Iran’s president-elect will ‘Look East’ while seeking to exit ‘strategic patience’ when dealing with the US
By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at AsiaTimes
In his first press conference as President-Elect with 62% of the votes, Ebrahim Raeisi, facing a forest of microphones, came out swinging and leaving nothing to the imagination.
On the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, the dossier that completely obsesses the West, Raeisi was clear:
– the US must immediately return to the JCPOA that Washington unilaterally violated, and lift all sanctions.
– The JCPOA negotiations in Vienna will proceed, but they do not condition anything in terms of Iran’s future.
– The Iranian ballistic missile program is absolutely non-negotiable in the framework of the JCPOA, and will not be curbed.
Asked by a Russian journalist whether he would meet President Biden if a deal was struck in Vienna and all sanctions lifted – a major “if” – Raeisi’s answer was a straight “No”.
It’s crucial to stress that Raeisi, in principle, favors the restoration of the JCPOA as its was signed in 2015 – following the guidelines of Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. But if the Vienna charade goes on forever and the Americans keep insisting on rewriting the deal towards other areas of Iranian national security, that’s a definitive red line.
Raeisi acknowledged the immense internal challenges he faces, in terms of putting the Iranian economy back on track, getting rid of the neoliberal drive of outgoing Team Rouhani, and fighting widespread corruption. The fact that election turnout was only 48.7%, compared to the average 70% in the prior three presidential contests will make it even more difficult.
Yet in foreign policy Iran’s path ahead is unmistakable, centered on the “Look East” strategy, which means closer cooperation with China and Russia, with Iran developing as a key node of Eurasian integration or, according to the Russian vision, the Greater Eurasia Partnership.
As Professor Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran told me “there’s going to be a tilt eastward and to the Global South. Iran will improve relations with China and Russia, also because of US pressure and sanctions. President-elect Raeisi will be better positioned to strengthen these ties than the outgoing administration.”
Marandi added, “Iran won’t intentionally hurt the nuclear deal if the Americans – and the Europeans – move towards full implementation. The Iranians will reciprocate. Neighbors and regional countries will also be a priority. So Iran will no longer be waiting for the West.”
Marandi also made a quite nuanced distinction that the current policy was “a major mistake” by Team Rouhani, yet “not the fault of Dr. Zarif or the Foreign Ministry, but the government as a whole.” That implies the Rouhani administration placed all its bets on the JCPOA and was completely unprepared for Trump’s “maximum pressure” offensive, which de facto decimated the reformist-minded Iranian middle class.
In a nutshell: in the Raeisi era, exit “strategic patience” when dealing with the US. Enter “active deterrence”.
A key node of BRI and EAEU
Raeisi was met by those who control the “international community” narrative with proverbially derisive and/or demonizing epithets: loyal to the “repressive machinery” of the Islamic Republic, “hardliner”, a violator of human rights, mass executioner, anti-Western fanatic, or simply “killer”. Amnesty International even called for him to be investigated as perpetrator of crimes against humanity.
Facts are more prosaic. Raeisi, born in Mashhad, has a PhD in jurisprudence and fundamentals of Islamic law and a further jurisprudence degree from the Qom seminary. His previous positions include member of the Assembly of Experts and chief of the Judiciary.
He may not have been exposed to the Western way of life, but he’s not “anti-Western” – as he believes Iran must interact with all nations. Yet foreign policy must follow Khamenei’s guidelines, which are very clear. Without understanding Khamenei’s worldview, any analysis of Iranian complexities is an idle sport. For essential background, please refer to my Asia Times e-book Persian Miniatures.
It all starts with Ayatollah Khomeini’s founding concept of an Islamic Republic, which was indeed influenced by Plato’s Republic as well as Muslim political philosopher al-Farabi’s Virtuous City (also Plato-influenced).
