Parsing the White House Statement on Brazil & Turkey’s Iran Brief

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robert gibbs.jpg
What follows below the fold is White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ statement on Brazil & Turkey’s possible diplomatic achievement with Iran.
Brazil has announced that Iran has agreed to store a considerable amount of its low enriched uranium in Turkey in exchange for a modest amount of more highly enriched uranium for use in the Tehran Research Reactor.
Key points in Gibbs’ statement:

1. The US “acknowledges” efforts by Turkey and Brazil. This means that the US is prepared to applaud their efforts whether success is achieved or not. Privately, there will be some desire inside the White House to punish Brazil and Turkey for their high stakes freelancing if this deal falls apart. But at an official level, the administration is not going to try and embarrass Brazil and Turkey.
2. Until reviewed by the IAEA, the US is going to remain highly skeptical of the Iran deal. This could be interesting “statecraft”. If the US too strongly endorsed Brazil’s efforts or applauded this nuclear materials exchange agreement, the Iranians might not trust the arrangement and could immediately pull back. Skepticism from and resistance by the US may actually be the thing that gets Iran to trust the arrangement.
3. Gibbs notes that Iran states that it is going to continue to enrich uranium up to a 20% level. This is a problem — and creates the angle that the US and allies can continue to attack Iran’s core nuclear program motives.
4. Gibb’s last statement leaves open the door for more constructive engagement and an open door if Iran’s deeds lead to greater trust and confidence in its course. This is mostly boiler plate — but important posturing that the rest of the international community needs to hear more than Iran if the US is going to maintain support for possibly tougher actions against Iran.


THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2010
Statement by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Iran

We acknowledge the efforts that have been made by Turkey and Brazil. The proposal announced in Tehran must now be conveyed clearly and authoritatively to the IAEA before it can be considered by the international community. Given Iran’s repeated failure to live up to its own commitments, and the need to address fundamental issues related to Iran’s nuclear program, the United States and international community continue to have serious concerns. While it would be a positive step for Iran to transfer low-enriched uranium off of its soil as it agreed to do last October, Iran said today that it would continue its 20% enrichment, which is a direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions and which the Iranian government originally justified by pointing to the need for fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor. Furthermore, the Joint Declaration issued in Tehran is vague about Iran’s willingness to meet with the P5+1 countries to address international concerns about its nuclear program, as it also agreed to do last October.
The United States will continue to work with our international partners, and through the United Nations Security Council, to make it clear to the Iranian government that it must demonstrate through deeds – and not simply words – its willingness to live up to international obligations or face consequences, including sanctions. Iran must take the steps necessary to assure the international community that its nuclear program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes, including by complying with U.N. Security Council resolutions and cooperating fully with the IAEA. We remain committed to a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear program, as part of the P5+1 dual track approach, and will be consulting closely with our partners on these developments going forward.
###
— Steve Clemons

Comments

70 comments on “Parsing the White House Statement on Brazil & Turkey’s Iran Brief

  1. nadine says:

    Sweetness, one more point about the USSR: we adopted a containment strategy because we had no choice. The USSR was too big, too entrenched, too well-armed to fight directly. BUT we did not adopt this attitude to all the Communist satellite states. We didn’t say, ooh look, another Communist takeover, let’s go look for moderates and engage them. We fought proxy wars of containment instead.
    Yet that is what we are doing with Lebanon. We act as if we have forgotten that Hizbullah blew up our Marines in the 1980s. In the Mideast, they don’t forget. It was a triumph then and to have us forget it now is a second triumph, another proof of US weakness.

    Reply

  2. nadine says:

    “Like WHAT “peaceful democracy promotion in the ME”?”
    Like March 14th in Lebanon, who got Syria to withdraw its troops, with peaceful American backing. Like the modest moves towards Egyptian liberalization. These happened in 2003-5, when Bush was pushing democracy. Bush mostly abandoned them in his second term, and Obama is making it clear he sides with Hizbullah (that is how Brennan’s remarks will be understood in the Mideast).
    I’m not saying it’s easy. But there are things we could do – like for the love of Heaven, giving some support to Iranian protesters when they take to the streets by the millions. THEY were begging for support, even just supportive words. If the Iranian regime were ousted, it would be almost like winning the Cold War again, the regime is so harmful to our interests.
    “So democratization has gotten a bad name of late because of its
    association with violence and the attempt to impose our will on
    others.”
    Only among liberals, not among would-be democrats in the Muslim world. The real reformers in Egypt and Syria would love to see a strong US pressuring their governments to liberalize, instead of a weak US bleating about “engagement.”
    “Back in the days of the Cold War, we had REGULAR and
    EXTENSIVE engagement with an empire that had thousands of
    nuclear warheads pointed at all of our cities and at our European
    allies”
    There’s a difference between negotiation about practical things with “looking for moderates” where there aren’t any moderates. Warheads are one thing, revolutionary zeal is another.
    Back when Communism was new and ardently revolutionary, we didn’t negotiate with them. By later years, they had settled into great-power rivals, a different state of affairs. Hizbullah are religious fanatics working for the religious fanatics running Tehran. They are revolutionaries for Allah. If you negotiate with people like that, you don’t do it by looking for moderates; you do it in a hard-headed way with the backup of threat of force if necessary. You DO go in with a proper understanding of who is working for whom and no illusions that political power moderates extremists.
    I don’t see any hard-head policies coming out of the Obama administration (except against Republicans, you won’t find any “engagement” in that direction). I see only leftist wooly-headedness. Ooh look, they’re politicians so, so they can’t be terrorists anymore. Ooh, everybody wants peace, and if somebody doesn’t it’s only because America was mean to them. It’s our fault. We’re too rich and powerful. We have to give away some of our wealth and power. After all, no nation can tell another what to do. We just have to beat up the Israelis to fall in line. Then Muslims will see we’ve reformed and will like us again.
    Our enemies around the world can hardly believe their good luck, I’m sure. I would bet good money that believers like Hizbullah are convinced that Allah put Barack Hussein Obama into office to help destroy America from within. Meanwhile, they intend to be the “strong horse” to our “weak horse”.

