Iran’s ‘only crime is we decided not to fold’

By Pepe Escobar, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – posted with permission

Foreign Minister Zarif sketches Iran-US relations for diplomats, former presidents and analysts

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the annual Astana Club meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan last week. Photo: Asia Times / Pepe Escobar

Just in time to shine a light on what’s behind the latest sanctions from Washington, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a speech at the annual Astana Club meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan delivered a searing account of Iran-US relations to a select audience of high-ranking diplomats, former Presidents and analysts.

Zarif was the main speaker in a panel titled “The New Concept of Nuclear Disarmament.” Keeping to a frantic schedule, he rushed in and out of the round table to squeeze in a private conversation with Kazakh First President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

During the panel, moderator Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute, managed to keep a Pentagon analyst’s questioning of Zafir from turning into a shouting match.

Previously, I had extensively discussed with Syed Rasoul Mousavi, minister for West Asia at the Iran Foreign Ministry, myriad details on Iran’s stance everywhere from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan. I was at the James Bond-ish round table of the Astana Club, as I moderated two other panels, one on multipolar Eurasia and the post-INF environment and another on Central Asia (the subject of further columns).

Zarif’s intervention was extremely forceful. He stressed how Iran “complied with every agreement and it got nothing;” how “our people believe we have not gained from being part of” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; how inflation is out of control; how the value of the rial dropped 70% “because of ‘coercive measures’ – not sanctions because they are illegal.”

He spoke without notes, exhibiting absolute mastery of the inextricable swamp that is US-Iran relations. It turned out, in the end, to be a bombshell. Here are highlights.

Zarif’s story began back during 1968 negotiations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,  with the stance of the “Non-Aligned Movement to accept its provisions only if at a later date” – which happened to be 2020 – “there would be nuclear disarmament.” Out of 180 non-aligned countries, “90 countries co-sponsored the indefinite extension of the NPT.”

Moving to the state of play now, he mentioned how the United States and France are “relying on nuclear weapons as a means of deterrence, which is disastrous for the entire world.” Iran on the other hand “is a country that believes nuclear weapons should never be owned by any country,” due to “strategic calculations based on our religious beliefs.”

Zarif stressed how “from 2003 to 2012 Iran was under the most severe UN sanctions that have ever be imposed on any country that did not have nuclear weapons. The sanctions that were imposed on Iran from 2009 to 2012 were greater than the sanctions that were imposed on North Korea, which had nuclear weapons.”

Discussing the negotiations for the JCPOA that started in 2012, Zarif noted that Iran had started from the premise that “we should be able to develop as much nuclear energy as we wanted” while the US had started under the premise that Iran should never have any centrifuges.” That was the “zero-enrichment” option.

Zarif, in public, always comes back to the point that “in every zero-sum game everybody loses.” He admits the JCPOA is “a difficult agreement. It’s not a perfect agreement. It has elements I don’t like and it has elements the United Stares does not like.” In the end, “we reached the semblance of a balance.”

Zarif offered a quite enlightening parallel between the NPT and the JCPOA: “The NPT was based on three pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament and access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Basically the disarmament part of NPT is all but dead, non-proliferation is barely surviving and peaceful use of nuclear energy is under serious threat,” he observed.

Meanwhile, “JCPOA was based on two pillars: economic normalization of Iran, which is reflected in Security Council resolution 2231, and – at the same time – Iran observing certain limits on nuclear development.”

Crucially, Zarif stressed there is nothing “sunset” about these limits, as Washington argues: “We will be committed to not producing nuclear weapons forever.”

All about distrust

Then came Trump’s fateful May 2018 decision: “When President Trump decided to withdraw from the JCPOA, we triggered the dispute resolution mechanism.” Referring to a common narrative that describes him and John Kerry as obsessed with sacrificing everything to get a deal, Zarif said: “We negotiated this deal based on distrust. That’s why you have a mechanism for disputes.”

