The Nuclear Challenge (4): 70 Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki-The Iran Agreement in Perspective

24 Aug

The Nuclear Challenge (4): 70 Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki-The Iran Agreement in Perspective


Without question the P5 +1 nuclear agreement with Iran is a vital move toward peace and stability in the Middle East, a step back from the maelstrom of conflict that is roiling much of the region, and leaving what stability there is among sovereign states under the control of various absolutisms that repress and exploit their own populations.


At the same time before congratulating the negotiators and building a strong rationale for yet another Nobel Peace Prize given to architects of Western diplomacy, we should pause and peer behind the curtain of hegemonic confusion embellishing a more dubious statecraft by an ever compliant mainstream media. If we pull back the curtain, what do we see?


First of all, we should immediately recognize that the most sensible agreement for the region and the world would have included Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal in the negotiating mix, and yielded a unanimous call for responding to nuclear anxieties with a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. As far I know, every government but Israel in the region, and this includes Iran and Saudi Arabia, favors regional nuclear disarmament, and is decidely uncomfortable with Israel as the sole nuclear weapons state in the region.


Many may feel that I am dreaming when I raise this point, but without the clarifying impact of dreams, political reality remains an opaque spin chamber. In a decent world order that was built on a foundation of law and equality among sovereign states with respect to the challenge of nuclear weapons there would be no double standards and no discriminatory policies. When reflecting on the current emphasis on reaching an agreement with Iran there is a political unwillingness to widen the optic for discussion, much less for implementation, of the most rational and ethically coherent approach to denuclearization of the Middle East.


If we are so obtuse or arrogant to ask ‘why?’ this is so there are several explanations. Undoubtedly, the most illuminating response is to point out that to include Israel’s nuclear weaponry in denuclearization diplomacy would violate ‘the special relationship’ binding the United State to Israel, although not vice versa as the Netanyahu/AIPAC outrageous campaign to undermine the P5 +1 initiative unmistakably demonstrates. Obama’s refusal to go along with Israel’s insistence on far tighter restraints on Iran as a precondition for its acceptance of an agreement is straining the special relationship and weakening the overwhelming support it had previously enjoyed among Jews in the United States. These tensions also reveal that even this most special of special arrangements has its outer limits! Yet it seems evident that these have yet to be discovered by the majority of the U.S. Congress.


Secondly, Iran is targeted by the agreement as a pariah state that is being subjected to a more stringent regime of inspection and restraint than has ever been imposed on any other non-nuclear state. Yet what has Iran done internationally to deserve such harsh treatment? In the period since the Islamic Republic took control of the country in 1979, Iran was aggressively attacked by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1980 with the encouragement and blessings of the United States Government, resulting in approximately one million battlefield deaths in the eight-year war to both sides. In the last decade or so, Iran has been the acknowledged target of destabilizing covert violent acts by the United States and Israel, including targeted assassinations of nuclear scientists and cyber efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. Additionally, Israel has made a series of unlawful threats of military attack and the United States has exhibits Martian solidarity by uttering somewhat more veiled assertions of its residual reliance on a military option, recently rearticulated by Obama as ‘war’ being the only alternative to the agreement should it be rejected by the United States.


We should not forget that Iran that is surrounded by belligerent adversaries openly talking about the feasibility of military attacks upon their country under present world conditions. From a purely realist perspective it is Iran that has one of the most credible security claims ever made to acquire nuclear weapons as a deterrent weapon in response to Israeli aggressiveness reinforced by American backing. After all, it has been reliably disclosed and documented that Israel on more than one occasion was on the verge of attacking Iraq, backing off at the last minute due only to splits within the Israeli cabinet over issues of feasibility and fears of adverse consequences.


This whole discourse on Iran’s nuclear program is notable for presuming that policy options can be selected by its adversaries without any consideration of the relevance of international law. Even supposing that Iran was, in fact, overtly seeking a nuclear weapon, and approaching a threshold of acquisition, this set of conditions would not validate recourse to force. There is no foundation whatsoever in international law for launching an attack to preempt another country from acquiring nuclear weapons. The U.S. relied on such a pretext to justify its attack on Iraq in 2003, but such an argument was rejected by the UN Security Council, and the American led attack and occupation were widely viewed as contrary to international law and the UN Charter. To launch a non-defensive attack on Iran would be a flagrant violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and of the norm prohibiting recourse to aggressive war used to convict German and Japanese surviving leaders after World War II of state crime. It is well to acknowledge that Iran succumbed to a kind of geopolitical blackmail by accepting this one-sided agreement. It is hardly surprising that the logic of geopolitics triumphed over respect for international law, and yet the fact that the liberal media and world public opinion smile so gratefully, apparently not realizing what an unhealthy an atmosphere exists, is discouraging, and not a good omen for the future.