    Reply

  3. Sweetness says:

    Nadine writes: “Sweetness’s arguments, btw, do not begin to
    address why soi-disant progressives are nowhere to be found
    when there is a chance to do peaceful democracy promotion in
    the mideast, they don’t want to even say a word to help Arab
    reformers. Really, when it comes to democracy, right and left
    have switched places. It was the left that used to be anti-fascist
    and the right that used to be realist. No longer.”
    Like WHAT “peaceful democracy promotion in the ME”?
    Let me back up a bit before getting to this question. The
    problem is virtually all democracy promotion in recent years has
    been violent democracy promotion, and our military was been
    named as our primary tool for this promotion.
    So, I would argue, that progressives–and obviously I don’t
    speak for all of them or even know all of them and they have
    varied views–feel they have their hands full stopping more of
    this violent “democracy promotion” from taking place.
    No doubt some peaceful efforts have gotten short shrift or been
    even wrongly condemned, but mostly because democratization
    has been used as a cover for “imposing one’s way” on others and
    even as a prelude to violence. “Do it my way voluntarily or you’ll
    be forced to do it my way by violence.”
    And hawks breed or strengthen other hawks. So even financial
    or moral support for home-grown pro-democratic groups can
    be demagogued by totalitarian regimes to increase their
    support, peel people away from these groups so as not to be
    accused of treason, and otherwise strengthen their hand.
    So democratization has gotten a bad name of late because of its
    association with violence and the attempt to impose our will on
    others.
    As far engaging with Hizbullah or terrorists go…how have we
    become beguiled by this Manichean world view?
    Back in the days of the Cold War, we had REGULAR and
    EXTENSIVE engagement with an empire that had thousands of
    nuclear warheads pointed at all of our cities and at our European
    allies. War games took place on the plains of Eastern Europe.
    Subs with nuclear weaponry roamed the seven seas. Long range
    bombing fleets laden with mega-death were kept aloft 24/7.
    The largest army in the world opposed us.
    If any regime was reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany, both within
    its borders and in its foreign policy, it was the Soviet Union. And
    yet still, we talked with them and traded red phones and even
    had cultural exchanges! The Soviets weren’t moderate in any
    way, yet we talked with them, concluded treaties and agreements
    with them.
    Round up every single Muslim terrorist in the world along with
    all their weapons, and I doubt that, even with all their
    asymmetrical advantages, they amount to one, poorly equipped
    Soviet battalion. It makes no sense not to talk with them. How
    else are you going to keep tabs on them (at the very least)? How
    else are you going to co-opt them? How else are you going to
    find out what their weaknesses are?
    Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer.

    Reply

  4. nadine says:

    Paul, use your magic captcha to read between the lines: sam is all about what a wonderful success Obama would be if it wasn’t for the Jooooooos.
    Sweetness’s arguments, btw, do not begin to address why soi-disant progressives are nowhere to be found when there is a chance to do peaceful democracy promotion in the mideast, they don’t want to even say a word to help Arab reformers. Really, when it comes to democracy, right and left have switched places. It was the left that used to be anti-fascist and the right that used to be realist. No longer.
    And the current crop of “realists” is even worse. Brennan just said he’s looking to engage with “moderate” elements of Hizbullah. What a moron. He might as well have announced: “The US has no objection to Hizbullah consolidating its take-over of Lebanon; if Hizbullah wants to murder the remaining March 14 politicians, that’s fine by us.”
    There are no moderate elements of Hizbullah. All the elements of Hizbullah work for Khamenei (you really should read Michael Totten’s reporting about whose pictures are up on all the walls in Hizbullah-land in South Beirut). Khamenei is not paying for moderation in his foreign legion, and he expects value for money.

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    OK samuelburke,
    jokes aside, I really don’t understand your colorblindness
    regarding commenters like Sweetness – accusing him of
    hashbara.
    Just one example, a quote from the Beinart thread below.
    Context: Nadine claims that the “liberals” or “leftists” overlook
    abuses and never criticize the Arab world. Here is an excerpt
    from Sweetness’s reply – and please read it slowly:
    “For example, you seem to feel that the Muslim world gets “a
    pass” from liberals. There may be some of that. But mostly, it’s
    a reaction to the right who would use the Muslim world’s
    failings as a reason to take draconian measures, e.g., invading
    Iraq, bombing Iran. So liberals, to stave off this draconian
    response, end up defending the Muslim world and specific
    regimes–not because they think the Muslim world lacks
    serious problems, but because they think those problems don’t
    justify or call for the draconian measures being threatened.
    And it gets worse from there…”
    You can read the rest of the discussion here:
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/05/beinart_
    opens_b/#comments
    ————————————-
    Is there no room for nuances in your world view, Sam?

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    Sweetness,
    in my view, you should never underestimate the power of the
    captcha letters. They are a literal gold mine in geopolitical
    matters. If you combine these precious letters with a telepathic
    reading of the motives of fellow commenters, you’ll reach a
    spiritual level not achievable using crude arguments, historical
    knowledge, quotes and documented facts. For my analysis of the
    Middle East, Central Asia and the power struggle in the Australian
    government, the capthca letters have been indispensable.
    Like this one: “73hce8”
    Say no more…

    Reply

  7. Sweetness says:

    You are a MASTER, Paul!
    I’ve taken to reading the captcha letters for indicators, but it’s a
    crude method compared to yours!

