The Iran Deal And The Failures Of American Foreign Policy

 By Theodore Shoebat

Everyone is getting excited about the US leaving the Iran deal, and about John Bolton. But what are some of the background realities behind this? Lets look at some facts that most do not know. How many even know that John Bolton backed an Iranian terrorist group, called the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, which has called for the destruction of both the United States and Israel, and even received money from these jihadists? In fact it was John Bolton who lobbied to have the state department remove the label of “terrorist” from the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. The reality is that the US backed Iranian Islamists when it facilitated the removal of Iran’s president, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The reality is that, while Israel talks about Iran, the Israelis gave tens of millions of dollars in weapons to the Islamic Republic of Iran back in the 1980s. These are realities that we should keep in mind when observing all of the political hype of the current situation. 

The United States has brought up a list of twelve demands for Iran, such as requiring all Iranian forces to leave Syria, ceasing the enrichment of uranium and the preprocessing of plutonium, and to “respect the sovereignty of the Iraq government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias.” Iran must also “declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity.” The demands were read out by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a speech for the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing American nationalist think-tank.

I first must ask, that if the US really cared about Iraq’s sovereignty, then why did it invade Iraq and destroy its society? And while the Iranian government is evil, and we are no fans of Iran, we must ask what is the motivation behind the US’ policy in Iran? What is interesting is how while Pompeo talks against the Iran deal, he has no evidence that Iran was not complying with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) by which, in the Iran deal, the Iranians were made to allow inspections of their nuclear facilities. Just last month, Pompeo was asked by Senator Tom Udall:

Do you have any evidence to dispute the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] assessment that Iran is in full compliance with the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, i.e. the Iran deal]?”

To this Pomeo replied:

“Senator, with the information that I’ve been provided, I have no — I’ve seen no evidence that they are not in compliance today. I think your question is, do you have any, and the answer is no.” 

This is similar to how the US had no evidence that Saddam had “weapons of mass destruction” or that Assad uses chemical weapons on civilian populations.

The demands are things that Iran is not going to accept or acquiesce to. And I think that is the whole point: the US wants Iran to reject the demands so as to further justify geopolitical actions in the Middle East. Clement Therme, a Bahrain-based Iran expert with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said that the demands are “impossible for the Islamic Republic to accept because they deal with issues that are part of the identity of the revolution. We are not going to have a new agreement, we are going to regime change.” The US’ push for regime change has been an enterprise seriously pushed by American officials. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, said: “We have a president who is as committed to regime change as we are.” He also said that confronting Iran is “more important than an Israeli-Palestinian deal.”

The liberal leaning pro-Israel advocacy group J Street called on Congress to ensure that Trump “and his regime change-obsessed advisors cannot bring about another costly and bloody war of choice.” But it looks like that that is what is happening.  
By prohibiting countries from doing commerce with Iran, and by imposing what Pompeo calls “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran, the United States is going to economically suffocate the country, which will only provide propaganda fodder for the Iranian Islamists and ultra-nationalists. As Farshad Farahat, writing for the Hill, says: “As for the Iranian people, the demise of the deal and the re-imposition of the nuclear sanctions will severely hurt their daily lives, while strengthening the hardline sectors of the regime. Most noticeably, the Revolutionary Guard has thrived in the black markets created by sanctions. The implementation of the umbrella sanctions will again consolidate the Revolutionary Guard’s economic power.”
There is even an Iranian militant group that John Bolton advocates to rule Iran: its called the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran — also known as the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, “Holy Warriors of the People,” or MEK. According to one report from Foreign Policy:
Bolton has long been an advocate for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran — known in Persian as the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK — and has been a speaker at several of its events. The organization was founded in opposition to Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in the 1960s and was eventually forced into exile after the 1979 revolution, first in Iraq with help from Saddam Hussein and then scattered throughout Europe and the United States in the 2000s.
While in Iraq, members of MEK took up arms to fight Iranian soldiers in the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, which earned them the title of “monafegheen” or “hypocrites.” MEK had a compound in the Diyala province of Iraq, where more than 3,000 members lived in virtual captivity. What took place in this compound was not something akin to American clean cut patriotism but rather closer to something one would see in the Warren Jeffs cult. Those who escaped the compound told of being “cut off from their loved ones, forced into arranged marriages, brainwashed, sexually abused and tortured.” These abuses took place when the cult was under Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, the husband and wife who ran the cult.
According to a report from the Washington Post, it is likely that both Mayor Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton have received money from the MEK terrorist group:
Bolton, Giuliani and a host of Washington politicos from both parties have supported — and likely taken money from — front groups directly related to the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian resistance group that operates in exile.
According to journalist Jason Rezian, Giuliani, John Bolton and Howard Dean have been paid by the MEK:
 “Very few former U.S. government officials shilled pro bono for the MEK,” said a former State Department official who worked on Iran. Among the long bipartisan list of people who have taken money from the group in exchange for speaking at its events are former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. Bolton, the former official told me, was also paid. 
MEK was actually an ally with the Islamists who would eventually topple and replace the regime of the Shah in the 1979 revolution. As we read in one report from the Washington Post, MEK “worked in cooperation with the clerical government. In fact, children of several top officials in the Islamic Republic joined the MEK.” Once it became obvious that the Shiites and MEK were not going to get along, the MEK fled out of the country. MEK first went to France, but the French government kicked out its leader, Masud Rajavi, in 1986. As Mohammad Jafari, a member of the Iranian National Security Council, said of the MEK being kicked out of France:

France officially recognized the leaders of this terrorist Mujahideen-e Khalq group. It was members of the Mujahideen-e Khalq who first strapped themselves with explosives and blew themselves up among civilians, killed people and our officials. The West sat back quietly. So their behavior became an example for other terrorists. In the recent history of the region, Iran was the first country to fall victim to terrorism.

Until 2012, the United States government designated MEK as a terrorist organization, with the State Department maintaining this status for the MEK’s killing of American citizens. The MEK was allegedly even involved in the seizure of American hostages in Tehran, and condemned the release of the hostages as “surrender” to the United States. One report from the Guardian tells us:
The MEK ran a bombing campaign inside Iran against the Shah’s regime in the 1970s. The targets were sometimes American, including the US information office, Pepsi Cola, PanAm and General Motors. The group routinely denounced Zionism and “racist Israel”, and called for “death to America”. 
… In 1981, it attacked the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, killing 74 senior officials including the party leader and 27 members of parliament. A few months later it bombed a meeting of Iran’s national security council, killing Iran’s president and the prime minister.    

The state department described the MEK as cutting a “swath of terror” across the country in the following years and of “violent attacks in Iran that victimise civilians”.

“Since 1981 the [MEK] have claimed responsibility for murdering thousands of Iranians they describe as agents of the regime,” the report said.

A state department report in 1992 identified the MEK as responsible for the killing of six Americans in Iran during the 1970s.
So all of the hoo-ra Americana talk about being “pro-Israel” coming from the likes of John Bolton and his ilk, is really only used when it is convenient for them since, if they really cared about Israel then they would not be lobbying for groups like the MEK. The categorization of “terrorist group” imposed on MEK was removed in 2012 after a number of American officials, including John Bolton, lobbied to remove the title of “terrorist.” 
Two decades ago the state department reported that the MEK was operating what it called “a determined lobbying effort among western parliamentarians …To conduct its propaganda campaign, the group has established offices through western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and the Middle East,” it said. “Through such efforts, the (MEK) attempt to transform western opprobrium for the government of Iran into expressions of support for themselves”. One American journalist wrote on the MEK that: “They hope to transform their public image in America from terrorists to freedom fighters”. 
This new image put on by the MEK has helped to make it more expedient for its American lobbyists to promote them for the US government. These lobbyists have also said that it was the MEK who first told the American government about Iran’s nuclear program. In the early 2000s one big concerns for the Iranians in its diplomatic relations with the US was that the Americans were backing the MEK and using them to get information on Iran. In interview Richard Armitage, who was U.S. deputy secretary of state from 2001-2005, said that the US did not use the MEK for intelligence reasons, and the MEK were a bunch of terrorists who had murdered American citizens:

The MEK had given intelligence on Iran to us, and [indicated] that they might have capabilities in Iran of a covert nature. To my knowledge, at least when I was active, we didn’t use them in this way. … And from my point of view — I actually served in Iran; I lived there for a year, and it was during that time that our people were killed by the MEK, assassinated. … So from my point of view they were terrorists.”

