New Eastern Outlook
by Salman Rafi Sheikh
One of the most remarkable and defining characteristics of the international state system is the making and re-making of alliances between its constituting components: the nation states. The making and re-making of alliances is, however, not an autonomous phenomenon; rather it is highly contingent upon the prevailing international circumstances and the subsequent convergence of interests of the concerned states. The on-going negotiations between Iran and the USA regarding a nuclear deal must not have come as a surprise to any close observe of international politics. The current situation prevailing in the Middle East, the US’ own need to have a ‘new’ ally in the ME to counter-balance the growing power of its erstwhile ally Saudi Arabia as well as to augment its own position in Afghanistan and Iraq seem to have pushed the US towards reaching a ‘mutually agreed’ deal with Iran.
Although to it cannot be categorically stated that the deal will be followed by an outright new phase of ‘happy’ relationship between the US and Iran, it cannot be gainsaid either that the US will be having less enemies in the ME than it has today. But it is not a one-way stream. It is not the US only that is interested in reaching that deal; Iran, too, itself is not in any strong enough a position to ‘dictate’ the terms of the deal solely. Both of the states have locked themselves in a closed alley. For us, the US is trying to reach some sort of a rapprochement with Iran; and Iran also appears to be desiring the same. The probable “mutual” reasons could be: (1) the US might have realized that despite the severe effects of sanctions, Iran has been able to stick to its stand of continuing with its nuclear programme due to its national strategic will, and also that a ‘friendly’ Iran could be of high political value in US’ desire to retain its politico-economic tentacles in Afghanistan with reduced military presence; and (2) on the other hand, the ‘economic fatigue’ may be compelling Iran itself to accept some sort of a detente with the US, even if its possible ‘aim’ of developing nuclear weapons is delayed for a few years.
Notwithstanding these aspects of the deal and its possible ‘benefits’ for both states, there are some latent and hidden facts that must be outlined here for fully comprehending how precisely the two states progressed from being ‘staunch enemies’ to possible ‘good friends.’ To begin with, it must be emphasized here that Iran has, since the very beginning of this nuclear issue, been denying the US’ allegations on Iran establishing a nuclear arsenal. If this has been Iran’s official stance, how could the US impose sanctions on Iran? Obviously, it needed some evidence to convince the world of the need for stopping the ideological state from going nuclear. The evidence, in this behalf, were certainly provided. However, these evidences were invented¸ just as the evidences regarding the existence of WMDs in Iraq were fabricated and invented, by the US’ notorious CIA.
Some of the recently published reports, on this issue, have clearly and undisputedly brought to limelight the role CIA played in fabricating evidences of Iran making nuclear bomb. According to the evidences presented and made public as part of a judicial hearing into a case involving Jeffrey Sterling, an agent convicted of leaking classified information on CIA spying against Iran, CIA was at the helm of pushing Iran towards nuclear programme. According to the evidences presented to the court, it was the CIA that framed Iran into this nuclear quagmire by supplying her with fabricated and false blueprints for nuclear weapon components almost 15 year ago. The latent purpose of this treachery was, obviously, to mislead Iran into the illusion of having the ability to make bombs. “The goal is to plant this substantial piece of deception information on the Iranian nuclear-weapons program, sending them down blind alleys, wasting their time and money,” a May 1997 CIA cable submitted to the court reads. The intelligence in question pertains to fake designs of atomic components that were transferred to Iran in February 2000. It was designed specifically to prepare the stage for pitting Iran against the Western world generally, and the US particularly, so that the US’ grand strategy for the twenty-first century, that included complete domination of the Middle East, could be implemented. The timing of the transfer of these blueprints is extremely crucial because the US was already planning the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the 9/11 was yet to take place. These evidences show that Iran was also one of the probable targets of the US in 2000-2001; however, it could not attack it because of too strong an opposition from Russia and China.
Given these revelations, it can safely be assumed that the West has been busy implanting incontrovertible and incriminating evidences in Iran to tighten their control over the Middle East and to have an excuse to attack it, if needed be. “This story suggests a possibility that hostile intelligence agencies could decide to plant a ‘smoking gun’ in Iran for the IAEA to find,” said Peter Jenkins, the UK’s former envoy to the Vienna-based agency. “That looks like a big problem”, he further added. It is highly contentious since this revelation highlights beyond any doubt the dangers of reliance by the IAEA upon evidence concerning Iran provided to it by third party states (USA/CIA) whose political agendas are antithetical to Iran, and which involve the fall of Iran’s ideological regime.
Now that the CIA’s role has been exposed in fomenting conflicts, it stands clear that the US/CIA failed in achieving what they thought was critical to the materialization of their objectives: regime change in Iran by involving it in a geo-strategic conflict with the US and the West at large. Failure to attack Iran and impose “change of regime”— which is one of the most outstanding US cold war and post-cold war policy—led the US and its allies to pave the way for opening negotiations and find a ‘peaceful’ way to end the “cold war” with Iran.
Notwithstanding the significance of these undisputable facts, the main stream Western media continues to hide the above explained treachery hatched by the CIA. Contrary to these facts, the media networks continue to frame debate on this deal around insignificant questions. The question of how many centrifuges should Iran retain is as irrelevant to understanding the US’ geo-strategic ambitions as to understanding how spy agencies are at the helm of fomenting inter-state conflicts. Primarily, the Western media’s obsession with these irrelevant and misleading questions is due to their ‘obligation’ to cover up their spy agencies’ covert involvement in conflicts, as also their ‘democratic’ states’ desire to establish complete hegemony over the entire world to control its resources and play with the lives of all those who happen to be their ‘enemies.’ Given the media’s involvement in politics, especially in international politics, and its overt support for the CIA and other spy agencies, it cannot be denied that the West is once again trying to trick Iran into a geo-political trap set around the ‘threats’ emanating from the ISIS/ISIL; for, the current situation of the Middle East is as much a result of treachery as was, and is, US-Iran nuclear dispute. The US is going to trick Iran through this deal because nuclear-dispute was never the actual dispute between them; the real dispute is Iran’s ideological regime. As long as this regime is intact, no deal can really seem to have the potential to reduce animosity between the two states.
Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”