Still, “the commitments of the EU and the commitments of the United States are independent. Unfortunately the EU believed they could procrastinate. Now we are at a situation where Iran is receiving no benefit, nobody is implementing their part of the bargain, only Russia and China are fulfilling partially their commitments, because the United States even prevents them from fully fulfilling their commitments. France proposed last year to provide $15 billion to Iran for the oil we could sell from August to December. The United States prevented the European Union even from addressing this.”

The bottom line, then, is that “other members of the JCPOA are in fact not implementing their commitments.” The solution “is very easy. Go back to the non-zero sum. Go back to implementing your commitments. Iran agreed that it would negotiate from Day One.”

Zarif made the prediction that “if the Europeans still believe that they can take us to the Security Council and snap back resolutions they’re dead wrong. Because that is a remedy if there was a violation of the JCPOA. There was no violation of the JCPOA. We took these actions in response to European and American non-compliance. This is one of the few diplomatic achievements of the last many decades. We simply need to make sure that the two pillars exist: that there is a semblance of balance.”

This led him to a possible ray of light among so much doom and gloom: “If what was promised to Iran in terms of economic normalization is delivered, even partially, we are prepared to show good faith and come back to the implementation of the JCPOA. If it’s not, then unfortunately we will continue this path, which is a path of zero-sum, a path leading to a loss for everybody, but a path that we have no other choice but to follow.”

Time for HOPE

Zarif identifies three major problems in our current geopolitical madness: a “zero-sum mentality on international relations that doesn’t work anymore;” winning by excluding others (“We need to establish dialogue, we need to establish cooperation”); and “the belief that the more arms we purchase, the more security we can bring to our people.”

He was adamant that there’s a possibility of implementing “a new paradigm of cooperation in our region,” referring to Nazarbayev’s efforts: a real Eurasian model of security. But that, Zarif explained, “requires a neighborhood policy. We need to look at our neighbors as our friends, as our partners, as people without whom we cannot have security. We cannot have security in Iran if Afghanistan is in turmoil. We cannot have security in Iran if Iraq is in turmoil. We cannot have security in Iran if Syria is in turmoil. You cannot have security in Kazakhstan if the Persian Gulf region is in turmoil.”

He noted that, based on just such thinking, “resident Rouhani this year, in the UN General Assembly, offered a new approach to security in the Persian Gulf region, called HOPE, which is the acronym for Hormuz Peace Initiative – or Hormuz Peace Endeavor so we can have the HOPE abbreviation.”

HOPE, explained Zarif, “is based on international law, respect of territorial integrity; based on accepting a series of principles and a series of confidence building measures; and we can build on it as you [addressing Nazarbayev] built on it in Eurasia and Central Asia. We are proud to be a part of the Eurasia Economic Union, we are neighbors in the Caspian, we have concluded last year, with your leadership, the legal convention of the Caspian Sea, these are important development that happened on the northern part of Iran. We need to repeat them in the southern part of Iran, with the same mentality that we can’t exclude our neighbors. We are either doomed or privileged to live together for the rest of our lives. We are bound by geography. We are bound by tradition, culture, religion and history.” To succeed, “we need to change our mindset.”

Age of hegemony gone

It all comes down to the main reason US foreign policy just can’t get enough of Iran demonization. Zarif has no doubts: “There is still an arms embargo against Iran on the way. But we are capable of shooting down a US drone spying in our territory. We are trying simply to be independent. We never said we will annihilate Israel. Somebody said Israel will be annihilated. We never said we will do it.”

It was, Zarif said, Benjamin Netanyahu who took ownership of that threat, saying, “I was the only one against the JCPOA.” Netanyahu “managed to destroy the JCPOA. What is the problem? The problem is we decided not to fold. That is our only crime. We had a revolution against a government that was supported by the United States, imposed on our country by the United States, [that] tortured our people with the help of the United States, and never received a single human rights condemnation, and now people are worried why they say ‘Death to America’? We say death to these policies, because they have brought nothing but this farce. What did they bring to us? If somebody came to the United States, removed your president, imposed a dictator who killed your people, wouldn’t you say death to that country?”

Zarif inevitably had to evoke Mike Pompeo: “Today the Secretary of State of the United States says publicly: ‘If Iran wants to eat, it has to obey the United States.’ This is a war crime. Starvation is a crime against humanity. It’s a newspeak headline. If Iran wants its people to eat, it has to follow what he said. He says, ‘Death to the entire Iranian people.’”