So, if Bolton, and Giuliani and the rest of these types who want regime change in Iran get what they want, what will replace the current regime in Iran? If the MEK becomes the government, would that be a better alternative?
The Iranian government is not a stable one, being changed multiple times by the US government. When the Americans wanted Mohammad Mosaddegh toppled in the 1950s, he was overthrown in what is known as Operation Ajax. The head of the CIA at the time, Allen Dulles, approved $1 million to be used “in any way that would bring about the fall of Mosaddegh”. The Americans funded anti-Mossaddegh propaganda, and CIA operatives even pretended to be socialists and nationalists, threatening Muslim leaders with “savage punishment if they opposed Mossadegh,” making the Muslim masses think that Mosaddegh was an enemy of the Muslim people.  As the New York Times reports:

Iranian operatives pretending to be Communists threatened Muslim leaders with ”savage punishment if they opposed Mossadegh,” seeking to stir anti-Communist sentiment in the religious community.

In addition, the secret history says, the house of at least one prominent Muslim was bombed by C.I.A. agents posing as Communists. It does not say whether anyone was hurt in this attack.

What this tells us is that the US government does not mind angering Muslims for its own political goals. As showed years ago, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the director of the film the Innocence of Muslims, which was used to justify riots in Libya, was linked to the Justice Department. 
What does this sound like? Gladio. For it was in the Gladio Operation that NATO secret service agents did terrorist attacks in Europe and made it look like they were done by communists in order to stir up nationalist sentiment in Europe. After tremendous American pressure, the Shah of Iran finally agreed to let Mossaddegh go from his position as Prime Minister, and to replace him with the CIA’s choice, General Fazlollah Zahedi. After this, pro- and anti-monarch demonstrations, both paid by the the chief of the CIA’s Near East and Africa division, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., violently clashed on the streets of Tehran and elsewhere. Newspapers and even mosques were burned down, and three hundred people died. Pro-Shah tank regiments stormed Tehran and attacked Mossaddegh’s home, forcing him to flee.
What stories like that of the overthrow of Mossaddegh, and that of the Arab Spring teach us, is that in Muslim countries it is usually quite easy for the United States to start revolutions and policies of destabilization.
The goal behind the US’ strategy of the sanctions is to economically asphyxiate Iran to the point that mobs will rise up and topple the state, thus doing regime change without a major military intervention.

The American strategy of applying pressure on Iran is being portrayed as a measure for the cause of peace. But, if the United States really cared about peace, then why is it backing Turkey, and allowing Turkey to advance into Syrian territory? If the United States really cared about protecting Iraqi territorial sovereignty from Iran, then why is it working with Turkey as Turkish troops are now in northern Syria, and wanting to head towards Iraq? As a document from the Whitehouse states:

President Trump stressed the need to intensify cooperation with Turkey with respect to shared strategic challenges in Syria.

According to the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Mike Pompeo agreed for the US to work with Turkey in its geopolitical policy in Syria. As we read in one report from the Seattle Times:

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says he and new U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have agreed to approve an existing “road map” to getting Kurdish militia to withdraw from a Syrian town.

The plan came out of working groups set up earlier this year to soothe relations that became strained by Washington’s support for Syrian Kurdish forces that Ankara considers a terrorist group.

Another report from the Hurrieyet Daily New reads:

Turkey and the United States have agreed to approve a road map on Syria “to avoid potential confrontation” between the two allies, Foreign Minister  Çavuşoğlu has said after meeting with the new U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels on the occasion of a NATO summit.

“In our meeting we confirmed approval of a roadmap on which our joint working group has reached an initial agreement,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters after his meeting with Pompeo.

“We will implement the Manbij model in other parts of Syria, particularly east of the Euphrates. We’ll therefore be taking a step with the U.S. on an issue that causes tension in our bilateral ties. If the roadmap is implemented, the [Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units] YPG will be withdrawn from Manbij. Otherwise we’ll have to intervene against the terrorists just like we did in Afrin,” he said.

The meeting between the two took place less than 24 hours after Pompeo’s nomination as secretary of state was confirmed at Congress. Pompeo visited Ankara in February 2017 in his capacity as CIA director.