On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Khamenei updated his concept of foreign policy, as part of a clear map for the future. This is absolutely required reading to understand what Iran is all about. An excellent analysis by Mansoureh Tajik emphasizes the ways the system strives for balance and justice. Khamenei could not be more straightforward when he writes,
“Today, the challenge for the US is Iran’s presence at the borders surrounding the Zionist regime and dismantling the illegitimate influence and presence of America from West Asia, Islamic Republic’s defense of Palestinian fighters at the heart of the occupied territories, and defense of holy flag of Hizbullah and the Resistance in the entire region. If in those days, the West’s problem was preventing Iran from buying even the most primitive forms of arms for its defense, today, its challenge is to prevent the Iranian arms, military equipment, and drones reaching Hizbullah and the Resistance everywhere in the region. If in those days, America imagined it can overcome the Islamic System and the Iranian nation with the help of a few self-selling Iranian traitors, today, it is finding itself in need of a large coalition of tens of hostile yet impotent governments to fight Iran. Yet, it fails.”
In terms of Big Power politics, Iran’s “Look East” policy was devised by Khamenei – who fully vetted the $400 billion-worth Iran-China comprehensive strategic partnership, which is directly linked to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and also supports Iran joining the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).
So it’s Iran as a key Eurasian connectivity hub that is going to shape its geopolitical and geoeconomic future. And not the West, as Marandi stressed.
China will be investing in Iranian banking, telecom, ports, railways, public health and information technology – not to mention striking bilateral deals in weapons development and intel sharing.
On the Russian front, the impetus will come from the development of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), which directly competes with an East to West overland corridor that can be hit anytime with extra-territorial American sanctions.
Iran has already struck an interim free trade agreement with the EAEU, active since October 2019. A full-fledged deal – with Iran as a full member – may be struck in the first few months of the Raeisi era, with important consequences for trade from the South Caucasus to wider Southwest Asia and even Southeast Asia: Vietnam and Singapore already have free trade zones with the EAEU.
The American rhetoric about Iran’s “isolation” does not fool anyone in Southwest Asia – as the developing interaction with China-Russia attests. Add to it Moscow’s reading of the “mood for deepening dialogue and developing contacts in the defense sphere”.
So this is what the Raeisi era is leading to: a more solid union of Iranian Shi’ism, socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Greater Eurasia Partnership. And it doesn’t hurt that state of the art Russian military technology is quietly surveying the evolving chessboard.
I will be the first to comment and be the harbinger of things to come.
Press TV domain seized by US Government.
Message on PressTV.com:
Message on websites of Iranian, regional TVs claims ‘domain seizure by US govt.’
Tuesday, 22 June 2021 6:36 PM [ Last Update: Tuesday, 22 June 2021 6:43 PM ]
In what seems to be a coordinated action, a similar message has appeared on the websites of a series of Iranian and regional television networks that claims their domains have been “seized by the United States Government.”
Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:
How utterly embarrassing (for the US). Weak.
Thank you very much Larch.
Good day to you.
I am in Canada and have not been able to access presstv.ir for a long time but I clicked on the link above and I have access? The other two links do not work.
Just get VPN with address outside Canada….
And now we see the wisdom of ‘thesaker.is’ to host the Saker. Iceland is responsible for the domain.
The physical transport network and the name network are almost completely independent.
The DNS is the database that associates familiar names with the numbers used by the machines that route the data from a server somewhere on the planet to your browser. The location of the party responsible for your DNS entry is completely independent, and may be on a different continent, than the location of the server which supplies the pictures and text of the web site. As jürgen wrote below, everything in the ‘.com’ top level domain is handled by a company in Virginia, very close to guess who… despite the fact that the content is perhaps hosted in Iran, or in Europe somewhere.
In addition to ‘.com’ there are 2-letter top level domains for every country, like ‘.dk’ and ‘.ch’ and ‘.de’, each of which is ostensibly managed by the country for which it stands. But of course, the whole mess was invented in the USA, so … Additionally, most of physical routing equipment was manufactured in silicon valley — recall how Syria was physically disconnected from all internet connectivity about ten years ago, because of some little ‘mistake’ made when updating their routing tables. (although many Eurasian countries may have taken note, and installed Huawei or other-branded equipment by now)
I suspect we shall see more of this nonsense before we see less of it.
Agreed. The whole surface sphere of the ‘internet’ is controlled by router tables acting as a distributed message exchange. There is little doubt that router management software has advanced significantly since the later 20th century. And no doubt why the proprietary physical-microcode interface layers are a concern for extra-territorial hegemoic policy when they cannot be automatically controlled from DC control central or vicariously via US Treasury sanction war-room pressure — e.g., Huawei.