By then the atmosphere across the huge round table was electric. One could hear a pin drop – or, rather, the mini sonic booms coming from high up in the shallow dome via the system devised by star architect Norman Foster, heating the high-performance glass to melt the snow.

Zarif went all in: “What did we do the United States? What did we do to Israel? Did we make their people starve? Who is making our people starve? Just tell me. Who is violating the nuclear agreement? Because they did not like Obama? Is that a reason to destroy the world, just because you don’t like a president?”

Iran’s only crime, he said, “is that we decided to be our own boss. And that crime – we are proud of it. And we will continue to be. Because we have seven millennia of civilization. We had an empire that ruled the world, and the life of that empire was probably seven times the entire life of the United States. So – with all due respect to the United States empire; I owe my education to the United States – we don’t believe that the United States is an empire that will last. The age of empires is long gone. The age of hegemony is long gone. We now have to live in a world without hegemony. – regional hegemony or global hegemony.”




The Essential Saker IV: Messianic Narcissism's Agony by a Thousand Cuts
The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA


  1. Well the problem here is that zio-anglo-nazism controls all, and that includes the internet, and all of its honey-pots.

    Maybe 50 years ago I had the pleasure to meet a nice Iran guy & his wife in San-Fran at a computer conference, but I mentioned I knew Persian, and later I mentioned that I felt that Iran was a lot like Cuba, a whore-house for the West, and if Iran was smart they would not go the way of Cuba and allow their women&children to become prostitutes ( Spanish War -> 1950’s ). We later became friends for 30+ years. He had never met an American that knew the truth.

    So now Iran doesn’t allow the ANZ(ZAN) to control its people? Don’t they know that ANZ owns the entire earth, the money, the oil, the tech, and all the honey-pots? Who created the ‘internet’ DARPA, so anything that’s allowed to be posted on the net, is by definition ANZ approved.

  2. The nuclear issue is a propaganda pretext for the Anglo Americans (and Israelis) to militarily disarm Iran of its conventional missile arsenal, neuter its support of Hizbollah and Syria, and ultimately to destroy the Shiite Axis of Resistance.

    And this pretext must be exposed as such.

    You cannot fight Anglo-American propaganda if you accept their terms of debate or the sincerity of their claims about stopping (snicker) Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    Put it this way: the same America and its Coalition of the Killing that massively lied about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction for years to justify the economic sanctions, bombing, never-ending United Nations WMD snipe hunts, or the invasion and colonization of Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and destroying the livelihoods of millions of Iraqis–that same American Axis is now peddling similar lies this time about Iranian “Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

    The best response to the USA and its stooges and their latest WMD lies is this: Get the F*ck out of here with your pathetic, recycled bullsh*t.

  3. I woke up in a very bad frame of mind, and I really dislike it when this happens. And then I read this article!! Zarif mentions international law but therein is found the problem. The entity running this country directly to the south of me cares not for such laws. It is a bloodthirsty, devouring beast. And they also run my country (into the ground). I wish I could separate the ruling power from the average citizen but that is difficult to do because a very large number of them support the evils of their rogue state or else simply don’t care about the suffering and death they inflict on others.
    I don’t expect this empire will last much longer. The only question remaining is how much damage they will cause before they crash and burn.

  4. Zarif says Iran will have to violate the proscription on nuclear development if it does not get economic normalization. Thus, the end product of that nuclear development is what? Nukes! No one cares if Iran gets more nuclear power plants. Heavy water and fissionable uranium and plutonium is what is the end of the path for Iran, so says Zarif ‘in so many words’.

    The only dispute resolution action Iran can take is to go to weaponization. And that is the path they are on. It is built into the JCPOA. So says Zarif and it is what we see they are doing.

    So, the deal was a trap. Iran is denied the front end of economic normalization and sent on its way to develop nukes, which then leaves it as an outlaw, likely to be destroyed by US and Israeli missiles and bombs at some point down that path. Meanwhile, its development economically is being strangled by sanctions.