Çavuşoğlu added that Pompeo renewed a pending invitation for him to visit Washington in order to discuss and approve the Syria roadmap. The Turkey-U.S. working group established in January 2018 has been working on a plan to increase coordination between the two allies, particularly over the Manbij issue. At present U.S. troops are stationed alongside YPG militants in the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), drawing the ire of Ankara.

“If this roadmap is implemented … the YPG will be withdrawn from Manbij and a transparent process will be carried out for the security and governance of the city,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He added that he found Pompeo “very determined” for the resolution of issues related to Syria. “He asked me to visit Washington as soon as possible so that we can resolve this quickly,” he said.

Whats also interesting is that Pompeo’s recent speech regarding Iran was addressed to the Heritage Foundation, an American nationalistic think-tank. The Heritage Foundation has made a statement backing cooperation with Turkey to facilitate regime change in Syria. For example, in a 2013 article published by the Heritage Foundation, and written by James Phillips — a senior research fellow for the Heritage Foundation — states:

Assad’s predatory regime has exploded Turkey’s “zero problem with neighbors” foreign policy just as it has exposed the wishful thinking behind Obama’s feckless Syria policy. Both countries should now cooperate closely to mitigate the destabilizing spillover effects of Syria’s civil war and promote a rapid transition to an inclusive government that is accountable to its own people.

A “transition to an inclusive government” is just diplomatic speak for regime change. Regime change, as we learned from the consequences of US foreign policy in Iraq and Libya, leads to only violent destabilization. For years the Heritage Foundation has been releasing reports backing an expansion of Turkey’s military presence in the Middle East. For example, in 2006 the Heritage Foundation released a report entitled: Turkey: The best choice to lead a Lebanon force, written by Ariel Cohen, who was until 2014 a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. In this report, Cohen writes:

Turkey is uniquely positioned to lead a robust multinational force that can assume control over southern Lebanon and gradually hand it over to the Lebanese Army. … If a main criterion for the force structure is toughness, professionalism, as well as religious affiliation, Turkey rather than France would be the most fitting nation to take the lead. … Turkey is a bridge between the West and the Muslim world. As such, it can strike the best balance among the conflicting interests of all parties involved in the Lebanon crisis. Turkey maintains cordial relations with both Hezbollah’s patrons, Iran and Syria, as well as with Israel. The presence of Muslim soldiers in south Lebanon, albeit Sunni soldiers, would be more acceptable to Hezbollah than those of any other Western force. … Turkey’s relations with Israel are particularly useful. Despite the recent cancellation of a large contract with Israel Aircraft Industry to upgrade its aging F-4 fighter-bomber fleet, the Turkish and Israeli militaries have a track record of mutual respect and cooperation.

In the midst of all the chaos, we are seeing the implementation of the destructive ideas of think-tanks in Washington. Empowering Turkey, even for the diminishment of Russian influence in the Middle East, will not bring peace, and any brief reading of the history of the Ottoman Empire in World War One will bring one to this realization. Think-tanks are indeed a part of the military industrial complex of the United States, and not just that, but also a part of the scientific elite that believes and advances eugenics. Who financially backed the Heritage Foundation? It was Richard Mellon Scaife, a eugenist who was personal friends with Margaret Sanger and who was a major financial backer for Planned Parenthood.

So here, we see the connection between the eugenists and the militarists, with both seeking the destruction of human life for their own power and grandeur.

The United States is putting pressure on Iran supposedly for the simple reason that it is an ally of Russia, and a proxy for Russian influence in the Middle East. Thus, the support for Turkey against Iran, is really the support for Turkey against Russia. This is in accordance to the Gladio operation that was conducted by NATO — with the US as the head of the mission –, to spark nationalism in Europe in order to garner anti-Russian sentiment in the continent, and to form paramilitaries or “stay-behinds” that would fight the Soviets.

Turkey played a major role in the Gladio operation, with the CIA backing racist Turkish nationalist groups, such as that which was led by the Turkish nazi, Alparslan Türkeş, who loved to quote Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The CIA’s backing of Turkey during Operation Gladio was seen in the US making Turkey the second most armed country in NATO. Today, the United States is still backing this major superpower, a country that has a long history of genocide and expansionism. So, if the United States is really working for peace in its work against Iran, then why is it backing Turkey?