    Reply

  8. Paul Norheim says:

    How I could know that you’re an agent for the Mongolian Ministry
    of Culture?
    Elementary, Mr. Watson. When I read WigWag’s and Nadine’s lucid
    comments from the Beinart thread, where they provided
    overwhelming evidence (aided by the waterproof physical method
    called “magnetic induction), that Mary Robinson was the Wizard of
    KKK, it was just a matter of using simple mathematical deduction
    based on their ground braking discoveries.
    I also have to mention the extraordinary generosity of
    samuelburke, who didn’t hesitate to lend me his very expensive
    high-tech conspiracy-antennaes to use at one of the peaks of
    Himalaya mountains for a couple of hours, to provide some
    empirical material to support my analytical efforts.

    Reply

  9. Sweetness says:

    Well, Paul you have AMAZING mental powers.
    I would say that anyway in all seriousness, but this time, you really
    did hit the nail on the head.
    You see, my family are Hungarian Jews. Hungary is generally
    considered the western-most extent of Genghis Khan’s (or is it
    Kahn?) marauding, which is why Hungarian (and Finnish, I think)
    are such weird languages.
    Anyway, I was born with a Mongolian Blue Spot at the base of my
    spine, a sign of my Mongolian roots!

    Reply

  10. Paul Norheim says:

    C’mon Sweetness,
    why don’t you admit the glaringly obvious fact that you work for
    the Mongolian Ministry of Culture?

    Reply

  11. seamorgh says:

    I am confident that a new round of sanctions on Iran, even if it fails, would have the same effect rejecting the 2003 proposal had; Iran will become convinced that US/Obama is not interested in a change of behavior but a change in regime. And you all know what that would mean; Iran will become more hostile, less cooperative, and a lot more aggressive on all fronts. As a result of sanctions, anybody in Iran supporting a cooperative conciliatory policy is just going to shut up. Sanctions were indeed the best gift anyone could have possibly given to the hardliners. The developments are indeed very sad.

    Reply

  12. Sweetness says:

    Well, actually, an inch is as good as mile when it comes to missing.
    A miss is a miss, you know. I’m sorry you’re willing to be that
    intellectually lazy. Kind of makes me wonder about the veracity of
    the rest of what you write.

    Reply

  13. samuelburke says:

    whats a mile when its in the same neighborhood.

    Reply

  14. Sweetness says:

    Posted by samuelburke, May 20 2010, 8:54AM – Link
    Sorry, Sam, you’re off by a mile. But keep shooting. You might hit something eventually.

    Reply

  15. samuelburke says:

    rootless? your roots are deeply embedded in zionism.
    rootless my *&^^^%.

    Reply

  16. Sweetness says:

    Sam writes: “sweetness i agree with you…it’s the system and you foreign representatives have a right to do as you wish…”
    Sam, perhaps you mis-wrote, but I’m hardly a “foreign representative” in any way shape or form. But being a rootless cosmopolitan and not terribly patriotic by nature, I’m not too worried about “foreigners” either.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If I live long enough to ever see the US ban the playing of “FREE BIRD” because it “offends” somebody`s religon….I will shoot myself in the head”
    Do we really have to wait that long? Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today???

    Reply

  18. marcus says:

    Except Noam Chomsky maybe.

    Reply

  19. marcus says:

    If I live long enough to ever see the US ban the playing of “FREE BIRD” because it “offends” somebody`s religon….I will shoot myself in the head. I already know how happy that will make some people here, and in the Pal territories.
    I bet their was not one jew in the whole world who danced on 9/11….why don`t you generalize THAT and pin THAT on the whole ethnic group.

    Reply

  20. JohnH says:

    Well that explains how Israel could bomb the USS Liberty with impunity: “Feinberg enjoyed the greatest presidential access and influence in his 20 years as a Jewish fund-raiser and lobbyist with Lyndon Johnson. Documents at the Johnson Library show that even the most senior members of the
    National Security Council understood that any issue raised by Feinberg had to be answered.”

    Reply

  21. samuelburke says:

    sweetness i agree with you…it’s the system and you foreign representatives have a right to do as you wish…i just want all of it exposed so that americans can turn on that racist little experiment in the middle east.
    the american jews are awakening …next is the christian zionist of which i used to be one.

    Reply

  22. Sand says:

    The rest AIPAC’S David Steiner transcript here:
    http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/1292/9212013.html
    Plus forgot to include this!
    “…– US President Barack Obama has sought to ** reassure ** Jewish lawmakers of his support for Israel, detailing plans to boost Israeli security and his administration’s backing of sanctions on Iran.
    The meeting with 37 Jewish members of Obama’s Democratic Party came amid skepticism among some US and Israeli Jews about the president’s support for Israel and after ties between Israel and its staunch ally were strained by plans for new Jewish settler homes in east Jerusalem…”
    http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Obama_talks_with_Democrat_Jewish_la_05182010.html
    Glad Specter and Pike didn’t get through — but I’m sure these ‘”ewish members of Obama’s Democratic Party” are pleased that Mike Kirk [R] is going to get in the Senate because of the really pathetic Democratic candidate that was put up against him! I guess they needed a place-holder for Rahm.