The Russians and others were talking about completely separate submarine cable routes for interconnecting major internet traffic nodes. They’d better get on with it, if not already in progress. This onging colonial madness is only going to get worse before it (maybe) improves. Air travel is now vectorised and plantation managed for the non-essential classes. The partitioning of Zone-A from Zone-B internet ‘travel’ is but a switch flick away for the so called ‘free’ world.
I hope there is research going on for developing the olde short wave and crystal radio medium as an alternative transport medium. We may not be too far off from that Einsteinian “stick and stones” moment preparing for WW4.
I suspect this action will boomerang and draw more sympathy, loyalty and attention to PRESSTV from the rest of the world.
Several Iranian medias websites have been seized by the us government today including presstv.
Why doing that now? It’s a blow to the sovereignty of any state. I live in France and I can not have access to the presstv website. Instead I have a message from the fbi saying the US government decided to seize the website. The US could try to do the same for Chinese website as well as Russian website. It s a dangerous path.
With this last move I think the jcpoa could be dead for good.
The us also threatened to put more sanctions on Russia.
The UK decided to sell warships to ukraine and to build a naval base in ukraine.
The US deployed a destroyer in the black the uss laboon and the royal navy did the same they also deployed a destroyer in the black sea the hms defender.
And the combined west decided to put more sanctions on Belarus.
The biden-Putin changed nothing. The escalation continues. I wonder how long this escalation will remain manageable.
The peace and love organisation Nato called it “outspending Russia” by building up of bases and troops on Russia’s borders. Denying like Hitler did, any similarity with Operation Barbarossa …………………..LOL.
They are really going for it. Slamming small Internet sites like PressTV and SouthFront in anger over their age impotency
They will get a surprise they never will overcome again. Maybe it is the best to happen. Anal Schwab’s reset and US green gender usury ideology must be buried once and for all in Mordor!
I am in South Africa. Press TV is in Iran. How did the USA get in between us? Technically, how does this “seizing” happen? Can any state do it? Is there an Internet any more?
I was thinking the same. How did they manage to shut down the servers of these Iranian website? How can they shut down a website worldwide? I mean they can forbid the access to these website in the US but worldwide? I live in France why is it impossible for me to have access to a Iranian website from France because of the US?
This is a major escalation and a big blow to the so called multipolar word. Presstv is not a website owned by a US company. First censorship from twitter facebook youtube. Now this.
They could try to do that to RT to sputnik to global times….
Any website the US government doesnt like could be seized and terminated. I don’t know if the internet will be same after this.
The Internet is a US digital network. Some people think it is not. Well, look closely. It’s like the oceans and the skies. The US owns it all. By brute force.
This is what unipolar hegemony is.
And why it must be undone by any and all means.
For my sake they could take the whole Internet down tomorrow.
Maybe people would be a little more interested in real life than use their lifetime 8 hours/day with open mouth in front of a flat screen.
Actually we did quite well without, Egypt made a great civilisation without, Leonardo da Vinci lived without, Einstein lived without, and I myself do great without it on Sundays. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuVQ0nsSJZQ
Many international TLDs, including “.com” and “.tv”, are managed by Verisign Inc. which is based in Virginia not 30 miles from Langley and the Pentagon. If Verisign isn’t just a CIA cutout, it was only one NSL away. Basically, the FBI just asked Verisign to give them administrative control over “presstv.com” and then served their seizure notice there.
By contrast, the “.ir” TLD is actually managed by Iran so Washington would have more trouble with those domains, but even then it could still use some kind of MITM attack against it.
Ultimately, the Internet as we know it is a DARPA project, created by and for the US military.
The internal politics of the Iranian Republic matter little in the scheme of things. Most important is how Iran interacts with Russia and China.
Pepe notes this heavily in this piece (an article presumably about the election of a new President).
“the “Look East” strategy, which means closer cooperation with China and Russia, with Iran developing as a key node of Eurasian integration or, according to the Russian vision, the Greater Eurasia Partnership.”