Maybe there could be a case for bending, or even breaking international law, if Iran was genuinely posing a plausible threat that could not be met through diplomacy and defensive capabilities. But the realities are quite different. Iran has been the target of unlawful threats and various forms of covert intervention, and has responded with responsible caution, if at all. To reinforce this one-sided experience of insecurity with this kind of agreement sets the unfortunate perverse precedent of treating the victim of an unlawful intervention as the culprit justifying international sanctions, and possibly a future military onslaught. This represents a perversion of justice, as well as exhibiting a fundamental disregard of international law.


This reasoning is not meant to exonerate Iran from severe criticism for its internal failures to uphold the human rights of its citizens or for its continued punitive action against the leaders of the Green Revolution. It is important to realize that regulating recourse to international uses of force has been deliberately separated in the UN Charter from interfering in state/society relations absent the commission of severe crimes against humanity or genocide, and a green light is given by the UN Security Council for what amounts to ‘humanitarian intervention,’ recently justified by reference to the emergent international norm of a ‘right to protect’ or R2P. Such a R2P justification was put forward and controversially enacted in Libya in 2011.


True, during the Ahmedinejad years irresponsible fiery and provocative language was used by Tehran with reference to Israel, including repeated calls for the abolition of the Zionist project. The language used by Ahmedinejad was given its most inflammatory twist by Israeli translations of the Farsi original. Read more objectively, it was not Jews as such that were the subject of the invective, or even Israel, but Zionism and its belligerent behavior in the region, especially its refusal over the course of decades to achieve a sustainable peace with the Palestinian people, and on the contrary, its policy of continual land grabbing in Palestine to make peace between the two peoples an increasingly distant prospect of diminishing relevance in the domains of practical diplomacy.


The principal point of this analysis is to show that this agreement reflects the primacy of geopolitics, the neglect of international law, the impact of the US/Israel special relationship, and yet despite these drawbacks, it is still the best that supporters of peace and stability can hope for under present conditions of world order. Such a reality is occluded by the presentation of the debate in the United States as mainly the exaggerated mini-dramas associated with pressuring key members of Congress to vote for or against the agreement and engaging in sophisticated discussions as to whether the constraints imposed by the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, although the strongest ever imposed, are still as strong as Obama claims or as some uncertain Congress people demand. As argued here, support for the agreement is overwhelmingly in the national, global, regional, and human interest, but this assessment does not mean we should view world order through the distorting lens of heavily rose-tinted glasses.


This nuclear agreement reflects where we are in dealing with global crises, not where we should be. It is this distinction that is suppressed by the liberal media and government spokespersons that tout the agreement as an extraordinary achievement of international diplomacy. If we value international law, global justice, and indeed the future of the human species, then the distinction between the realm of the ‘feasible’ and the realm of the ‘desirable’ deserves energetic critical exposure by all of us who fancy ourselves as citizen pilgrims, that is, devotees of human and natural survival, as well as of global justice and human rights.

24 Responses to “The Nuclear Challenge (4): 70 Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki-The Iran Agreement in Perspective”

  1. M.L. August 24, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    Reblogged this on PAJU – Palestiniens et Juifs Unis and commented:
    This nuclear agreement reflects where we are in dealing with global crises, not where we should be. It is this distinction that is suppressed by the liberal media and government spokespersons that tout the agreement as an extraordinary achievement of international diplomacy. If we value international law, global justice, and indeed the future of the human species, then the distinction between the realm of the ‘feasible’ and the realm of the ‘desirable’ deserves energetic critical exposure by all of us who fancy ourselves as citizen pilgrims, that is, devotees of human and natural survival, as well as of global justice and human right

  2. rehmat1 August 24, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    Controlling a non-existence Iranian nukes cannot bring peace in the region because the real regional Trouble-Maker, Israel, still have more than 200 nuclear bombs, which are not mentioned in the so-called P5+1 and Iran nuclear agreement.

