by Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich
Some final thoughts – the day after
Not the movie about a fictional war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact and a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, but the Day After the Implementation Deal of the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Although I said and wrote repeatedly in the past that the US stance toward Iran will not change, by now it should be obvious to all that this is the case. America “thanked” Iran by imposing further sanctions on Iran for its defense capabilities – the ballistic missiles.
If we all share a common dream of some balance in this world, which would hopefully lead to more security for all, here is what must happen. With the nuclear-related UNSC sanctions against Iran lifted, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SC)) must IMMEDIATELY include Iran in the SCO as a full member. The alternative is bleak.
While some Iranian ‘reformists’ have written that ‘America needs Iran’, the truth of the matter is a more just and balanced world needs Iran, foremost Russia and China. The United States has not abandoned its aspirations of becoming a global hegemon. The US has never sought peace. Peace and expansion/domination are incompatible. Only last month it was revealed that Pentagon was planning on more ‘enduring bases’ around the world’s most volatile regions (Pentagon Seeks to Knit Foreign Bases Into ISIS-Foiling Network, NYT, Dec. 10, 2015 ).
In 1941, Isaiah Bowman, a key figure in the Council on Foreign Relations wrote: “The measure of our victory will be the measure of our domination after victory.” True to this, after the Cold War, Prominent Americans such as Wolfowitz and Rustow opined that it was important to contain Russia (the Heartland – Defense Planning Guideline 1992, 1993). It was felt that the domination of the Heartland (Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia) would lead to the domination of the World. Events in the past several years confirm the implementation stages of the plan.
As recently as April, 2015, during a speech at the Army War College Strategy Conference, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work elaborated on how the Pentagon plans to counter the three types of wars supposedly being waged by Iran, Russia, and China. These goals have been facilitated with the Nuclear Deal. Let us consider.
The deal buys America time. Iran’s strength has been its ability to retaliate to any attack by closing down the Strait of Hormuz. Given that 17 million barrels of oil a day, or 35% of the world’s seaborne oil exports go through the Strait of Hormuz, incidents in the Strait would be fatal for the world economy. Enter Nigeria (West Africa) and Yemen.
In 1998, Clinton’s national security agenda made it clear that unhampered access to Nigerian oil and other vital resources was a key US policy. In early 2000s, Chatham House was one of the publications that determined African oil would be a good alternate to Persian Gulf oil IN CASE OF OIL DISRUPTION.This followed a strategy paper for US to move toward African oil. Push for African oil was on Dick Cheney’s desk on May 31, 2000. In 2002, the Israeli based IASPS suggested America push toward African oil. In the same year Boko Haram was ‘founded’.
In 2007, AFRICOM helped consolidate this push into the region. The 2011, a publication titled: “Globalizing West African Oil: US ‘energy security’ and the global economy” outlined ‘US positioning itself to use military force to ensure African oil continued to flow to the United States’. This was but one strategy to supply oil in addition to or as an alternate to the passage of oil through the Strait of Hormuz.
Enter Yemen. To understand the geopolitics of the Saudi war against Yemen, it is imperative to read “The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen: The Start of a New Front against Iran” written by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya. Nazemroaya correctly states: “[T] he US wants to make sure that it could control the Bab Al-Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden, and the Socotra Islands. The Bab Al-Mandeb it is an important strategic chokepoint for international maritime trade and energy shipments that connects the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea. It is just as important as the Suez Canal for the maritime shipping lanes and trade between Africa, Asia, and Europe.”
In 2012, several alternate routes to Strait of Hormuz were identified which at the time of the report were considered to be limited in capacity and more expensive. However, collectively, the West African oil and control of Bab Al-Mandeb would diminish the strategic importance of the Strait of Hormuz in case of war.
A very important consideration is the stark fact that the fallout from bombing an operating uranium enrichment facility with several hundred kilograms of enriched uranium would create an environmental catastrophe which would dwarf all nuclear accidents to date killing millions of people. The Iran Nuclear Deal greatly reduces the scope of the ensuing disaster should such steps be taken.
All this is of course speculation. There is no doubt that the primary goal of the United States is to install a Washington friendly compliant regime in Iran. But what if it fails? Has Washington spent billions of dollars to undermine and destroy the Iranian revolution, decades in demonizing the people only to change its mind? Isn’t this the same scenario we hoped would be the outcome of the end of the Cold War only to learn that Washington continued a covert war against Russia?