“So it’s Iran as a key Eurasian connectivity hub that is going to shape its geopolitical and geoeconomic future. And not the West,”
We shall look for evidence in the near future to see Iran grab the golden ring in Eurasia.With rising oil prices and the huge trade deal with China, membership in EAEU and an economy ready for a turnaround, Iran could become a top developing nation. A wealthy, prospering Iran is the nightmare Israel dreads.
“A wealthy, prospering Iran is the nightmare Israel dreads.”
No doubt we will see conflagration before prosperity. The Quds Equation moved the frontline to Jerusalem, and Resistance factions have staked their political legitimacy on maintaining that line. Fascism cannot be contained. Coexistence between Zionists and Resistance seems unlikely. One will have to give.
“Most important is how Iran interacts with Russia and China.”
It could be said that Russia and China must take the first step and stop abiding by US sanctions against Iran, Yemen, etc. Otherwise they are exactly the same as the US, trying to take advantage of Iran which is weakened by sanctions that they themselves [Russia and China] condone and adhere to. Without Russia and China’s compliance, sanctions against Iran would have been worthless.
There have been too many incidents of unfriendly behavior from Russia and China towards Iran in the last decade, for them to expect Iran to jump in bed with them now.
China and Russia must accept that Iran will not be part of their ‘pole’ in the multi-polar world. Iran and its million man Resistance Army across the Middle East are their own pole, the Islamic pole, next to the West and Russia-China.
“Then, the revolution of the Iranian nation transformed the bipolar world of that day into a three polar world, and then, with the fall and disappearance of the Soviet Union and its allies and the emergence of new poles of power, the new dichotomy of “Islam and the Arrogant Front” became a prominent phenomenon of the contemporary world and the focal point that is attracting the world’s attention.”
— Ayatollah Khamenei, quoted from the link in Pepe’s article.
First, Russia and China must convince Iran that they are in fact a distinct pole from the West, and not just another flavor of Global Zionism and Arrogance. They are failing miserably at this convincing, because they abide by US sanctions against Iran.
So, if Russia and China are aligned with the West in regards to dealing with Iran, then there is only two poles in the world right now, as Khamenei seems to rightly conclude. Global Arrogance against the Resistance.
If you aren’t with us, you’re against us. God bless George W. Bush the fool.
On the whole, IMO, China and Russia have been quite fair to IRAN. Certainly, in comparison to western European countries, they haev attained unto Sainthood. As things stand, there is a generous 200+ Billion dollar partnership with CHINA and on the Russian side there was that S-300 sale to IRAN with who knows what in the pipeline? From the Iranian side, IRAN helped China identify Chinese working for foreign intelligence agencies and assisted/advised the Russian Defense Ministry during that high-risk and complex operation in Syria to break the western project of a New Middle East.
Iran originally purchased the S-300s in 2007. But, “Iran’s S-300 order was blocked until April 2015 when the Kremlin lifted its self-imposed ban on the sale due to the international lifting of some sanctions against Iran.”
The S-300s were delivered when the IRGC had already built its own equivalent, and Israel felt that their delivery would make no difference to Iranian capabilities.
And regarding Syria: “An order for 6 systems was signed in 2010. Syrian crews underwent training in Russia and some of the S-300 components were delivered to Syria in 2013. Later, due to the weapons trade embargo against Syria and on request of Israel the deliveries were halted. After the Russian Su-24 shootdown in November 2015, batteries of the S-300 missile system were officially deployed in the Latakia province for protection of the Russian naval base and warships in Tartus. These are operated by Russian crews.”
Russia eventually gave Syria S-300s in 2018.
Russia: Friend of the Resistance? Or friend of Israel?
“The drone built by the Islamic republic’s Revolutionary Guards is a symbol of the technical capabilities of the Islamic Iran and today we presented a real model of it as a gift to Russian air force … and the Russian people,” Esmayeeli said after meeting with Bondarev, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.”
In 2013, even though Russia had still not delivered the S-300s after 6 years, Iran freely shared with Russia, advanced US tech that it had captured, as a token of friendship and sympathy towards a shared struggle, sentiments which were never reciprocated by the Russians.