    Reply

  23. Sand says:

    samuelburke re: the Kagan ‘appointment’ — remember this:
    “Part of the transcript of the Oct. 22, 1992 conversation with AIPAC President David Steiner (AIPAC) recorded without his knowledge by New York businessman Haim (Harry) Katz.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    HK: If Clinton is elected, has he told you who he’s going to put on the Supreme Court?
    DS: We’re talking now. We don’t have no commitments yet. We’re just negotiating. We’re more interested right now, in the secretary of state and the secretary of National Security Agency. That’s more important to us.
    HK: If Clinton is elected, who do you think will be secretary of state?
    DS: We don’t know yet, we’re negotiating.
    HK: Who are you hoping for?
    DS: I’ve got a list. But I really can’t go through it. I’m not allowed to talk about it.
    HK: But you figure, God willing, if Clinton’s elected . . .
    DS: We’ll have access.
    HK: You’ll have access and you’ll have a good input into who’s secretary of state.
    DS: I do believe so.
    HK: And the other position is. . .
    DS: National security adviser.
    HK: Those are the two critical positions.
    DS: Right.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Part of me wonders if her appointment was another kiss to the Israel lobby (got their way with Hills Clinton, Dennis Ross, and Chas Freeman) so she can help ‘criminalize the criticism of Israel’? As I don’t think she’s that strong a defender of free speech.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05072009.html

    Reply

  24. Sweetness says:

    Posted by samuelburke, May 19 2010, 9:53AM – Link
    Taking these articles on Truman at face value–some are
    tendentious in the “English” they put on the facts–one is propelled
    to ask: So what?
    This is what interest groups and ethnic groups do in America. They
    jockey for advantage. They work the system. They try to apply
    leverage. They use their resources the best they can.
    People say this is some kind of perversion of “the system,” but the
    American system has functioned this way since the beginning.

    Reply

  25. Sweetness says:

    Sam writes: “sweetness, take note how the njdc wishes to have
    this story suppressed. it would not be good for everyday
    americans to open their eyes to see the over representation of a
    minority among the supreme judges lest they get wise to the
    new meritocracy as Phil Weiss of mondoweiss.net likes to call it.”
    I’m certainly not in favor of articles being suppressed. But I have
    to say the Weiss article is stunningly banal. Minority groups help
    their own members. Is there anything remarkable about that? Is
    there anything even wrong with that?
    And the idea that it has very much to do with Jewish
    achievement is, well, where’s the proof?
    The comments section for the article and its reprint in Athelo
    News was vile–utter garbage. Swim there if you want, but
    make certain you’ve updated all your vaccines.

    Reply

  26. Sweetness says:

    Sam writes: “i think Pat makes a valid observation sweeetness…in a
    representative govt i want to be represented by a judge from
    among my peers.”
    In what sense are any of the judges not your peers, broadly
    speaking?

    Reply

  27. samuelburke says:

    sweetness says” Sam, please explain how less than 3% of the
    population was
    responsible for electing Truman.
    http://original.antiwar.com/smith-
    grant/2010/05/09/declassified-gao-report/
    “According to Avner Cohen, in 1958 Israeli Prime Minister David
    Ben Gurion had arranged with Abraham Feinberg, a

    Reply

  28. samuelburke says:

    sweetness says” Sam, please explain how less than 3% of the
    population was
    responsible for electing Truman.
    Truman says “If not for my friend Abe, I couldn’t have made the
    [whistle-stop train] trip and I wouldn’t have been elected,”
    Truman stated.
    “Dewey Stone, a Zionist businessman, had financed Truman’s
    vice-presidential campaign in 1944, and businessman Abraham
    Feinberg, with jewelry magnate Edmund Kauffman, led
    fundraising for the otherwise penniless 1948 presidential
    campaign. “If not for my friend Abe, I couldn’t have made the
    [whistle-stop train] trip and I wouldn’t have been elected,”
    Truman stated. “Feinberg’s activities began a process that made
    the Jews into ‘the most conspicuous fundraisers and contributors
    to the Democratic Party.'”
    Key White House advisors ensured the domination of Zionist
    viewpoints in the highest circles of the Truman Administration.
    Jewish aides David Niles, administrative assistant to Truman, and
    Max Lowenthal, special assistant on Palestine to Clark Clifford,
    himself “Truman’s key advisor on Palestine at the White House,”
    were especially crucial. Niles was one of two presidential aides
    retained from the Roosevelt Administration, the other being
    Samuel Rosenman. Niles was Truman’s chief political liaison with
    the Jewish community. Lowenthal was the Harvard-trained
    former counsel to the Senate Interstate Commerce Committee
    on which Truman had served, who specialized in drafting Zionist
    memoranda. In 1952 Truman stated in a letter to Lowenthal, “I
    don’t know who has done more for Israel than you have.”
    Clifford, an ambitious Missouri lawyer, like so many non-Jewish
    Democrats saw the manifest political advantages of Zionism;
    Truman’s 1948 victory launched Clifford’s career as consummate
    Washington insider. The “White House through its busy and
    assorted ‘aides’ never wanted for advice on the Palestine
    question. All together the quantity of well-argued advice coming
    in through various unofficial channels was enormous and would
    provide an efficient counter to that coming from the president’s
    official foreign policy-making body, the State Department.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/clark06032006.html

    Reply

  29. samuelburke says:

    the china says that “the whole world ought to be pleased with the
    brazil-turkey-iran deal.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?
    v=gQccfiFQLlk&feature=player_embedded

    Reply

  30. samuelburke says:

    sweetness, take note how the njdc wishes to have this story
    suppressed.
    it would not be good for everyday americans to open their eyes to
    see the over representation of a minority among the supreme
    judges lest they get wise to the new meritocracy as Phil Weiss of
    mondoweiss.net likes to call it.