    American circus over US-Iran nuclear agreement is becoming amusing every day. Every joker who wants to win GOP or Democrat nomination for the country’s next president is claiming that a nuclear agreement with Iran would pose an ‘existential’ threat to Israel. Some have promised Jewish-purse holders that their first act as president would be to throw Obama-Rouhani agreement in garbage bin. These Israeli AZZ-lickers don’t want to accept that the UNSC has already declared the P5+1 and Iran deal kosher, making it obligatory for all the seven signatories to abide by it under international law.

  3. Laurie Knightly August 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    It would seem advisable that Iran not include the non-compliance and duplicitous issues of other nations in this particular nuclear deal. When the process is completed and Iran can return to normalcy, it behooves the cognescenti to examine the hypocrisy of that nation’s chief critics. While ranting against Iran, the US plans to upgrade its nuclear weapons system at a cost of $18 billion a year. Best Buddy Israel continues to be a belligerent rogue nuclear power answering to no one and in sanctimonious terms pretending a vulnerability. Also worth a study is the US et al equipping India, not an NPT signatory, with a nuclear stockpile through the auspices of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. What else goes on here? All nuclear nations need current oversight and compliance reporting. As the IAEA has put Iran in a more vulnerable position regarding Israel, they should be in a position to demand protection measures and likewise demand extreme sanctions for non-compliance.

    Good to read Ahmedinejad’s remarks translated correctly. Would that it might happen occasionally.

    Wouldn’t consider Iran an innocent regarding the war with Iraq. There are acts of war as well as war. Regarding the word ‘peace’ – on whose terms? It’s not unrealistic to suggest that nations could agree on a global system of justice and collaborate to make it happen.

    • Gene Schulman August 25, 2015 at 2:58 am #

      Good for you Laurie. At last someone explains the gap between the ‘is’ and the ‘ought’. The question is, how to close the gap?

    • Richard Falk August 25, 2015 at 4:34 am #

      Perceptive as usual.

      My impression after some study is that the USG encouraged the attack on Iran, with the minimal
      goal of an easy time expected in the oil-producing border province of Kuzistan that was under Arab
      control. Of course, Iran’s conduct in the war lamentable from several standpoints, including sending
      Iranian children to test whether battlefields were mined.

      • Laurie Knightly August 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

        I was thinking more of Shatt Al-Arab Waterway dispute, thalweg principles etc. As that was Iran’s only exit to Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, Iran seemed unreasonable – and most nations agreed. This is an example of the ripple effect when two nations cannot reconcile disputes – especially if they nationalize their oil and have access to weapons.

      • Regime Change August 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

        Why have you sit on the comments?

        Do you want people still believe lie as history when they say:

        {Khuzestan may be presently considered Iranian but has a conflicting history.} ?

      • Richard Falk August 26, 2015 at 12:54 am #

        I block personally abusive comments. You are welcome to make arguments and offer criticisms, but if you
        wish to defame, visit other websites where such comments are welcome.

  4. Regime Change from Within? August 25, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    {My impression after some study is that the USG encouraged the attack on Iran, with the minimal goal of an easy time expected in the oil-producing border province of Kuzistan that was under Arab control.}

    What do you mean by “Kuzistan that was under Arab Control.”
    Kuzistan was never under Arab control. Iraqis invaded Khorramshahr, a small city next to the border. Even Abadan was never under full control of Saddam forces despite the fact traitor Mujahedeen, MEK, were given full cooperation to US and Saddam forces, participating in killing of Iranian citizens. Kuzistan is a big province.
    US police state let by a brutal regime of Regan, gave green light to its then alley Saddam Hussein, to invade Iran to topple the Iranian government, but Kuzistan NEVER WAS UNDER ARAB CONTROL. Iran took every inch back and could topple Saddam whin no time, but the police state of US got frighten, and started protecting Saddam by putting American flag on ships, and shooting down Iranian Air bus killing 300 Iranian citizens many CHILDREN. The Iranian people have not forgotten this crime against humanity especially when the killer was given an AWARD for his crime against humanity.
    If you have gotten your information from the traitors such As Akbar Ganji, a NED stooge who received more than $500000 from Cato institute alone, or a Canadian Zionist lawyer in the service of CIA and empire, Payam Akhavan, then I have no argue.

