By Akbar Montaser for VT
On July 30th, President Trump offered an olive branch to Iran by stating he would “certainly meet” with “no preconditions” with Dr. Hassan Rouhani if the Iranian President were willing to do so. The offer was welcome news considering his previous incredibly unfortunate Tweet in capital letters.
Some Americans consider the President’s invitation for talks polite and timely. They think foregoing this opportunity to begin negotiations for peace is a major mistake and is to the detriments of Iran, aside from the Middle East and the United States. As Iran Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, stated, President Trump lacks honesty. As time passes, the President will find he looks a weak and spineless person compared with President Barack Obama who finally decided to accept the Iran Deal.
Columnist Fareed Zakaria wrote on May 10th for Washington Post, “Trump’s only possible Iran strategy is a fantasy”. This “ornate idea” by President Trump was further evidenced when Secretary Mike Pompeo and his cohorts did not like the President’s overture to Iran. He immediately presented conditions for talks, effectively overruling the President! Relatedly, on July 22nd, Secretary Pompeo referred to the Iranian Leadership and the government of Iran as corrupt mullahs in a speech delivered at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs. Most Iranians and many Americans have criticized the Iranian system of government. However, most Americans, particularly, Iranian Americans have taken exception to the bombastic remarks by Secretary Pompeo. His speech was the most wounding language that no other Secretary of State has presented on Iran. Perhaps he had in mind the terrorist leaders of America’s “supposed allies”, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate (UAE)!
It is common knowledge that Secretary Pompeo has a hawkish history on Iran. Appallingly, he has compared Iran to ISIS. The reasons for such vile remarks are patent for the majority of Americans. In Washington pit, such defiance and aggression against Iran is a “prized” criterion for receiving Israeli approval to assume higher Office in the U.S. government.
Deplorably, Secretary Pompeo is more of a citizen of Israel than an average Israeli. For this and other reasons, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, banned any dialogues with Washington yesterday. In remarks broadcasted by Iran’s state television, he stated, “along with sanctions, Americans have recently raised two more options, war and talks. … War will not happen and we will not enter talks” because negotiations with the U.S. would harm us.
War is a possibility, but would Americans allow it and why should they? This nation has shed an unwarranted amount of blood for Israel. Millions went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving countless with enduring marks.
On March 20, 2018, Forbes reported, based on Department of Defense statistics, as of the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, 2.77 million service members have served on 5.4 million deployments. Long periods of absenteeism have led to extremely troublesome family life. Countless next of kin noted that their offspring showed social, demeanor, and related problems during those periods. Importantly, the U.S. veteran suicide rates are generally reported to be as high as 8,000 a year. This number is mindboggling and is a shame the main media is not reporting it to push Washington to devote more fund for reducing it! Equally important the question is why his nation must suffer because Israeli governments, through its history, persistently have used various pretexts not to come to peace with Palestinians?
Relatedly, Americans also have lost treasures for the sake of an apartheid nation, Israel. On October 26, 2016, candidate Trump said at his rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, “who’ve wasted $6 trillion on wars in the Middle East — we could have rebuilt our country twice — that have produced only more terrorism, more death, and more suffering – imagine if that money had been spent at home,” Of course, the $6 trillion is the projected cost of wars including support for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in one generation.
This is another sanity most Americans are fed up with the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the resulting anguish of the homeless Palestinians. Israeli policies and the President’s support for the Israeli dogmas are extremely against the US national security interests and the welfare of the entire people of the Middle East, except for Israel.
President Trump knows well but does not wish to admit, that the U.S. government’s anti-Iranian misinformation is the work of the Israeli government that is united appallingly with the mainstream media. Six corporations control 90% of the media in the U.S. compared to 50 companies in 1983! Importantly, 15 billionaires, with solid connections to Israel, own America’s news media companies. These individuals affect ways of using their money to sway the media affair! They wield central roles in delivering propaganda, unending crisis accounts, aside from entertainments to the public, brainwashing nearly 326 million Americans. Still, the entire media is not corrupt. Numerous courageous individuals attempt to safeguard the freedom of the press by speaking the truth. The number has declined since the crime of 9/11.
