subsequent visit in February 2013, he said, "They're not having that back"
Last edited by ira_kart on Wed May 09, 2018 8:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

TimeTravel
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Re: Iran

Post by TimeTravel » Wed May 09, 2018 8:18 am

US shouldn't have pulled out of deal. Comes down to losing credibility and making US look like a welcher or Indian Giver.

Sad!

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jennypenny
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Re: Iran

Post by jennypenny » Wed May 09, 2018 9:04 am

Can we skip using terms like welcher and indian giver?

The US is choosing SA over Iran. It's interesting watching the new alliances form in the ME.

TimeTravel
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Re: Iran

Post by TimeTravel » Wed May 09, 2018 9:17 am

My apologies.

Please substitute "back stabber" and "promise breaker" in place then.

ira_kart
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Re: Iran

Post by ira_kart » Wed May 09, 2018 9:39 am

@JennyPenny - shall I know for what reason you want to skip using those terms? I am not from US and EN is not my mother tongue. I had to find their meaning in google when @TimeTravel mentioned them. Are these words against Forum policies or you just want to not label your country with such words?

May be its coz SA gave $$$$ in billions/trillions on arms deals and Iran did not give, after Trump became POTUS? Guardian posted that majority of companies affected by this are based out of EU and China and India are going to get affected on importing Oil. I remember even Obama pressured India to not purchase oil from Iran before the deal, somehow transactions happened without bringing in dollar currency.

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jennypenny
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Re: Iran

Post by jennypenny » Wed May 09, 2018 10:08 am

As TimeTravel demonstrated in his follow-up post, there are plenty of words available to express one's thoughts without disparaging entire groups/nations. We're not overly PC here, but the indiscriminate use of un-PC language risks lowering the overall quality of the forum.

TimeTravel
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Re: Iran

Post by TimeTravel » Wed May 09, 2018 10:26 am

Hi Jennypenny,

Those words I used are common slangs in the English vocabulary. I really didn't mean any disrespect. However, thanks for pointing it out and I see how the words could be misunderstood if English is not your primary language. My apologies again.

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