by Salman Rafi Sheikh, with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow, and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a research institution for the study of the countries and cultures of Asia and North Africa.

[ Editor’s Note: The JCPOA renewal continues to go sideways but with a different twist this time. It is Trump’s fanny kissing Israel’s behind that held up fixing the mess, but now President Biden seems to have stepped into the fanny kissing role.

And that is not a rude or undeserved terminology on my part.

The idea that a rogue country like Israel, who has long had its own undeclared nuclear arsenal, is allowed to have veto power of any nuke deal that the US makes begs the question of how much blackmail information is Israeli intelligence holding over the US political system.

An Israeli Dimona pit model, photo Mordechai Vanunu

As for Iran’s current position, I continue to be amazed that it has not taken the stance, when the Western participants demand what is effectively a renegotiation, that Iran will not entertain any new agreement which does not have Israel coming into full inspection compliance.

That would put the rogue nuclear threat bullseye on Israel where it belongs, as VT is absolutely sure that Israel has used nuclear weapons a number of times.

It is also a US massive counter intelligence failure in not being able to dismantle the massive Israeli espionage operation that is running continually in the US…nuclear, scientific and political.

Congress has never set up an investigative committee to expose how such an intelligence failure has occurred, but allowed it to continue from one administration to another… Jim W. Dean ]

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Israel’s Dimona nuclear weapons site – Photo by Mordechai Vanunu

First published … October 19, 2021

Even though the presidential candidate Joe Biden had vowed to “move quickly” to re-join the Iran nuclear deal, this has not happened. The Biden administration’s deliberate strategy to kill the previous deal by following the framework of talks it inherited from the Trump administration has contributed massively to the present deadlock, leading the US and Israel to devise a “Plan B” to force Iran into submission.

While Iran has been insisting – and its demands are not illegitimate – that the US must lift its sanctions first to create the path for reviving the JCPOA, Washington’s (and Israel’s) insistence on including Iran’s ballistic missile programme into the deal has become an additional sources of tensions and the ensuing deadlock.

Including a new agenda in the deal does not mean reviving the deal; in fact, it is actually involves a bid to push Tehran for an altogether new deal – a goal that the US and Israel have been pursuing ever since the Trump administration withdrew from the deal and Israel started sabotaging Iran’s legitimate nuclear production though cyber attacks and by murdering its top nuclear scientist.

With a simple revival of the deal is increasingly looking impossible, the talk of the town is the ‘military option’ if the ‘diplomatic option’ fails to produce the desired outcome, that is a one-dimensional result that favours the US and Israel only.

While it is already hard to argue against the fact that Israel, by engaging in active sabotage, has been using proper military options to coerce Iran into submission, there is still no gainsaying that US and Israel are actively contemplating the military option to actually upgrade the military resources they have used so far.

In doing so, both the US and Israel will be relying on the precedent set by the Trump administration when it killed Iran’s top military official, General Suleimani, last year in a drone air-strike in Iraq.

While the Biden administration may not itself want to start a new fully fledged war against Iran when it has just ended the US’ “endless war” in Afghanistan, there is no gainsaying that the US defense establishment may provide all the support, both diplomatic and military, Israel needs to carry out a military strike on Iran’s nuclear production capabilities.

At the same time, it remains that the US may not be a fully opposed to actually coordinating with Israel a military strike on Iran. During his latest meeting with Biden, the Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, was a happy man when he received Biden’s reassurance that “all options” were on the table, should the on-goings talks fail.

Now that the prospects of JCPOA’s revival through the US participation look extremely bleak, other options, including a military/air strike, could become a possibility.

For Israel, resorting to military actions has an added political – electoral advantage. According to a recent survey conducted by Israel’s Democracy Institute, more than 50 per cent of Israeli Jewish population believes that Israel should have launched a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities in the very early phase of its development.

Launching a military strike, therefore, does not have political consequence for Naftali who sits on a multi-party coalition government.

Accordingly, Israel is building the momentum for its “Plan B” at both regional and international levels. The Israeli activity to build this momentum flows from its previous attempts at derailing the whole process to revive the JCPOA. 

Last week, in a joint press conference with his US and Emirati counterparts, Israel’s foreign minister, Yari Lapid, said that they “reserve” the right to act in self-defence. In Israeli geo-strategic parlance, the right to self-defence has always meant a pre-emptive military operation. 

Lapid himself operationalized the definition of the so-called ‘right to self defence’ when he said that “If a terror regime is going to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act. We must make clear the civilized world won’t allow it.” Antony Blinken reciprocated, saying that “we are prepared to turn to other options if Iran doesn’t change course.”

In his meeting with Biden’s National Security Advisor, , Lapid shared, without himself publicly revealing, with him details of Israel’s “alternative plan” against Iran.

But some of the details of this plan have already been revealed by Israel’s military chief, when he said that Israel and its intelligence community “is working against Iranian regional entrenchment throughout the Middle East.” “Operations to destroy Iranian capabilities will continue — in various arenas and at any time”, he added.