    The second mistake (the deal as constructed being the first) was to reject Russia’s offer for S-400s. Iran should have taken that and assured itself of protection from those US and Israeli missiles that inevitably would be used against Iran.

    The future now relies on the diplomatic skills of Russia (Putin) and the pressures of China (BRI) to wedge safe haven for Iran, its oil and gas, and to inject (via loans and barters) investment to prop up Iran’s economy, expand its trade opportunities and build infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, Iran has to fight several internal threats the US, UK, Israel, and Saudis are financing under the guise of democratic uprisings. Kurds, AQ and ISIS are proxies in these uprisings.

    Iran is strong and resilient, but it needs those two Eurasian friends and must get full membership in SCO very soon.

    The realization now is the JCPOA was a disaster for everyone. It was a modern skyscraper of high hopes built on wood stilts, set in the marshland waters of an ancient land. It took no effort to knock it down.

    • Well said Larchmonter445. I have a better understanding after this piece by Pepe why Iran refuses to talk to anyone from the US. I thought before — just try it! just perhaps something comes of it. But now I understand clearly why they say NO!

      What is a worry, is how many countries are Russia / China going to have to be friends with to withstand these paroxysms of the empire?

    • Absolutely-the fascists of the Real Axis of Evil, the USA, Sordid Barbaria and Zionazistan do not, ever, do negotiation or peaceful co-existence. Their perverted ‘religious’, Wahhabism, Zionazism and ‘American Exceptionalism’, are all death and genocide-cults dedicated to murder, terror and destruction. Iran can go nuclear, and make itself inviolate, while practising economic autarky and collaboration with any State prepared to stand up to the global brutes, and await their imminent and inevitable collapse, or be destroyed, slowly by economic strangulation, or suddenly in an aggression. You cannot ‘negotiate in good faith’ with psychopaths.

    • I have always been very impressed by Larchmonter’s analyses, but he made so many errors here that I almost wonder if it’s the same person.

      Larchmonter raises a very good question, to ask what is the end point of Iran’s nuclear development program, and the answer is self-evident – but it is not Nukes. Iran needs lots of energy, like any technologically developed society. Nuclear energy can be cheaper than oil, on the domestic market and that can leave more oil for export. Iran also sees electricity as an export-earning business, and is offering to supply electricity to Syria, two countries over.

      Nuclear industry has lots of room for growth, and it’s only natural that Iran wants to be part of this growth.

      I am extremely confident, as a non-Muslim, that the Islamic Republic of Iran will never build nuclear weapons because that would be a self-defeating act of disrespect for their own theology and political leadership. This is something that cynics simply don’t get. There is great power in nations behaving with clear logic that everyone can respect. This is before one does the military analysis that says a nation with less than a dozen cities can easily be destroyed in a nuclear war. So even the stupidest military officer understands that for Iran, having nuclear weapons would lead directly to total defeat. In my experience, the Iran with Nukes bogeyman comes from very uninformed people and from Israeli propagandists. Larchmonter is neither, so I am perplexed, wondering if Larchmonter was simply not being clear.

      The issue of getting S-400’s from Russia is less of an obviously good deal than I would have thought a year ago. There are two issues here.

      First, Syria has S-300’s and Pantsir defense systems, and yet some of the Israeli missiles are getting past those defenses. I surmise that Russia has never offered Syria any iron-clad guarantees against Israel’s threats, and everyone knows that Russia is trying to mediate with Israel, rather than be an enemy. But what Iran needs is an iron-clad defense system and that means Iran has to build their own, so they control it themselves. Also, all modern air defense systems are based on technological secrets and are vulnerable if those are no longer secret. It’s an organizational imperative that any governmental agency, and even more so an Iranian agency, would vastly prefer to be in charge of keeping their own secrets, rather than hope a close ally would never have their secrets penetrated.

      The second issue is that Iran seems to be making great strides in developing missile defense systems. Iran is in an interesting situation, where Israel and the US don’t dare test how good are these defenses, because a single strike will unleash a serious asymmetric retaliation that could mean the end of Empire, and the Empire is quite well aware of this. It’s the only reason why Iran has not been attacked. So the Empire can sit and wonder how good are the Iranian air defense systems, and has to conclude that these unknown missiles and radar systems are a very effective deterrent especially because they are an “unknown”.