    Reply

  31. samuelburke says:

    i think Pat makes a valid observation sweeetness…in a
    representative govt i want to be represented by a judge from
    among my peers.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/98231-
    jewish-dems-want-buchanans-column-nixed
    “The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) wrote a letter to
    Creators Syndicate asking it to take down the column and stop
    publishing him.
    “We ask that you pull down Buchanan’s latest column from your
    website and that you stop publishing his over-the-top,
    conspiratorial screeds,” it reads.
    In the column, titled, “Are liberals anti-WASP?”, Buchanan wrote:
    “If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent
    of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme
    Court seats.”

    Reply

  32. Dan Kervick says:

    I wrote:
    “Right now, it looks like the administration’s strategy since January, 2010 was this”
    but meant:
    “Right now, it looks like the administration’s strategy since January, 2009 was this”

    Reply

  33. ... says:

    good ole usa demonstrating once again its amazing ability to be a hypocrite on the world stage….clinton to the rescue on everything that is cheap and phony with ulterior motives as the first priority…

    Reply

  34. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, it’s been an interesting day. The US and its closest allies seemed at first to be scrambling to find some coherent and credible reason for rejecting this deal, one that doesn’t too obviously show up the first 16 months of Obama administration foreign policy as a colossal act of bad faith. Lots of foreign capitals chiming in with lots of mixed messages.
    Talk about your new multipolar world! I can’t remember an event like this, when there were so many countries involved in such a large multi-handed poker game. The old postwar order is definitely a goner.
    For some reason, the Mr. Peace Prize and his Euro buddies are unhappy about an implementation of the same deal they had offered a few months ago, if the low-enriched uranium now goes to Turkey instead of Russia. Maybe they were planning on hijacking the uranium after all?
    The latest objection is that Iran is guilty of thought crimes that are not addressed by the deal. The deal doesn’t address the “intentions issue”. Of course, the intentions issue is only something that can be addressed via brain scans or lobotomies on Iran’s leaders.
    Perhaps Obama can raise the stakes by offering to trade some oil for the uranium. Due to his administration’s regulatory incompetence, there is some nice gooey petroleum flowing toward the Atlantic right now. How much? Shhhhhhh. We’re not supposed to say. The administration has apparently told scientists to shut up about it.
    Right now, it looks like the administration’s strategy since January, 2010 was this: offer Iran a deal, but direct the Secretary of State to berate, high-hand, insult and humiliate the Iranians while doing it, so as to guarantee that no country with a shred of dignity could possibly accept the deal. But the US made the terms of the deal clear to the Turks and Brazilians, and is now left with exercises in diplomatic pretzel logic about why those terms aren’t good any more.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Anyone else remember when Saddam offered to let the inspecters back in, WITH CIA observers if we so desired??? And we invaded anyway.
    Well, these sacks of shit in DC, headed up by by the skull faced agent of death, Hillary Clinton, are gonna pull the same shit with Iran. It doesn’t matter what Iran does, or agrees to. This Clinton ghoul won’t be happy until we’ve completely and utterly destabalized Iran by any means neccessary, even if it means killing another 500,000 Muslim infants with “crippling sanctions”.
    And when is this blog going to critique Hillary’s part in carrying on the Bush legacy? More war, and more war. More saber rattling, more hypocricy, more lies. The power hungry crone is every bit as dangerous as Dick Cheney was.

    Reply

  36. JohnH says:

    Why is it that the Israel Firsters here all seem obsessed with killing? Using US taxpayers’ money, of course. And somebody else’s kids.
    What an enlightened bunch of individuals they are, each a credit to the noble nature of the human race! (not!)
    But why is it their attitude brings Genghis Khan to mind?

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Once again marcus if full of advice to impoverish the US and do Israel’s bidding.
    Suggest he get his sorry ass where his mouth is”
    Thats not where its always been???

    Reply

  38. Mr.Murder says:

    The emerging order is now asserting its ability.
    Plan for Iran to be part of it.
    If you want to push back, China is the one underwriting a lot of this in essence.
    Besides, we need the kind of vote for a bill that will not pass to put flavor on this election.
    Someone introduce legislation for an amendment that opposes free trade with China, based on their infamous rumored ‘forced abortion’ policy.
    Oppose free trade for mandatory abortions. That will put a black eye on just about every pro life voter’s jobs record coming into this election. It would never pass either. Thus it is essentially shadow boxing.
    How can you oppose the SCOTUS profile when you voth to send jobs away to the world’s largest abortion providing gov’t?
    I love the smell of schadenfredue in the morning…

    Reply

  39. Sweetness says:

    Hey Sam, maybe you can explain what you think is noteworthy
    about this bit you posted:
    “Pat Buchanan is in the news again? where?
    murmurs in the crowd.
    “In his column for World Net Daily, Buchanan lamented the fact
    that since 1965, no Democratic president has nominated a black
    Supreme Court justice, but that

    Reply

  40. Sweetness says:

    Sam writes: “As commander in chief, Truman had the final word.
    He overruled State and Defense. He succumbed to raw domestic
    politics.”
    Sam, please explain how less than 3% of the population was
    responsible for electing Truman.
    While you’re at it, please explain how The Lobby engineered
    Carter’s defeat…and HW’s defeat.
    Step by step, Sam, don’t leave anything out.

    Reply

  41. The Pessimist says:

    I like where this is going:
    “Openly hostile country in the middle east.”
    Are we talking about The Corporate States of North America.

    Reply

  42. Neo Controll says:

    “War with Iran is as inevitable . .” (marcus) Once again marcus if full of advice to impoverish the US and do Israel’s bidding.
    Suggest he get his sorry ass where his mouth is.

    Reply

  43. samuelburke says:

    name that country.
    you’re leading the witness.

    Reply

  44. samuelburke says:

    lets see, openly hostile country in the middle east.

