Mark Greenberg
Life-long Progressive Who Got Woke

The Ayatollah vs The Donald

Let us put aside the looming Armageddon for the moment among North Korea, China, America and its allies in the South Pacific. Perhaps there will be a meeting in Singapore on June 12 and perhaps it will occur at some point thereafter.

Alternatively, let us examine the looming Armageddon in Israel’s sphere of the world where there are just as many players, where the stakes are potentially every bit as catastrophic and the protagonists equally unpredictable.

One could make the argument that Donald Trump lit the fuse by taking two provocative actions, both of which he committed to the voters he would do if he won the election: withdraw from the JCPOA which was an agreement that was never presented to the elected representatives of the American people for their approval; and, move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the designated capital of Israel, which was approved in 1995 by the American Senate 95-3.

But that seems like a lifetime ago.

One headline read, “No Prominent Democrats in Jerusalem for Embassy Move” (Arutz Sheva, 5/27/2018).

We can shake a Jerusalem snow bowl all we want, but if we are realists we know that if that vote were taken today, it would barely pass with a Republican majority.

To the extent there is a Democratic darling — and it is represented by either the confused Kibbutznik Bernie Sanders, the ultra-leftist Kamala Harris, Native American Elizabeth Warren or Representative of the Nation of Islam Keith Ellison — none of these people would vote to move the embassy today and the erstwhile Jewish Sen Sanders’ office circulated a video this video this week advocating a Palestinian “right of return.”

With the wobbly exception of the repugnant Sen Chuck Schumer, who criticized Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, the Democratic Party no longer defends the State of Israel because it has too much invested in defending illegal immigration, criticizing Trump for his Islamaphobia, opposing his female nominee to head the CIA because she was linked tangentially to waterboarding Kahleed Sheik Mohammed following the destruction of the World Trade Center and its support of Palestinian statehood despite its employment of terror and failure to acknowledge the inherent Jewishness of Israel.

Iran Sets Conditions For Euros

But now that Trump has declared — as we have known since its inception — that the JCPOA was a political contortion, constructed like a beautiful British Wentworth jigsaw puzzle, planned artfully by Obama and Kerry with his European allies because it would never have passed muster here, Ayatollah Khamenei has set conditions to keep the duplicitous Europeans in the deal. He knows the Americans will reinstate the sanctions that choked his economy before the implementation of the Obama capitulation, so how desperate are the Europeans to keep him mollified?

  1. He wants the Europeans to force the United States to comply with UNSCR 2231which was an international endorsement of the JCPOA.
  2. Iran’s missile program and their “regional presence” (i.e., their bases in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, et. al.) may not be a matter of discussion with European leaders.
  3. Europeans must clearly oppose all American sanctions against Iran.
  4. If America tries to interfere with Iranian oil sales, the Europeans must guarantee the purchase of oil from Iran.
  5. Europe must guarantee Iran’s banking connections.

These are all untenable conditions for the European community. It is inconceivable that they will be prepared to or even have the power to provide these guarantees to the Islamic Republic.

  1. Neither the United Nations nor any collection of members has any power of enforcement over the sovereignty of the United States.
  2. European leaders may choose not to address Iran’s missile program or their regional presence with Iran’s government, but there are other interested parties who may decide that it is in their best interest to do so without consulting Iranian authorities.
  3. European public and private interests will have to choose whether they prefer conducting business with American or Iranian businesses. They will not have the latitude to do both.
  4. America will place sanctions on all sales of Iranian oil. If European oil companies choose to purchase crude from Iran, they will be sanctioned from conducting business in or with the United States.
  5. Iran will be barred from conducting business with the United States banking system which is obviously the world standard. If China or Russia chooses to conduct banking business with Iran which is certainly likely and that activity is uncovered, those Chinese and Russian institutions which are obviously government-sanctioned will be barred from conducting business in the United States.

There is nothing the Europeans can do to comply with the Ayatollah’s conditions. Despite all their bluster, it is clear from these demands that America’s withdrawal from the JCPOA will essentially paralyze Iran economically. Is it conceivable that Angela Merkel or Emmanuel Macron will place their economic relationship with Iran ahead of their relationship with the United States or Saudi Arabia? If Trump comes to an agreement with North Korea, to whom is Iran going to sell its oil?

Who’s Going to Buy Iranian Oil? President Xi?

Every country with which Iran is aligned is a vassal, an entity dependent upon them for cash, weaponry, and energy. If there are no countries willing or able to pay them in cash for their oil or the intellectual property associated with their weapons, the Islamic Republic is “out of business”. No North Korea. No Syria. No Lebanon.

The IRGC already knows that for the moment the Russians do not seem to be willing to confront Israel as it quietly eliminates Iran’s presence in Syria. Apparently, the Adir F-35 can overfly the region at will without alerting the S-300 and S-400 to its presence. This must be somewhat disconcerting to Iran since Israel may get as many as 50 of these aircraft.

But many in Israel actually prefer Boeing’s new version of the F-15. Though it does not possess the stunning stealth capabilities of the F-35, the F-15 (particularly after Israeli proprietary “aftermarket” alterations) can carry larger bombs and can fly greater distances without refueling.

It is likely that the “new” IAF will possess the capabilities of both aircraft and here, some credit must be paid to President Obama who authorized the funding for the purchase of the F-35’s.

The Ayatollah’s impossible demands of the Europeans, the looming denuclearization of North Korea, America’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, Russia’s obvious unease with Iran’s provocative territorial presence in Syria (which served their purposes temporarily) and Israel’s determination to confront that presence will begin strangling Iran economically to pre-JCPOA levels, further unsettling their restless population.

About the Author
Professionally, Mark Greenberg comes out of the world of New York Media. He was a member of the management team that started MTV. He turned down a job at ESPN to move to Austin to raise his family of four boys in a more rational atmosphere. He was also a member of the bicoastal media elite that he critiques on a regular basis.
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