      Larchmonter says the JCPOA is a failure, but I doubt any serious Iranian analyst considers it a failure. The JCPOA caused the UN Security Council to end all the previous sanctions against Iran. The UNSC has never reversed itself before. So now, the US can attempt to impose sanctions, but those sanctions have no standing in international law, and in fact violate international law and the UN Charter.

      One might believe that Iran was too slow to respond to Trump’s reneging on the JCPOA. Perhaps, but Iran has a lot at stake, trying to come out of isolation and trying to loosen Washington’s grip on the sovereign nations of the EU. Slow steady pressure is effective because the Lügenpresse can’t hold back the truth from the people of Europe, and the people need time to wake up and then create effective new centers of power.

      Perhaps Iran’s President Rouhani could have done a better job of responding to prevent Iran’s economy from slipping. I certainly wonder about that, but I don’t have any answer. The Saker and Thierrey Meyssan don’t have much confidence in Rouhani, but the Islamic Republic is paying a long game, and the value of someone like a Rouhani can only be estimated when considering the long view.

      No one should be surprised that Trump had no trouble in destroying the JCPOA. Europeans don’t like to see themselves as vassals of the Empire, but they can’t deny the unpleasant truth.

      • To Cosimo,

        I also had the same scepticism when reading the comment by Larchmonter. It was not the usual analytic answer. It was similar to an MSM expert. I fully agree with your points bar the S300 and the Pantsir issue on their effectiveness.
        I will start with the S300. It operates right now on the cardinal principle of Gestalt’s Theory. The S-300 itself isn’t important – it is the context in which it is in that is important. Once the deterrent is used, it’s null and void. It doesn’t matter if the S-300 was “switch on” or not. The truth is that Israel hasn’t been in Syrian airspace since march/april 2018 where two of its planes got shot down by S200’s. So it has been attacking from Lebanon or the Mediterranean. The SAA hasn’t deemed any of Israel’s attacks enough escalation to use it

        On the issue of Pantsir systems, no system in the world is 100% effective against determined attackers. Also, to be fair to the system it has performed brilliantly when it’s not over stretched. Wasn’t it the same systems that destroyed more than half of the combined US/Uk/France attacks in may 2018? The SAA missile defense doesn’t cover the entire country, it’s for specific places, so that numerical superiority speaks for itself.

        Having said that, the most Important point of all is that, The Israeli strikes do NOT have any meaningful impact on the current realities in Syria. The SAA now occupies huge swathes of territories in the NE and is currently on a full scale liberation mission in Idlib backed by Russian air power. The strikes are just occasional nuisance and a live training exercise for the SAA missile defense team.

        • I have reread my comment several more times this morning. I think your critique of it is vapid. Tossing a line like “it was similar to an MSM expert” and not making any point is tissue paper against my titanium, so to speak.

          Iran has always had a hubris problem regarding its military. It talks big and is willing to lose manpower anywhere, any time. The conduct of its more recent efforts has been mostly by proxy, except for the Quds Force in Iraq and Syria. Solemani has principles. He values his men. He doesn’t throw them away as cannon fodder. Iran could not save Assad. It took the Russians, with only about 5000 men and a very small Aerospace contingent. Iran would have suffered the end of its Shia Crescent dream. It would have lost connection to Hezbollah. Israel would have made mincemeat of Iranian assets in Syria and Iraq. So, I don’t judge the Mullahs’ military strategy as highly as some Iranian supporters do. I just look at the facts.

          They needed the S-400. It carries a symbolic psychological edge (F-22, F-16 and F-35 pilots are frightened to fly against the S-400.

          Iran thinks it has equal to Russia in missile defense systems? They are risking a lot. Surely, in the coming times Saudi-Israeli and US-UK will test that military supposition.

          I suggest they should acquire the S-400 and follow on China to the S-500 when that is exportable.