Israel sold tens of millions of dollars in weapons to Iran in the 1980s, in what is known as Operation Seashell. Even though the Islamist government of Iran was calling for the destruction of Israel, the Israelis did not mind making money off the jihadist Iranians. One Israeli Defense Ministry official, who was a key figure in Operation Seashell, recounts: “I do not remember even one discussion about the ethics of the matter. All that interested us was to sell, sell, sell more and more Israeli weapons, and let them kill each other with them.”

Iran made their demands for weapons through numerous front companies. In 1981, the Center for Logistic Support Corporation which was based in Zurich, but headquartered in London and owned by the National Iranian Oil Company, wrote to SIBAT ( International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the Israel Ministry of Defense), stating:

“The continuing war between Iran and Iraq has created an immediate requirement for a continuous and organized supply of spare parts and weapons to back up the current needs of the Iranian Defense forces. As a result of the Iranians’ initiative, we are in the process of establishing a center for Logistic Support in Europe (CLS) which will serve the Iranian requirements in the aerospace and defense fields. This organization is directly connected to the Iranian Ministry of War who would like to use them in its reorganization procedures for future purchases from the Western World.”

The first deal that was done was by an Iranian arms dealer through French intermediaries. This dealer purchased from Israel 200 tires for Phantom jet fighters, 106mm recoilless guns, mortars, and ammunition, along with communications equipment. The Iranian dealer charged his Iranian customers $56 million and quickly disappeared. The orders for Israeli weaponry from Iran did not stop, but continued on. The head of SIBAT, Zvi Reuter, made a proposal to David Kolitz, the owner of Elul, the Israeli arms and technology company, to sell weapons to Iran.

One of the key players in Operation Seashell was a Portuguese arms dealer name George Piniol. He came to Israel in early 1980 as part of a visit coordinated by SIBAT, holding tens of millions of dollars worth in letters of credit. Piniol covered his activities through a front company called Koffer Holdings Ltd., which was registered in the Channel Islands. Piniol had a meticulous shopping list, presumably dictated by Iran: spare parts for tank and aircraft engines, shells for 106mm recoilless rifles and for 130mm, 203mm and 175mm guns, TOW vehicle-mounted launchers and missiles. Piniol used fake documents to show that he was purchasing the weapons for a company in Peru. Piniol made his first deal with the Israelis buying 150 M-40 antitank guns and 24,000 shells for each gun.

Israel kept all of the products for each shipment in one large central hangar at Israel Aircraft Industries’ Ben Gurion International Airport headquarters, with heavily armed guards protecting the products. Piniol succeeded in getting the Argentinian airline, Transporte Aereo Rioplatense, to help fly the arms to their destination. The airline had to fly eighteen times, since all of the goods demanded by Iran weighed twenty tons. The value of the entire deal cost $75 million, and it was paid for by Iran.

Elul wanted to make sure that the deal would not appear to be done by the Israel Military Industries (IMI) and the government of Israel. Elul promised to the IMI that “in the event of any mishap connected to the transportation and delivery of the goods to the buyers, we will, to the best of our ability, take all necessary measures to ensure that there will be no publication of information that could link in any way at all the deal with IMI or the State of Israel.”

Deception was used while shipping the arms and ammunition. In a meeting in July 15, 1981, in the Israel Aircraft Industries headquarters, the director of Israel’s Defense Ministry, Haim Karmon, authorized “the transportation of the items ordered, including ammunition, by air shipment [and] insisted that on the cargo manifests on each flight neither the nature of the goods nor their production source be specified, apart from mention of the place of loading … the terminology used in the letters of credit would be ‘pipes, cylinders, and spare parts.’”

Centrifuge was also used by Israel in the finances behind its arms deal with Islamist Iran. The deputy CEO of Elul, Dan Kav, wrote a letter addressed to Raphael Peled of Israel’s Bank Leumi, instructing him never to use the name of Israel when handling the transfer of funds for the arms deals. The deal was to appear completely innocent, and the “pipes, cylinders, and spare parts” were officially addressed to a German company. (See Ronen Bergman, The Secret War with Iran)

It appears that the US is simply accelerating the Middle East, and ultimately the world, deeper into conflict. Turkey has already begun expansionism, with its advance into the Afrin area of northern Syria. If Turkey accentuates and intensifies its expansionism, it will cause a devastating tempest of violence which will rile up the superpowers of the earth to join in the fray.