    Reply

  45. samuelburke says:

    so says our lords and masters.
    http://www.takimag.com/blogs/article/recrossing_the_rubicon/
    “Barack, Hillary and General Petraeus are swallowing a wake-up-
    to-reality pill. The reality amounts to this: the Emperor
    enthroned in Washington has been reduced to a factotum when
    it comes to Israel and Pax Israeliana. Our Peace Prize President
    and his entourage have come to the realization that they should
    have stuck with the pre existing program as it relates to this
    American-enabled enterprise in the Middle East. In the
    aftermath of World War II, most occupants of the White House
    have stuck to it

    Reply

  46. samuelburke says:

    Pat Buchanan is in the news again? where?
    murmurs in the crowd.
    “In his column for World Net Daily, Buchanan lamented the fact
    that since 1965, no Democratic president has nominated a black
    Supreme Court justice, but that

    Reply

  47. samuelburke says:

    Steven Walt says-
    “Here’s why I think the United States should welcome the deal.
    The only feasible way out of the current box is via diplomacy,
    because military force won’t solve the problem for very long,
    could provoke a major Middle East war, and is more likely to
    strengthen the clerical regime and make the United States look
    like a bully with an inexhaustible appetite for attacking Muslim
    countries. (And having Israel try to do the job wouldn’t help,
    because we’d be blamed for it anyway). I think George Bush
    figured that out before he left office, and I think President
    Obama knows it too. So do sensible Israelis, though not the
    perennial hawks at the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, who
    appear to have learned nothing from their shameful role
    cheerleading the debacle in Iraq back in 2002.”
    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/05/18/big_deal

    Reply

  48. samuelburke says:

    Gary Sick has this over at his site-
    “The next step is up to the United States and its negotiating
    partners.
    Although angst is high among the sanctions-at-all-costs crowd,
    this path to a nuclear swap deal was fully endorsed by the United
    States and was the centerpiece of the justification for sanctions.
    One way to respond at this point may just be to declare that our
    threat of sanctions worked: Iran has capitulated and we accept yes
    as an answer.
    Hmmm

    Reply

  49. ... says:

    john h quote
    “Who could argue with that?”
    those not interested in peace:
    the military industry, and those who benefit directly from the military industry – the banking industry…. the banking industry makes profit off war… it needs to be repeated… and, the banking industry have a lot of clout with the corporate world that bring us ””’the news””….

    Reply

  50. JohnH says:

    It’s amazing how bloggers can be conspicuously silent when they choose.
    The Iranian nuclear deal was announced two full working days ago. What does TWN think?
    Steve was once an active proponent of negotiations. Maybe now he realizes that he should take care in what he asked for, because he might get it?
    What’s going on? Reading tea leaves? Trying to find a herd to get in front of? Who knows?
    Meanwhile, the blogosphere is abuzz with opinion. Stephen Walt seems to have a particularly well reasoned opinion taken from a realist perspective:
    “Here’s why I think the United States should welcome the deal. The only feasible way out of the current box is via diplomacy, because military force won’t solve the problem for very long, could provoke a major Middle East war, and is more likely to strengthen the clerical regime and make the United States look like a bully with an inexhaustible appetite for attacking Muslim countries.” http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/
    Who could argue with that?

    Reply

  51. erichwwk says:

    I think a good share, likely a majority, of folks would like hold the US accountable for
    “overthrowing foreign governments and slaughtering untold millions, including the genocide and continued subjugation of the native population.”
    There is this small problem of US military full spectrum dominance and nuclear weapons dominance.
    There is indeed a struggle going on, as the elites attempt to preserve the global empire based on nuclear apartheid.
    Kudos to Iran, Turkey, and Brazil for showing leadership on the nuclear issue on behalf of the have-not nations. They will eventually prevail, but not before considerable wealth has been extracted by the US dragging out nuclear abolition.
    It saddened me to listen to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee discuss START, mostly as a vehicle for bashing Iran, some as a vehicle for furthering “American interests” and not at all in the context for lessening US, NATO, and ally occupation as a means of reducing organized violence.
    Herbert York felt that Eisenhower’s second 1961 farewell warning was “the more important”:
    “Yet in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite”.
    http://www.learnworld.com/ZNW/LWText.York.RaceToOblivion.html#prologue
    Is there any disagreement here that public policy
    has not indeed been captured by the scientific-technological elite?

    Reply

  52. Pahlavan says:

    Can someone elaborate on what this means?
    “Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, called news of the agreement a

    Reply

  53. DonS says:

    “Deal” on Iran sanctions:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/world/19sanctions.html?hp
    . . . because the US is all about ‘engagement’.
    Who knows what part of the store Obama/Hillary gave away to Russia and China to buy this face saving demonstration of US might. All this meaningless activity while the US economy continues to impoverish a middle class. I guess the powers in Washington are convinced the ‘look over here’ routine is a winner. Perhaps the real deal is this is what Israel demanded to postpone their own destabilizing move.

    Reply

  54. Jay C says:

    Well, according to news reports, the UNSC has just agreed to a new set of US-sponsored sanctions on Iran: what effect this might have on the Turkish/Brazilian deal has yet to be articulated, but it’s a safe bet that it will most likely turn out to be as hollow a “victory” as every other attempt to stymie Iranian nuclear development has been; i.e. merely a delaying action.