          • I don’t know, they are good enough to have deterred any attack on Iran so discounting Iranian military technology even if overall isn’t as good as Russian, is mistake. The proof is the fact that after 40 years of threats by both the U.S. and Israel, and they have yet to carry them out, and why shouldn’t they continue to invest on their own domestic weapons technology. Remember that Russia for nearly a decade reneged on selling them the S-300, if they are going to be unreliable then Iran had no choice but to continue with it’s domestic weapons manufacture.

            That being said it would be helpful to get new weapons systems if Russia is forthcoming such as the S-400 or Su-30 fighter jets, hopefully they get such systems. Still with that Iran’s goal of weapon manufacture independence must be continually perused, and there is no reason that over the years they can get or some ways match Russian weapons technology, selling the Iranians short is mistake on your part. Besides Russia could use an ally that is both independent and strong, not just dependent.

      • @Cosimo,regarding my ‘errors’:

        I didn’t know there was a ‘right’ comment and all others are ‘errant’. Also, I never heard of you, holder of all the ‘correct’ comments. We learn a lot today.

        The end point of Iran’s nuclear development program–which by the way has been ‘top secret’ for all these decades. Logic and common sense tells us that a nuclear program that is top secret is not all and only about nuclear energy for electricity and isotope production. My own training in nuclear technology and sciences began when I was 14 and wrote a paper on Radium, Madame Curie’s discovery. I attended Berkeley in pursuit of a science career in those early days of my academic endeavors. I think I understand the basics of the processes.

        So, when I see the Iranian program of development of nuclear power, I see the typical stages of a weapons program masked by the non-weapons steps and lots of Iranian propaganda.

        This isn’t an Israeli view. The Russians have stepped in to give themselves assurances they can stop the Iranians from acquiring weapons grade fissionable material, and also, taking the excess Heavy Water the Iranians produce. So, dear commenter, the stink we smell from the way they act and the actions of the Russian ‘interventions’ to limit the Iranians (while monitoring closely) are sufficient for me to express an opinion that the duck walking and quaking isn’t a duck, then what is it?

        The Iranian relationship with the North Korean program is well-documented and those boys are producing weapons as we write. I judge this as another tell tale sign that the Iranians have a very strong interest in weapons, not just electricity and isotopes.

        As for the issue of my point of view, it is thus. Iran has a right to defend itself with nuclear weapons. However, the non-proliferation rules restrict it and others. The consequence for getting weapons and joining the club is nil. North Korea has weapons and it has preserved itself. Thus, it actually behooves other nations who feel threatened by the Hegemon to get nukes. Turkey is next.

        Do we want more nations with nukes? No. But the US is forcing the issue, working to destabilize regions, as well as specific target nations.

        Whether Iran considers the JCPOA as a failure or not doesn’t alter my opinion that it has failed to hold the most important part for Iran–economic normalization. Investment is frozen from the EU and scared from elsewhere by sanctions the US has imposed. Only Russia and a little from China has seeped through.

        No question the JCPOA has failed. It was a weak handshake at best. The UNSC sanctions were passed because Russia and China joined. Now, they refuse to reimpose the UNSC sanctions. That has nothing to do with the value or ‘strength’ of the JCPOA. It has to do with the geostrategic policy of Russia and China.

        Iran is a key player in Eurasian Integration. Thus, it has a huge card to play. I hope for my Iranian friends and co-workers of the past two decades they play wisely. I have been rooting for the Iranian people since Mohammed Mosaddegh was criminally overthrown by the Anglo-American Intel services in 1953.

    • Just curious because you bring it up.

      USA hates AIIB ( bank of Brics ), but Israel is a member, and same for SCO (NATO of ASIA) Israel intends to be a member of every important Asian Club because Israel plays all sides,

      So my question is, you say Iran must join SCO and Quick, but what would be the point of them joining a club already ran/owned/controlled by Israel?? Same with the AIIB ( ASIAN IMF ) ran is to use them for loans, but Israel will be on board with veto power.

      All these clubs ain’t much different than the UN its just same owners, asian faces.