China’s behavior towards Iran follows a simple pattern: undermining Iranian industry, and aggressively taking over the market.
Recently, in some Iranian villages, people have started using fireworks at every kind of celebration; weddings, birthdays, random holidays, Tuesdays, etc. The fireworks are all Chinese, and this phenomenon is very recent, just in the last few months.
At one village, the fireworks were traced to a supplier who claimed direct contact with Chinese marketing teams, who had instructed him how to create a market for the fireworks first, and then sell them. Very elaborate marketing.
This is an example of the results of the new multi billion dollar deal with China. The Chinese are here marketing their pointless crap, to an already impoverished people.
The fireworks are unnecessary, non-essential, they pollute the air, they cause noise pollution, and they litter the ground. The flying lanterns are especially horrendous in terms of litter.
Iranian rural people are going crazy trying to outdo each other in terms of more and bigger fireworks at their parties.
A lot of Russian Oligarch billionaires live in Israel and 20% of Israel’s population 900 000 are Russian/Sovjet migrants.
Assad made a prepayment for the S-300 in 2010.
Considering Assad shot down an Israeli F-16 with an old Bukh missile from the 1970’es and we never ever heard a single word of Assad’s use of S-300 I think we can conclude Syria never got them.
But……..the liberal green gender club with triple citizenship is gone in Iran. Hopefully future will be come back to the Iranian people with the new PM.
”This is an example of the results of the new multi billion dollar deal with China. The Chinese are here marketing their pointless crap, to an already impoverished people.
The fireworks are unnecessary, non-essential, they pollute the air, they cause noise pollution, and they litter the ground. The flying lanterns are especially horrendous in terms of litter.”
Haha, the anonymice never cease to impress with their heartbreaking stories. As usual, they arrive at the same conclusions as the Western MSM: Russia and China are up to no good. Corollary question: Do these anonymice reside in any of the Axis of Resistance countries? Hardly. But they certainly know to venerate the pointless crap they imbibe from the other side, and how!
I live in Iran, genius. And I just spent the last month and a half voluntarily informing you lot of every little thing that has happened in regards to the Axis of Resistance. You can find my comments on the articles about Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.
Thank you for showing your true face by mocking the plight of my people.
I have the impression that people spouting anti-Russian/anti-Chinese tripe here tend to do so in a coordinated, concerted fashion. The old troll Biswapriya Purkayastha is a case in point. He first littered an entire blog post’s comment section with childish, baseless denigrating statements about Putin and/or Lavrov, and was usually ”rewarded” by others corroborating further the deterioration of the comment section. Of course this effect was all by design and not any spontaneous development.
I would definitely prefer if the trolls could stick to the MSM where they might ”sing along” forever. They should not expect to feel welcome here. Also, we have the slightly less abominable variety of trolling by spambots, submitting unintelligible word salads en masse under some ”seasonal” nick.
Got to just love the freedom of the press they keep yapping about that doesn’t exist. Assange, anyone?
The top level domains com, net and org are easily targeted, but you can still find alternatives if the servers are located outside of the US.
The PressTV site in Iran is still up, you can reach it here:
Try presstv.com. I get a property seized by US govt message.
Thanks for sharing the Khamenei manifesto. Truly a monumental revolutionary work that I was not aware of. If its vision comes to fruition, Iran will certainly rise further as the de facto hegemon of the Middle East.
The term that willbe used soon is ISLAMIC WORLD – ‘middle east’ is geographic.
Indonesia, a major Islamic nation, is quite outside of Iran’s region.
“West Asia” appears to be the term preferred by Ayatollah Khamenei.
Yes, true, but the official guidance from that office is a new-type Islamic civilization in 40 to 50 years.
I went to presstv.ir. The website functions normally.
I learnt this “The United States and Europe have called for the imposition of new commitments, even beyond the JCPOA such as negotiations on Iran’s regional policies in exchange for a temporary suspension of some sanctions”.
So I think the jcpoa is dead for good. There s no way Iran will agree to this and everybody knows it which means the west doesn’t want to return to the jcpoa at all.
