Tom Brennan

Farsi anyone? Semantics and the war of words in the Middle East

The Western nations that met with the representatives of Iran recently in Lausanne Switzerland all have different stories to tell. The United States seems to have claimed credit for the deal of the century that will keep the world safe from a nuclear armed Iran –at least as the conventional wisdom sees it. Images of John Kerry, hands pressed together, almost pleading for a deal, any deal bring, astonishment. President Obama claimed this was the best they could do and declared that everyone just has to back it. A “fact sheet” of points of agreement was issued  by the United States State Department and almost immediately contradicted by Tehran’s fact sheet almost as immediately, the Iranians claimed that no real deal was agreed upon and they would still keep all the material they had produced and install the new high-efficiency centrifuges. They would also not open any military sites to proposed inspections and by the way, Israel is still on target and “death to America”.

The President of Iran also capitalized on the United States’ Constitutional crisis about Treaties. He declared that only the President’s actions were acceptable in any angreement.

Spokespersons from the State Department immediately chimed in that Israel was not involved in any part of the discussion and that we just want to get a deal about nuclear weapons. It seems Israel and a whole list of former US allies in the region were collectively thrown under the diplomatic bus. Obama’s unwritten foreign policy of transferring world policeman duties in the region is still to convey that duty to Iran’s theocracy and Ayatollahs. The concept is that in  ten years Iran will have moved past the expansionist phase of its national growth as an Islamic State and be a more stable and reliable nation. Past evidence is in direct contradiction. Viewing the nation’s Presidential website such as is a chilling experience. Diatribes and an unavowed goal of dominance saturate each press release.

Iran’s reputation for compliance with international accords is consistently in the negative. Plans to engage and defeat “large naval targets” such as aircraft carriers are on record. At this writing two Iranian warships were on station near Yemen as the US Fifth Fleet Carrier Battle Group sails towards the area. As Iran seeks to expand itself into Yemen’s collapse, the obvious result of full control of the Straits of Hormuz and closing the Red Sea by control of the passage at Aden is obvious to everyone it seems but the Oval Office.

The out in the open support by Russia and sale of state of the art missiles to Iran brings another dangerous element into the region. Overt partnership with Russia, China and North Korea in reactor construction has all but guaranteed the domination of Iran for a region that with its new partners cedes control of much of the globe to what may be the successors to the “evil empire”.

The Iranians and Western Powers seem to have come away from the negotiating table with different views of what was agreed. The Obama Administration is attempting to “sell” and agreement that no one still agrees upon. The rushed atmosphere and pleading have worked in Iran’s favor and they have seized an opportunity to show their self-realized superiority in press releases and statements from various branches of government. The weakness of the Western position has moved the regional states further from Washington’s now shrunken sphere of influence. Then vacuum is being rapidly filled by a reunited Eastern Bloc, Russia, Communist China and North Korea. The changes in the geopolitical map seem to a semblance of the past as the Cold War re-heats and arms and recruits flood into the Middle East’s expanding war and civil war zones. The claims of success by the United States in bringing Iran into a mature nationhood capable of making and keeping agreements are possibly a misunderstanding. Perhaps it is a certain naiveté by the Administration. Either way the speed at which events are happening in the region have left America behind and a new group of erstwhile allies, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel seem to be acting in their own self-interest one way or another. Time will tell, and time is getting short.

About the Author
Tom Brennan is a former museum curator, library adminstrator, small business owner, sheriff's deputy, Arabian Breeding Farm Manager, cowboy, farmer and author. He writes for
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