      In summary while USA does all it can to KILL SCO & AIIB, in the meantime Israel rules&joins all these clubs and even lets China build a PORT in Israel so they can have an SCO fleet in the Mediterranean. Seriously there is some hocus-pocus here going on??

      All that is known for certain is that the USA is going down as BIBI said long ago “We will suck the life out of the USA, until the wind blows the dust away”.

      • @Asian Banker AIIB-SCO

        You are a cornucopia of misinformation and factual errors.

        The Bank of BRICS is the New Development Bank.
        AIIB is the Chinese bank, internationalized by scores of nations joining and contributing to it.

        Israel is not a member of SCO.
        SCO is composed of:
        8 member states
        4 observer states
        6 dialogue partners
        Sri Lanka
        4 guest attendances
        Association of Southeast Asian Nations
        Commonwealth of Independent States
        United Nations

        SCO is not a military alliance, so it is not all a NATO of Asia.

        All your other gibberish about Israel should to be taken by readers as blather.

    • Dear Lacrh. et al.

      I do not agree that JCPOA was mistake, and the only road is in the end the manufacture of atomic weapons by Iran.

      Prior to the agreement there were official UN sanctions, preventing Russia & China to (officially) cooperate with Iran in many areas. And Russia&China uphold international law & order.

      Since the signing of JCPOA it is officially possible for China&Russia&Other Central Asian states&Turkey to cooperate with Iran (officially) in many areas. Thus, in spite of one-sided sanctions by USA and wishy-washy, demagogic behaviour of the EU, trade, cooperation, even defense cooperation is possible according to international law. And it is occurring, including further enhacement of all forms of communication&transport. Iran is not an island, or surrounded by enemies on all sides.

      The gradual reduction in JCPOA by Iran is done according to the provisions of the same agreement. And there is no turning back to the sanctions regime. All that is done is the gradual removal of the intrusive monitoring regime. Keeping its enemies in the dark, evermore frustated.

      And in the meantime Iran is developing its own technological and defense capabilities (with the possible overt & covert help of its allies.

      Жељко из Крајине

    • Not to be one more chimer, but the facts are clear. Iran is on its way to produce fissile material with high levels of enrichment. They already have a trigger. (Read the article where the US tried to subvert their development of trigger with a snitch who delivered them a trigger design — with faults to set back their program — and they sent it back corrected).

  5. Iran’s only crime from a U.S. standpoint, and strictly because of the dominating Israeli lobby of American foreign policy is it’s geographic location on the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz, and that Iran has the highest fresh water supply in the region and rich fertile arable land, and of course there is the oil. Until it is owned and controlled by a Mossad agent, exppect the antagonism to continue.

  6. “Zarif stressed how “from 2003 to 2012 Iran was under the most severe UN sanctions that have ever be imposed on any country that did not have nuclear weapons.”

    The worst sanctions in modern history was the near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on Iraq for 13 years from 1991 to 2003.

    People and especially the alt-media seem to either have a short memory when it comes to Iraq or do not want to mention it due to it being an agressor state who fought Iran and invaded Kuwait.

  7. Something doesn’t gell with these arguments, perhaps someone could straighten me out.
    Iran’s natural advantage is in its oil and gas reserves so why does it want nuclear energy?
    Why would it even be a subject if not to imply an intent or a threat to develop nuclear weapons?
    Perhaps it is purely defensive in nature?
    Is it just for negotiatiing leverage?

    • History Lesson, for the rhetorical question “Why does IRAN need nuclear energy?”

      Back in the 1970’s under the “The Shah” a USA puppet of Israel (CIA-MOSSAD), the USA sold the IRANIAN People a deal.

      “The oil is worthless, there is no future in OIL, the future is NUCLEAR ENERGY.” Thus USA made a deal ( Under the Shah ) that USA/ISRAEL would develop the OIL and get the OIL, but Iran would get Nuclear Energy developed by USA company’s. Essentially in return for its OIL Iran would get Nuclear Technology forever. Free unlimited power for everybody in Iran ( remember back in the 1960’s that how nuclear energy was sold as a perpetual motion machine that would enable everybody to have free energy forever )

      Ok, so later in the 1970’s the Shah was deposed ( nice word for ran his ass to USA ), Iran continued to invest in all sources of energy nuclear, hydro, and oil ( portable energy that CIA/MOSSAD call “The Prize” )

      Then post 1980’s under new leadership ( NON-MOSSAD ) the USA went ‘full retard’ and said “Iran is not to be trusted with nuclear energy”

      So in summary, its just typical good cop ( USA ) & bad cop ( Israel ) bullshit ran by anglo-nazi-zionism (ANZ)
      “Do as we say, not as we do”.

