U.S. Policy on Iran Invites Third-Party Provocations

U.S. policy toward Iran is not just designed to fail but designed to hand the initiative to America’s enemies.

Washington claims that its goal is to prevent Iran from militarizing its nuclear technology but single-mindedly adheres to a policy designed to avoid achieving that goal. Assuming Washington is sincere in its professed intent but simply confused about how to get there, the policy–which has the obvious practical effects of alienating Iran, whipping up tension, and prolonging the crisis atmosphere–contains the profound hidden danger of creating ideal conditions for third-party provocations designed to trick the two sides into open conflict.

Secretary of State Clinton recently stated:

We reaffirm that our overall goal remains a comprehensive, negotiated solution that restores confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme while respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy consistent with its obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). [IPSNews 1/11/12.]

Nevertheless, Washington carefully avoids any public hint that it might actually be willing to listen to Tehran’s perspective or, much less, accommodate reasonable Iranian interests in independence, participation in regional affairs, and national security.

The higher international tensions rise and the deeper the level of mutual distrust, the more difficult it will be for decision-makers on each side to stay calm, restrain radicals, resist popular anger, and investigate calmly whatever incidents may occur. Even for Americans, it is difficult to avoid the automatic assumption that the string of murders of Iranian scientists has been carried out by Washington; how much more difficult must it be for Iranians? Thoughtful American observers, including Juan Cole and Jim Lobe, are suggesting that these murders may be the result of Mossad financing of the MEK, a violent anti-regime Iranian dissident organization, and for purposes of undermining U.S. efforts to settle the nuclear issue. This highly logical hypothesis may well be true, but any number of other scenarios are also quite conceivable – from direct Israeli action [an hypothesis backed by an impressive array of evidence] to private financing by a rich believer in Israeli expansion to a truly cunning plot by al Qua’ida to replace the Iraqi trap, that cost so much American blood and treasure, with a sharper Iranian trap.

Indeed, revelations now just beginning to appear in U.S. and Israeli media about examples of Israeli deceit that directly harms U.S. national security show that the danger of provocations that could trap the U.S. in an undesired war are not just theoretical.

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Israeli Anti-American Deceit Revealed



Israeli Mossad agents posed as CIA officers in order to recruit members of a Pakistani terror group to carry out assassinations and attacks against the regime in Iran, Foreign Policy revealed on Friday, quoting U.S. intelligence memos. 

Foreign Policy’s Mark Perry reported that the Mossad operation was carried out in 2007-2008, behind the back of the U.S. government, and infuriated then U.S. President George W. Bush. [Haaretz 1/13/12.]

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In the end, it does not matter who the provocateur is. The point is that by designing a policy that is almost certain not to achieve its professed goal, Washington is setting itself up for being trapped by a provocation from a hostile third party. Ironically, it does not even matter if Washington’s real goal is to provoke a war that will enable it to colonize Iran, control the global oil market, and buttress its floundering empire. Even if Washington is hoping for war, it is still bad policy to put the initiative in the hands of an unknown hostile party. Just to note one obvious example, letting a hostile force control events means that we will not even know who might be President when the fatal match is struck. By following a policy designed to fail, Washington is, as you read these words, placing U.S. national security in the hands of its enemies.

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