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Let’s sell Iran the rope

Let’s sell Iran the rope

As Lenin said.

A quote from Lenin that’s been running through my head, post Iran deal:

“The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

There are economic ramifications of the Iran deal, particularly to Europe. Europe was chomping at the bit to get access to trade with Iran, and for many Europeans sticking it to Israel into the bargain would be a feature rather than a bug.

Russia was already about to trade with Iran, as announced in April. But the reason Russia was going to do this was that the Iran deal was already in the offing, and Russia knew sanctions would be lifted and wanted to get the jump on the action before the West did. The missiles Russia proposed to sell Iran are defensive in nature only, but:

…[T]he Kremlin is lifting a ban on selling a powerful air defense system to Iran that would render an airstrike on Tehran’s nuclear weapons facilities nearly impossible.

The delivery of the new weapon, called the Almaz-Antei S-300PMU-1—known as the SA-20 Gargoyle in NATO parlance—would effectively force the U.S. to rely on its small fleet of stealth aircraft to strike targets inside Iran in case the mullahs make a dash for the bomb. But even those aircraft might have a difficult time.

So, the diplomatic machinations of the Obama administration are likely to make it impossible for most nations to attack Iran’s weapons facilities, and to make it difficult even for us to do so.

And please recall that this was a missile system that, in Obama’s first term, he had fought against letting Russia give to Iran:

The U.S. government has lobbied Russia hard for years to prevent the sale of the S-300 to Iran. In 2010, convincing Putin to suspend the sale of the S-300 to Iran was heralded as a major foreign policy coup by the Obama administration. In many ways, it was one of the central achievements of the so-called reset in relations with Moscow, said Heather Conley, a Russia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Those were the days, my friend.

Even if Obama had wanted to hang tough in the Iran negotiations (and there is no indication that he did), this Russian missile deal announced in April would have made it very difficult to do so:

“I find it almost hilarious that the Russians are saying, ‘It’s an entirely defensive system and cannot attack anyone, including Israel,’” the [an Air Force commander] said. “But it also essentially makes Iran attack-proof by Israel and almost any country without fifth-gen [stealth fighter] capabilities. In other words, Iran, with the S-300, can continue to do what they want once those systems are in place without fear of attack from anyone save the U.S. Brilliant chess move…”

It seems that Israel would have to attack before these or similar systems are in place, if it attacks at all. What a horrific dilemma for them—a dilemma that ought to be giving Obama no end of pleasure, since it would be putting his most detested head of state, Benjamin Netanayhu, on the hot seat.

And about that rope to sell. From a commenter on my blog:

So now Europe gets some oil and gas and the French and Brits sell cigarettes to…Iran. Nice deal in light of the fact that Iran will turn up its terrorism funding. And the terrorists will be sent to Paris and London.

And to other countries in the Mideast—and most likely to the US, the Great Satan.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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The S-300 system isn’t magical. It’s like all other AA systems, in that it has weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Those are being probed right now in several places by highly motivated, clever people.

But the larger point is well-taken. The parallels with pre-WWII nations and their attitudes toward the malignancies of Germany and Japan are too apparent and painful.

Obama has made Iran the Middle East’s hegemon, apparently by design. Someone is going to have to do the very bloody work of taking that back from them.

    audax in reply to Ragspierre. | July 16, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    One reason the USAF is practicing here in Slovakia and also with Israel in Cyprus and Greece…..all countries with S-300 batteries…..

      Ragspierre in reply to audax. | July 16, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Yeeeeeup. I’d bet money there are people who know the S-300 system better than all but a very few Russians, and those Russians MAY be for sale.

      The weakest part of any weapons system is people. Always.

Sell them the rope? Hell, we are paying them to take the rope from us…

stevewhitemd | July 16, 2015 at 9:46 am

I seem to recall that Israel had no problem with the advanced Russian anti-air system they sold Syria a few years back. All of a sudden one day the system just quit working, and right when the Syrians really could have used it.

I wouldn’t be cocky if I were the Iranians…

The way I see it, as Iran with its military base in Eritrea and Houti support in Aden is already capable of closing off the Red Sea and Suez Canal to shipping thus being able to hurt the Saudis and Israelis and blackmail the Europeans.
They can cause huge problems in the Persian Gulf for the West and the Gulf States.
If they get the bomb who is going to intervene in the blockade?
Another question; how will the Russians and Chinese react to an Israeli attack?
As far as I know the Chinese have troops in Iran protecting their interests. Any intel on this?

Grandson of Stuxnet had better be in place.

    Arminius in reply to Valerie. | July 16, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    The Obama administration has been working with the Mullahs since day one. Recall they compromised the joint US/Israeli STUXNET virus by revealing it before the 2012 election (they’ve compromised several past US/Israeli joint covert operations, by the way).

    So they’re way ahead of you. Just in case Israel develops Grandson of STUXNET the US is now committed to protecting the Iranian nuclear program from it.

    “Annex III – Civil Nuclear Cooperation
    D. Nuclear Safety, Safeguards and Security
    10. Nuclear Security
    E3/EU+3 parties, and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices. Cooperation in the following areas can be envisaged:

    …10. Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.”

    The US (and Israel) did not have anyone representing their interests at these negotiations. This administration was negotiating with the Iranians against us.

    Barack Obama has never been working for us. I’ve been saying since 2008 that he only wanted to be President of his enemies (that would be us) so he could help his friends (in this case the Iranians). Absolutely nothing he has done has surprised me.

Didn’t Hillary already sell them the “rope” (i.e. Uranium) to hang us with?

This Iran deal happened because the luminaries in the State department still think Russia is the greatest threat to Western Europe.

Russia is a big country with a relatively strong national identity and this threatens the State department. Countries, with diversity and without a national identity, are weak because citizens don’t trust each other.

The State department is worried that Russia will use weak Western Europe’s dependence on Russian gas to exert influence over Europe. So another source of Gas was found, Iranian Gas.

The USA talk about stopping Iran’s nuclear program was bullshit, and is bullshit. That’s why the treaty is so weak (24 days’ notice before inspectors are let into the country!). The goal here was never stopping nukes, and always was about getting the gas.

Of course, Putin is no dummy and sees what the USA is doing. He made his own deal with Iran.

The state department is of course wrong about Russia. Russia being a strong country with a national identity doesn’t threaten Europe…. it saves Europe and it is what allows Europe to be diverse an open.

If Russia had the same tolerant, open borders attitude as the rest of Europe, then FSU (which borders dangerous places like Iran, and Afghanistan) would be a superhighway for the most dangerous Muslims in the world to walk right into Europe. Only because Russia has a strong national identity, this does not happen.

The USA ought to be strengthening Putin rather than trying to undermine him at every opportunity.