    Reply

  55. JohnH says:

    As Steve said a week ago, “Brazil can move from being a significant regional power whose significance used to be defined in part by how it could slow US-led institution-building to a different sort of globally responsible stakeholder that wants to be in the first tier of nations rewriting a globally inclusive social contract.”
    Score: globally inclusive social contract 1, P5+1’s globally divisive machinations 0
    Brazil showed that it wants a uniform set of rules for all, not one set for friends of the nuclear cartel, another for its foes. Allowing the nuclear cartel to abuse its monopoly position in nuclear fuel meant that Brazil too could have been held hostage to the whims of US foreign policy. Instead, Brazil showed that the US must agree to follow the spirit of the NPT, allowing all signatories to enjoy peaceful uses of nuclear power irrespective of their status as friend or foe of the US.
    Score NPT 1, playing games with NPT 0.
    And Lula showed that his legacy as a defender of Brazilian interests trumps personal ambition, such as becoming president of the World Bank.
    Score one for integrity.

    Reply

  56. DonS says:

    “The United States will continue to work with our international partners, and through the United Nations Security Council, to make it clear to the Iranian government that it must demonstrate through deeds . . .”
    . . . . blah, blah, blah, demonstrate, demonstrate, demonstrate, failure to live up to , serious concerns, blah, blah, blah.
    Sounds like the usual set up, neocon bull shit, i.e., future performance will never catch up with past “misdeeds”. This is not the breakthrough, change of tone, engagement, Obama promised.
    Is John Bolton on contract?

    Reply

  57. Mr Multipolar says:

    JohnH has got it just about right.
    Oh, the arrogance of the “indispensable nation”…

    Reply

  58. JohnH says:

    “The only difference is that Turkey has been added as a sort of escrow-holder for the Iranian stock of low enriched uranium.” That’s a huge difference from October!
    In the October agreement, the Vienna group could have simply taken Iran’s uranium and then reneged on the deal. With a trusted third party, Iran will presumably get its uranium back if the Vienna group refuses to honor its side of the deal.
    You will recall that France recently seized $85 million in Iranian assets. Certainly, the West could simply sell off Iranian uranium, justifying the move by asserting Israeli claims of Iranian damage caused by its support for Hamas and Hizbullah.
    Iran has plenty of reasons to distrust the West, and using a trusted third party escrow should allay those concerns.

    Reply

  59. b says:

    Secretary of State Clinton says to Iran:
    “You do not have the right to full enrichment and reprocessing cycle under your control.”
    Article IV of the Non-Proliferation-Treaty says:
    “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.”
    Ask yourself: Which of these sayings is just?

    Reply

  60. Carroll says:

    As I said previously, Iran, I am sure had reversations about turning over their material to any western country for fear that they would be double crossed and received nothing back.
    With Turkey they feel safer.
    Why does Iran see Turkey as an ‘honest broker’ for a nuclear deal?
    The uranium transfer deal transforms Iran and Turkey into strategic allies without undermining Turkey’s standing in the West.
    By Zvi Bar’el
    If all goes well, a truck from Iran, guarded by Iranian and Turkish security personnel and International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, will make its way to an undisclosed location in Turkey. The truck will carry part of the 1.2 tons of uranium enriched to a level of 3.5 percent that will be stored in Turkey.
    Under the terms of the deal reached in Tehran Sunday night, Turkey will not just be the uranium’s custodian; it will also be the trustee and supervisor who will decide whether Iran and the five permanent Security Council members have met their obligations under the agreement. Turkey promised to immediately and unconditionally return the enriched uranium to Iran if the countries that are slated to provide Iran with nuclear fuel do not keep their end of the bargain.
    Credit for the agreement is shared by Turkey and Brazil. The latter granted Iran a series of trade deals that are expected to increase bilateral trade between their countries to about $10 billion.
    Nevertheless, Turkey is the deal’s big winner. Trade between Iran and Turkey already stands at $10 billion annually, so if sanctions were imposed on Tehran, Turkey would suffer a massive blow to its economy – and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party would suffer a major political setback. Alternatively, should Turkey decide not to uphold the sanctions, it might find itself in a crisis with the United States and Europe. Hence the tremendous effort Turkey made to achieve the deal, despite American warnings that Iran might be using Turkey in order to buy time.
    Why did Iran choose to see Turkey as an “honest broker” and make the deal with it instead of with the permanent Security Council members? The two countries’ good relations are not free of suspicion, but both Iran and Turkey have adopted a policy of expanding their influence in the Middle East, influence of the sort that relies on cooperation rather than competition.
    The closer ties between Turkey and Syria, Iran’s ally; the similar attitude that Turkey and Iran have toward Hamas; their shared interests in Iraq; and a similar view of radical Islamic terrorism all combined with Turkey’s disappointment over European views of its candidacy to join the European Union to create a confluence of interests that, for the time being, trumps their disagreements. Moreover, from an ideological standpoint, Iran prefers Turkey to the U.S.: Any concession to Washington or its Security Council partners would be perceived as a surrender.
    The uranium transfer deal transforms Iran and Turkey into strategic allies without undermining Turkey’s standing as a NATO member or as a U.S. ally in Afghanistan. It was also not conditioned on Turkey severing its ties with Israel. And if the deal surmounts all the expected obstacles, Turkey will gain new status as a mediator, a status it will also be able to use in other conflicts in the region, and especially in the Israeli-Syrian peace process.
    If instead, the deal collapses and sanctions are imposed on Iran, Turkey will still be remembered as the one that nearly succeeded in reaching a deal. But then, it will have to deal with the consequences of the sanctions.