Echoing Israel’s discourse, US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said last week that

“We will be prepared to adjust to a different reality in which we have to deal with all options to address Iran’s nuclear program if it’s not prepared to come back into the constraints of 2016.”

While the US officials continue to project that Iran is refusing to return to JCPOA, the fact remains that the deadlock is not an outcome of Iran’s refusal to revive the JCPOA, but its insistence on reviving the same agreement that was agreed in 2015 and lifting all sanctions the US has imposed, or failed to lift right after the deal after the deal.

In refusing to lift sanctions, the Biden administration is essentially following in the footsteps of the Obama administration, which, while it did make the deal, continued to delay the lifting of all financial sanctions and unfreezing of the Iranian assets as well.

Therefore, the roots of the “Plan B” are impossible to find in the Iranian intransigence. It must be found in the US withdrawal from the treaty and its illegitimate insistence on negotiating a new deal, a demand that the other signatories of the deal – especially, China and Russia – do not support.

A military action against Iran will thus be an avid example of how both the US and Israel have been staging wars to consolidate their regional and international dominance, respectively.

Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. The problem with West is that as soon as a person is taking interest in politics he/she ( mostly he ) is dictated by the Shylocks. He is then approached, waited, and promoted if useful material, and is eliminated if not. All these guys then go through training and during the training leave plenty of imprinted material behind. Then whatever position these individuals get to they got to OBEY. Never forget this is fundamental to CONTOL MECHANISM ” Corrupt them and Introduce them to Fornication “.

    • Even the “peace” deals between Israel and the Arab dictators are a fragile farce dependent on the survival of the arab dictatorships, in turn making those very same deals in direct opposition to the interests and aspirations of freedom of the victim citizens of the UAE, Bahrain etc The zionist “realism” is a fantasy barely held together by the full might of the United States. There is no realism in an ethnically cleansed J*ewish supremacists based apartheid ethno state surviving. The thing PM Bennett gets wrong is that Israel won’t have to tolerate a nuclear Iran because Israel will one day cease to exist, be it through a singular state when the world no longer tolerates its current apartheid existence, or through mutual destruction when a war eventually breaks out, as it always does, but this time things will spiral out of control and Israel forgets they are not the only ones with nukes !

  2. Since war powers of president installed he needs no congressional approval to nuke the shit out of any country or culture.
    So Plan B perfectly do-able at anytime,
    Congress will only watch, then support the nuclear war afterwards in “testimony to America’s military strength and resolve”
    then will use the Hiroshima argument of millions of lives being saved in the long run.
    Let’s hope not.

    • The problem with nuking Iran is that we’re not in Hiroshima era anymore. Congress will be watching their beloved Israel become a parking lot in less than the time they can say Shalom.
      Delusional likud will always be wet dreaming but it will always stay at that.

  3. From the day Joe Biden got elected president I have been saying that he will never honor most of his campaign promises. Biden is hellbent on upholding Trump’s policies. We are still in Syria and will never leave unless being kicked out which will lead to a greater war. The promises against MBS did not go any where. Yemen is in the same situation as it was under Obama and Trump. Venezuela is same old same old. A Venezuelan diplomat was abducted to Cape Verde and is now in the US probably being tortured compliments of the Biden’s regime. Cuba, Nicaragua, N.Korea, Iraq, business as usual. Most of my relatives and friends who dragged me over hot coals for refusing to vote for “the lesser evil” are grumbling. Congress investigating Israel’s sabotaging the US government ? It will never happen.
    So now here we are.

    • From the day Joe Biden came into office, he knew that Republicans in Congress would block any kind of nuclear treaty with Iran. He and Blinken are stalling for time, hoping that saner heads will prevail, but they won’t. A redo of 9/11, this time blamed on Iran, will drive us into a cataclysmic conflict that will be the end of the USA as we know it.

  4. Just as Biden and Blinken could never put Humpty Dumpty (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) back together again, so too will plan B ultimately fail, not because of Israel, but because there is no way that ReTrumplicans in Congress would ever support it. An attack on Iran is the kickoff to crazy Christian Zionism’s end-time scenario, as is the total destruction of Damascus. Read anything by Pastor John Hagee, Trump’s “spiritual” advisor, if you don’t believe me.

    • “””””As for Iran’s current position, I continue to be amazed that it has not taken the stance, when the Western participants demand what is effectively a renegotiation, that Iran will not entertain any new agreement which does not have Israel coming into full inspection compliance.””””
      Jim, unless you were in the room when Iran made that “demand,” do you think you would ever hear a peep of it?
      Israel and its proxy America want that war. Only who, can stop them? Crickets? 🤔

    • Elvin, the simple reality is that Republicans in Congress will never vote to ratify a nuclear treaty with Iran, especially one negotiated by either Obama or Biden. That proxy war with Iran will be started in the same way that all the wars of this century were started, by an Israeli false-flag event, this time blamed on Iran.