Every second in this nation, the American neocons betray this country as the “devoted” friends of Israel. Their “mass of proofs on the nuclear activities of Iran” is not what they tell. These Israeli American neocons have penetrated deep inside of all organs of the U.S. government, including the 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community. No wonder, despite billions of dollars of investment in intelligence services, the various agencies were unable to predict the tragedy of 9/11 by 19 terrorists that were mostly from Saudi Arabia!
During most of his rallies, candidate Trump and the President incorrectly has referred to the Iran Nuclear Deal as a disaster. This statement is against the tenants of this nation and the rule of law. The signatories of the Iran Deal, the United Nations, and the majority of Americans back the agreement. At the same time, the President has not taken a single minor step in reducing the U.S. nuclear armaments. Likewise, the Nuclear Weapon States strive to maintain the Non-Proliferation Treaty but show no tendency to address their waste of resources on nuclear weapons. The dichotomy is, for example, based on the reports by Congressional Budget Office released last year, the U.S.’s nuclear weapons program will cost $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years! Iran has no verified atomic weapons. Instead of wasting time as the proxy of Israel, which is another nuclear power, President Trump should focus on how to reduce and hopefully eliminate the funding spent on upgrading and maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons and use the saving for, for example, improving the U.S. crumbling infrastructure. Relatedly, a great number of Americans suffer from lack of food. Feeding America Network reports, 41 million Americans fight with malnutrition. This stat is nearly the same as the 40.6 million on the record living in the dearth. The median yearly earning of these households is $9,175.
In most of his speeches on Iran, President ‘Trump calls Iran ‘a terrorist nation like few others’ .In contrast, Iranians back defenders of freedom in Syria, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Bizarrely, one of the principal architects of the Iraq war, Mr. John Bolton, serves as the President national security advisor. This unprincipled “honorary” secret citizen of Israel has been acting as the national insecurity promoter for the President. If the President were interested in defeating terrorists in the Middle East, he would be wise asking Mr. Bolton to resign! Mr. Bolton is a loyal pal of the Sunni “terrorist allies” and is a loyal workmate of People’s Mujahedin of Iran, the much-despised Iranian terrorist cult. He is the full verbose version of Secretary Clinton that deceived President Obama to assault Libya.
Anti-Iranian militants such as the bigots, overbearing Israeli Americans, neocons, and the evil phantoms in the U.S. who benefit from unending wars have been functioning in a post-truth era, spreading alternative “realities”. For the past four decades, they have been broadcasting certified untruths about Iran over their regimented net of publications, websites, and television. These anti-Iranian militants are enemies of the people of the U.S. aside from Iranians and the people of the Middle East. By withdrawing from the Iran Deal, President Trump instantly created over 80 million intelligent and highly nationalistic people as the foes of the United States.
Out of the 61 groups labeled as terrorist bands by the U.S. State Department, nearly all are Wahhabi-awakened and Saudi-funded criminals, with a focus on Iran and the West as their chief foes. A significant theme of neocon fictions is telling everyone that the Islamic Republic of Iran is fundamentally treacherous, even when Iran has not attacked any country since the American Revolution. Through the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, President Trump certainly knows but does not admit it, apparently under instruction from Israeli Prime Minister, Iran is in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government and to fight an array of terrorists including ISIS funded and trained by Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the occupants of Palestine, if not the CIA!
In contrast to Saudi Arabia that supports Sunni terrorists, Iran supports freedom fighters; the Hamas and the Hezbollah who are Sunni and Shiites, respectively. If President Trump is faithful to this nation, why is he silent about the realities? Are not the types of Mr. Sheldon Adelson, the casino, and media mogul, the President’s main Israeli American supporters? Think about it. Who are driving Middle East policies, particularly against Iran? Are not our “pretending allies” taking down the U.S. with the help of American traitors?
Inventing make-believe foes benefits the real ones, for example, the neocons and ISIS. The lies about Iranian government are not just chauvinistic and fraudulent but perfidious. Mr. Trump has a long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2018. In the fight against the real peril from “violent Iran,” the Iranophobes’ false assertions and messages aid the rightwing groups in Iran, not the President Rouhani government, Iranian citizens, or American citizens. The more the Trump Administration scares Americans with made-up adversaries, the harder it will be to discover the real ones and protect the U.S. and the people of the Middle East.