Amazon @Amazon1Amazon · 5h Iran | Director of the Office of the Iranian President: The closure of the Iranian media pages by Washington is an unconstructive step and consequently; No new nuclear agreement will be written in the Vienna negotiations.
Anyone who plays chess or sports like soccer recognizes these desperate tactics and strategies. USA and its vassals know that they are slowly but surely losing. They’re just trying to slow down their losses. Iranians, Russians, and Chinese honour the STEM subjects far more than the West. Economic power ALWAYS translates into political power.
At this time, World Economic Center of Gravity to reported to be mapping somewhere in Siberia.
Families controlling the west (i.e., e.g., European), via debt slavery seriously miscalculated. Nuclear threats is not a bang onto “useless eaters”, it’s a whimper ~ for now. Corruption, in our cosmic reality shared as humans, in earth life, may indeed reach critical mass.
I continue to enjoy PressTv @ the uncensored url/s thanks to RT, & @ saker too…Bravo! European “Blue Bloods” failed also in their Opium War vis~a~vis China. The Eastern Earth People, Et Al, are quite fed up with the hubris of Western gang cultists doing long in the tooth barbarism and calling it globalization.
I have a sincere question. And please, if it is really stupid, correct me and educate me, don’t belittle me. I want to learn from this.
It appears to me that the deception of the US and its so called allies has reached an extreme low, and I don’t see how a severe response from Russia/China cannot be avoided.
My question is this: If China chooses to accept selected currencies other than the US dollar for all its sales, will this bring about the demise of the US dollar as the reserve currency more quickly?
And would this not be a good thing for the world? In a short time the stock market would take a big hit in the US, and other places of course, but the rich/elites would be the ones mostly hit.
Now I know this is perhaps simple minded, but as I say, it is a sincere question.
China holds a Trillion dollars in USD. It also has other investments in the US, all dollar-based.
The goal has always been to replace the USD with a basket of currencies. Never would the Chinese want the Yuan/RMB to replace the dollar. The US FED and some officials would like to make a transition from the USD to a bucket they can control.
Crypto currency complicates that transition, as does the antipathy against China and Russia.
The US does not want to agree to anything that looks like it is no longer the unipolar decider of all Rules.
Abandonment of the dollar as the media of equi-value transactions is the goal. That is casted in stone and would not change for the foreseeable future. Through what time frame to reach that goal, however, is and should be flexible. Simply ditching the dollar as a spite is juvenile and potentially harmful. Russia, because of trigger-happy sanction tactics of the West, has quietly maneuvered itself some five-six years ago and by now pretty much reached that goal already. China, being largest trader in the world, would need to take much longer. It’s not China’s wish alone to reach that goal; most of its trading partners are dollar-centered economies with different inertia to overcome the changes would have to come alone.
It ain’t easy, because the global economy is a large institution with many different idiosyncracys and motives, but the world as a whole is getting there. I foresee Iran to be the next nation to de-dollarize, and ASEAN+Africa to move towards Yuan-centered trade in the next decade.
A slow death of the hegemon is actually the preferred outcome rather, than a loud thump and a crashing slump. As I have read some poster’s surmised: it’s best to see the monster crumble to the ground with minimum fuss:-).
The chessboard is certainly evolving. History would suggest America’s tardiness in implementing the JCPOA is motivated by Big Power diplomacy – its approaching war against China and Russia: a war it needs to avoid, if the pattern of history is to be broken.
American criminal empire of the clowns has now reached terminal stage of its illness, the knees are beginning to tremble and wobble, weakness in every limb, mentally very fragile, in short Joe the hologram is Biden is perfect symbolism of the state of affairs in the west. The end is near and then off to the dustbin of history like many before who exceeded all moral limits.
China and Iran are both dystopian. They are perhaps preferable in some minor regards to our decaying ‘Free World’, but otherwise they are cruel and thoroughly despicable tyrannies.
I think we’ve had ample time to analyze and evaluate Chinese policy on Iran over the course of the last 40 odd years and nobody is under any illusions that there is much of a potential there. Looking at the debacle of CPEC next doors in Pakistan, it further puts a damper on the future of Sino/ Iranian ties and BRI prospects. Nothing much to sing about here. Just being realistic.