    Reply

  61. Carroll says:

    More……..
    Iran Announces Breakthrough Nuclear Exchange Deal
    Posted on May 17, 2010 by Juan Cole
    Veteran Iran observer Borzou Daragahi reports on the agreement just announced by Iran and Turkey on the disposition of Iran

    Reply

  62. kakistocracy says:

    Quote:
    The White House has said a nuclear fuel swap agreed by Iran, Turkey and Brazil does not go far enough to allay the concerns of the US and its allies about the country’s uranium enrichment programme.
    The White House said on Monday that the exchange could be a “positive step”, but warned that it could still face new sanctions over its “repeated failure” to meet past commitments.
    Endquote.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/05/2010517165252328379.html
    The U.S. (and its nuclear club allies) are just plain starting to look ridiculous and sound a touch hysterical at the breakdown of their system of bullying.
    The reality is, Iran has no recent history of aggressive expansion, and it claims to have no interest in anything except baiting the US government. Evidence is needed to refute their claims, not opinion.
    It is time for this farce to stop. There must be other serious news to focus world attention on — e.g. a bankrupt ‘free’ market system and its public sovereign regulators.
    Iran will develop non-military nuclear capacity, as is their right under the NPT, and this obviously puts them, and other countries doing so, on the road to potential nuclear weapons for defense purposes.
    Get used to it, sit at the UN table and negotiate rational outcomes based on evidence and not intrigue. There is no room for exceptionalism in this ongoing task. It’s time those in power in the U.S. to wake up — and grow up!
    Are Mark Twain’s indigent views still relevant?
    “In extenuation, it may be observed that the “Gilded Age” provided an abundance of fuel for his indignation over corruption, sham, and hypocrisy. For a time, he was convinced that American democracy was a disaster, and agreed with James Russell Lowell that it should be called a “kakistocracy,” a government “for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools.” (Kakistocracy” is a Greek word meaning literally government by the worst citizens.)” http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/twainver.htm
    It seems the US bully-boy system will need to look for another victim — Iranian diplomacy is just too smart for U.S. “fools and knaves”. It seems to be a very simple intelligence test that I’m sure the U.S. administration will succeed in failing.

    Reply

  63. samuelburke says:

    hey Frankensteins monster, war good-peace bad!!!
    it’s funny how the ranks of israels devotees are made up of these
    creations of hollywood.

    Reply

  64. nadine says:

    debka.com (a right-wing Israeli source) sums up the Brazil-Turkey-Iran deal:
    “US president Barack Obama’s insistence on engaging Iran in diplomacy and concentrating the effort on curbing Iran’s product of enriched uranium has led up a blind alley after being outmaneuvered by Tehran and its backers.
    The Iranians can use the phony deal pulled off by Lula and Erdogan as a recipe for putting paid to all hopes of the UN Security Council uniting behind a resolution for reining in their drive for a nuclear bomb. It has stripped the United States of levers for controlling the most dangerous peril besetting Middle East stability in the immediate future.
    The Brazilian and Turkish rulers were not alone; they maintained constant communication with Moscow in the last ten days, during which Russian president Dmitry Medvedev made trips to Damascus and Ankara, the Brazilian president’s stopped over in Moscow on his way to Tehran Sunday, May 16, and Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin kept an open line to the prime movers in the anti-US group’s scheme to get Tehran off the nuclear hook.
    After the signing, the Brazilian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers announced they expected by the Six Power Group led by the United States to approve the deal within a week and delivery of Iranian enriched uranium to Turkey a month later.”
    debka also adds that Turkey doesn’t even HAVE facilities to reprocess enriched uranium. The whole deal is a ruse. Obama has been bamboozled and left gasping in the dust. His entire Mideast policy is in shambles. No amount of gobble-gook from Gibbsy can obscure that.

    Reply

  65. Brian B says:

    The thing to watch now is the diplomatic communications between Israel and Turkey.

    Reply

  66. JohnH says:

    As I said earlier, Obama has really painted himself into a corner. He now has no prospect of getting a consensus vote at the UNSC. His campaign was premised entirely on Iran

    Reply

  67. Alan K says:

    “Gibb’s last statement leaves open the door for more constructive engagement and an open door if Iran’s deeds lead to greater trust and confidence in its course. ”
    What do you mean by ‘Iran’s deeds’? What do you have in mind that they might do that would lead to greater trust and confidence?
    Not being schooled in diplomacy (I’m a physicist) I am puzzled why I have only seen insults to the U.S. from Iran’s leaders. Perhaps my ignorance of ‘statecraft’ is the reason this seems weird to me. Are they unaware of the merits of diplomacy or do diplomats routinely ignore insults.
    Its probably not good to respond to insults with insults but by ignoring them, we appear weak to our friends and our adversaries. In game theory, we learned that weakness is never something that we want to project, unless we are ready and willing to go on the offensive, and want to lull our opponent into a false sense of security. I am afraid that having other nations see us as weak is the one clear success our administration has achieved.

    Reply

  68. nadine says:

    Yup, that sounds about right, Jay C. The Iran deal is a fait accompli, so what can Gibbs say? Iran just won at least six more months of undisturbed nuclear warhead development time.
    You might also add that Brazil is run by a Socialist (Lula) and Turkey by an Islamist (Erdogan) and that Obama has been sucking up to both of them, on the grounds that you have to be nice to states who are being unhelpful to you; you must only criticize or threaten allies.
    We now see the natural results of the Obama policy: more unhelpful states and fewer allies.
    I swear, if Iran and Russia haven’t pressed us harder yet, it’s only because they thought there had to be some trick — Obama couldn’t possibly be this stupid. But everybody is starting to realize there is no trick.

    Reply

  69. Jay C says:

    So IOW, the US has been caught wrong-footed by what can only be described as a diplomatic master-stroke by Iran and has no real idea of how to deal with it in a positive manner?
    One has to imagine that the WH and DoS are having to scramble – double-time – to respond (Gibbs’ statement is, no surprise, a fine exercise in non-commentary): what do you think their options are?
    (IMHO, not many: but then, I’M not the foreign-policy maven….)

    Reply

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