Nearly all Iranians, especially the young generation, admire Americans. They actively resist radicalism and vehemence by Muslims or anybody. By all reasonable standards, they are no two nations that have so many similar attributes, that is, decency, compassion, bravery, and intelligence other than average Iranians and Americans. Iranians have no wish to live under the brutal rule practiced by jihadist fanatics. The Leadership and the cabinet of President Rouhani are by no means dictators when compared to the rulers of any country in the Middle East. The average Iranians have stronger sensible reasons than most Americans for trusting in and commitment to religious leniency. Keeping Iranian Americans as allies and respecting their families in Iran and maintaining Iranian trust in our shared values and political and legal institutions is critical to oppose revolutionary violence positively.
For good reasons, Iranians detest American government. The U.S. government has subjected Iranians to great cruelty for 40 years while Iran could be and still can be the natural ally of the U.S. Most Americans are not aware Persia was continually the crib of science through antiquity. Its contributions towards medicine, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, art, music, and literature have been massive in the past. In the past 30 years, despite sanctions, Iran has made substantial progress in science and technology in critical areas such as aerospace, medical development, nuclear science, cloning research, and stem cell. For example, in medical science production, Iran ranks 18th in the world based on the newest figures out by many international scientific centers. Forbes statistics for 2016 reveals 335,000 Iranian graduates finished a degree in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). This ranking is fifth after China, India, US, and Russia as the most science-educated nations in the world. Based on 2017 data, the growth rate in publications for Iran scientific community was 8.9 percent in 2017, with Russia and China with 6.7 percent and 4.3 percent scientific output growth rates, respectively. In world artificial intelligence, Iran ranks 16. In nanoscience production, Iran is placed after China, US, India, South Korea, and Germany. Using its launcher, Iran is the 9th nation to put a domestically made satellite into orbit and the sixth to send animals in space. Iran produces 233,695 engineering graduates, after Russia and the U.S. According to Forbes, 70% of Iran’s science and engineering students are women. Iran acquired the third spot in producing engineers because of its advanced technical expertise and sound infrastructure. Accordingly, Iranian people are the natural allies of Americans.
President Trump has appointed two raging Iranophobes, Mr. Pompeo, and Mr. Bolton, to critical national security positions. These individuals are misleading him to start his very own wanton war of hostility. In an Iowa rally in 2015, President Trump stated, “I’m good at war, ……. I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war. I love war in a certain way, but only when we win.” Every morning Mr. Bolton murmurs in one ear, and Secretary Pompeo hums in the other against Iran. It is alarmingly possible the President will soon start an unprovoked war against Iran.
How can the U.S. and Iran prevent a war? President Trump would be wise to end sanctions on Iran permanently or at least for a year to allow a favorable environment for negotiations on all issues of concerns for both sides, bearing in mind that the sovereignty of Iran must be respected. Additionally, he should remove all travel bans on Iran to help Iranians form a more positive view of his intentions.
The two suggestions above seem elementary but have significance for the following reasons. The world is “condensing”, partly because of the speed of communication. The U.S. and Iran are growing more codependents. Pragmatism is the most normal slant of accepting the world.
What is the critical concept that has nonstop steered the globe since olden times? It is the competitions between superpowers, now the United States, Russia, and China. Thus, cooperation is essential. Iran is an emerging new power at least in the Middle East. The U.S. is by no means the only unipolar power in this world even currently. The American domination would not disappear soon. However, akin to the Roman Empire it would not last eternally.
In the Middle East, Iran is a central power but must come to terms with the American enterprise for good reasons, most importantly for its economic development and for saving its valued young generation. The same is right about the U.S. since it has many “allies” to protect in the Middle East. America would serve well if its bodies and rubrics understand ways of cooperation with those of Iran. The U.S. would be under less strain if the spirit of cooperation were revitalized, particularly with Iran in the Middle East. The only way for the American and Iranian systems to endure and prosper at an optimum rate is to tackle the joint problems in the Middle East jointly. Why not test this wisdom now? One hundred years from now we will see that the courage for cooperation would evidence its value.
If the U.S. and Iran go to war, climate change would markedly affect not only the two nations but also the entire Middle East. We really must address the problems of the Middle East and importantly the shrinking world cooperatively and now. Vitally, the political leaders in Iran and the U.S. must prepare the ground for significant economic improvement in both countries and reduce the level of unnecessary hostility.