      I hope this helps with understanding how & why Iran got stuck with Nuclear in the first place.

  8. The recent protests in Iran may be part of a broader American campaign to rachet up its hybrid war against Iran:

    Possible False Flag (again) on Iran in Near Future?

    Iran Social Unrest: Protests and Carefully Planned Provocations

  9. The EU signatories to the JCPOA betrayed Iran for one paramount reason-their Zionazi Bosses demanded it. As we can see in the UK, where the entire election campaign has transmuted, as expected, into a filthy and insanely mendacious witch-hunt against Corbyn and UK Labour on the entirely false charge of ‘antisemitism’, as far as the Jewish elites and their Sabbat Goy stooges are concerned, the Jewish human beings, no matter how small their numbers, are the paramount group in any society, and they, or at least their Zionazi elites, want Iran destroyed, as a geopolitical priority and as a religious observance, a New Purim.
    500,000 UK Jewish human beings, a sizeable proportion of whom do not share the filthy cause of destroying Labour with false and invented accusations, are entitled to declare that their phony concerns and group hysteria are more important than the lives and fates of sixty million goyim. This obsession feeds the group and personal narcissism of these Chosen People, but if it does not incite real hatred in return, from at least a few, if it helps destroy the first real chance in forty years to escape the Hell of neo-liberal capitalism, then I’ll be very surprised. But, in fact, the Jewish elites, and particularly Judaic ‘religious’ thugs like the Chief Rabbi, welcome such hatred. It justifies, beforehand and after, their own hatred, 3500 years old, of non-Jewish human beings, which is the essence of their cult, and the real, bedrock, reason for all the centuries of strife and suffering for both the Chosen People, and their enemies and victims.

      • Yes-in the context of the global rule by the hegemon, Thanatopia, and its controller, Israel, Iran does represent liberation. Not by any means my ideal society, but, compared to its tormentors, a veritable Paradise. One that the death-worshipers of the USA, Israel and Sordid Barbaria wish to turn into a desert of death, destruction and suffering, but that is precisely what they exist to do.

  10. Thank you Pepe.

    The entire ‘American’ administration, including Pompeo, is a mere mouthpiece for those dedicated, as a collective, towards hatred of humanity.
    Unlike Iran, the U.S.A. (I write with almost overwhelming sadness) has capitulated to the haters, long ago, and can’t stand those that have not also given up their balls to the beast.

    Incredibly Zarif has gone almost directly to the epicentre of the issue, zero sum gain.
    I refer to it, for what it is more accurately described, planned negative sum gain, but managed so that the one player still profits.
    Think of it this way, if you were to be obsessed with hatred against all of humanity, i.e. all those who are not included in your little, special club, who you have separated yourselves from, and against whom, no crime is unforgivable… in your little special group, if you take down the entire system, but make profit, you are multiplying your comparative advantage in profit-taking.
    For you and your psychopathic collective of buddies, it’s completely win-win.
    If you layer on a worship of destruction, it could very easily be seen by the more orthodox amongst you as, ‘win-win-win’.

    That is what non-affiliates are dealing with.

    In this context, the seemingly irrational, pseudo-random, in terms of any perceivable benefit, to anyone, anywhere, actions of the Boltons/Pompeos of the world, are less difficult to comprehend!?

    Ironically, the crime of not capitulating, while seemingly so stressful, is the only path, for capitulations, history shows us in an incredibly strong, durable trend, is a guarantee of slavery, and wanton ultimate death, as the haters of humanity hate those that capitulate even more than those who don’t (but you couldn’t tell by their propaganda crowing).

    After all, look at what Trump did and what’s happening to him!