Iran and the U.S. would be sensible to accept one another, with the ultimate goals of shaping a community of nations having the blessings of peace, liberty, and justice for all. Iran and the U.S. would lose by relying on and rehashing until perpetuity, for example, the coup that brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Dr. M. Mosaddegh, or the hostage taking or threats to Israel. Every bit of excellent progress Iran has made has been in the face of impediments and restrictions. Neither Iran nor the U.S. can wait for the situation to be perfect for negotiating. It would be prudent to start making excellent and momentous use of the conditions as they are. Today there is time, energy, and the opening that never may come again. Time is right to do something great using this situation. Both nations must come together on likely promises and soon will find the ways past the limitations. Both countries must devote themselves to action and enable themselves to rise above problematic situations. What counts more than how things are, is how you pick to be. President Trump and President Rouhani would be levelheaded to decide today to be the persons who bring new goodness to the lives of their people, the war-torn Middle East and the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.
The majority of the people in this world rightly believe President Trump is racist. He claims he is the least racist being that one ever encounters. His fights with Iran have a racist link. He detests the legacy of the first African President. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also is another certified racist, arrogantly claiming the President is devotedly implementing a policy against Iran that was designed by the Prime Minister. This statement is linked by the President inference that Iran is floppy and the end is near for 40 years of Revolution. Of course, this is the mama of all untruths! This kind of thinking reminds Americans of parallels with the countdown to the 1980 election in the U.S. when Republican nominee Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent Democrat Jimmy. If President Trump listens to the Israeli PM, he would lose the election in 2020.
President Trump should take a leaf out of his predecessor policy. In contrast to President Trump, President Obama knew history. Within months of entering the White House, the former President delivered one of his excellent speeches in Cairo admitting America’s past evils against the Muslim world. It was this confession that swayed the Supreme Leaser and Iranian government that productive engagement might be his central objects of the new foreign policy of the U.S.
Finally, President Trump must recognize state formation has been a sealed triumph of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Iran is ready to talk in a civilized manner but make no mistakes; there will be no meltdown in Iran.
Akbar Montaser is Professor Emeritus, The George Washington University (Washington, DC) where he taught and conducted research for 32 years (1981-2012). He also served as a Program Director in the Division of Materials Research at the National Science Foundation for 9 years. Born in Esfahan, Iran, he received his BS degree from Shiraz University in 1969 and his PhD in 1974 from Michigan State University. As a postdoctoral fellow, he investigated high-temperature plasmas at the Ames Laboratory, a major US Department of Energy Federal Laboratory, located on the site of Iowa State University (ISU). He taught and conducted research as the faculty at Sharif University of Technology (Iran) from 1975-1979. After the 1979 Revolution, he immigrated to the US. For two years, he was a research Professor at the Ames Laboratory – ISU before joining the faculty at GWU in 1981.
Professor Montaser is globally acclaimed as one of the top three experts in plasma spectrometry for trace, ultratrace, isotopic, and speciation analysis of materials, such as, nuclear wastes and semiconductor materials. The US Department of Energy, several federal and state agencies, and instrument manufacturers strongly backed his research for over 30 years. His expertise is centered on fundamental studies, modeling, simulation of plasmas and aerosol systems, development of smart plasmas and smart aerosols, instrument design, and the applications of aerospace, mechanical, electrical engineering, theoretical astronomy, and optics to the chemistry and the physics of novel plasmas.
Professor Montaser and his team are the authors of over 500 articles and presentations in diverse areas such as chemistry, medical sciences, forensic science, and engineering. His discoveries have graced the Cover Pages of several scientific Journals.
Professor Montaser is the co-author/co-editor of six major books that are famed as the “Bible” of the field. The books have been translated into, for example, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. His three new books on plasma mass spectrometry are due for publication in 2018 and 2019. The techniques described in these comprehensive volumes have revolutionized the practice of analysis and led to the development of new devices, such as cell phones, high-speed laptop computers, and other high-storage devices.
Currently, Professor Montaser serves globally as a consultant in areas such as intellectual property, development of novel chemical instrumentation, hand-held laboratories, and invention of innovative and transformative techniques for chemical analysis of nanomaterials, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, food, nuclear substances, biological, environmental, geological, petroleum, forensic, and works of art. These studies not only address current challenging problems, but they are vital for tackling likely difficulties that could arise in the future.
Professor Montaser is an antiwar devotee of human rights, an advocate of nuclear disarmament, and a partisan in the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. He writes on political subjects pertinent to Iran and the United States.