    It is good to see that you are still working with these agents of “world government”.
    There is a strong opposition movement against “Iran deal” in Iran where no one in the West is willing to deal with it. Obama is using puppet government of Hassan Rouhani/Zarif for his strategy. Zarif is an American educated agent, brought up and was educated in the US since he was 14 years old.

    Obama is still number one enemy of the Iranian people. The fifth columnists cannot force themselves on Iran and should stay away from Iranian politics, so their collaborators. Obama thinks “Iran deal” is the best way to do REGIME CHANGE from within using the fifth column, GREEN, to topple the Iranian ‘hard liners’ to install a puppet government willing to internalize American ‘values’ and put the interest of the ‘world government’ ahead of the national interest.

    • Kata Fisher August 25, 2015 at 11:49 am #

      A note:

      In Iran, as I understood

      the fate of those who committed crimes is transferred into the hands of families and citizens – to the choice of the free will of Iranian people. For example, those who have killed someone can be unconditionally releases if a family that suffered loss extends forgiveness to the lawbreaker/killer.

      This alone indicates that Iran is not a totalitarian religious dictatorship.

      It is a country that allows for practices that are freedom of faith and freedom of religion. No one here considers Iran to be a “totalitarian religious dictatorship.”

      There is much good progress from within in Iran, but those best be slow, cautious and well-discerned. Transformed Iran can become Islam Faith World leader – just as Rome is for the Church and Christianity.

      Muslims need Imam Faith Council that is more Internationally involved and direct undiscerning lay-people to pursue peace (local) and international.

      Emigration and immigration has to be encouraged by all. Shutting doors to refuges based on their religious/Faith background is absurdly hypocrite and evil. Recently, there are unbearable refuge crises, and something has to happen. Integration of people can not be hindered and made unlawful. It is 21 century, and this is a New Millennium.

      Furter, it can be impossible for Muslims to update the condition (economical condition or faith conditions) of their society due to consistent external pressure as well as ongoing wars and prosecutions.

      However, it is possible that Muslims, in general, ignore, do not handle child and women rapes following more humane laws. Especially not, when they apply religious laws wrongly. However, this is also up to the condition of the lay-people ad the way they abuse Sacred Texts. This can be difficult to correct – just as it is difficult with cults and sects for all other people of Faith and/or religion.

      Why would you make such accusation against President Hassan Rouhani/Zarif?
      Next thing we may hear from you is that perhaps, he is the next Jewish Messiah.

      I am sorry to disappoint anyone who believes that new world order is only necessary and possible to achieve equilibrium. New World Order is not even relevant, and never will be.

      One can seek to fill the gaps, but most rational to achieve after the chaos is equilibrium. New World Order is not birthed in rational human thought. I would be cautious committing anything toward it.

      However, nation by nation has to be under natural, legit universal laws. Laws have to be updated to keep up with lawlessness. This is a process.

      We won’t wake up one morning and realize that new world government is established and is heavily under spiritual and natural attacks: time pass and present time/s. If you look historical patterns – those new world orders were always so ridiculously armed (without exception to any of them).

      Further, one more thing on the Faith issue.

      It can be that Muslims have to be more progressive concerning wellbeing of women of religious life and vocations. However, that can be difficult when well-being of Muslim women can be mistaken for and confused with women rights that are actually no rights for women, at all.

      Muslims do not need to tell Church about this – Church knows already what is going on. However, there should be more consistent, mature and prevailing dialog between faith leaders. They will never bring their texts and peoples together in peace, otherwise.

      Muslims and Church can confess to each other just how terrible things are, and there is no hope to get any better unless they work toward human balance. Faith Leaders can equip and correct.

      I just brainstormed – did not proof-read, but it was intended in good-will and no ill-will.

      • rehmat1 August 26, 2015 at 10:54 am #

        The current Iranian government is a “Theocracy” – a mixer of Islamic Shari’ah and western democracy. There are only two countries, Israel and Nepal, which are run by their religious fanatics.

        Sheikh Rouhani would not be the first Jewish Messiah, if Dr. Falk declared him so. 50 rabbis have already declared themselves “Promised Messiahs”, both males and females, have been listed in Jerry Rabow’s book of the same title.

        The most famous among them was Polish Rabbi Ya’akov Frank (1726-1791). Toronto’s chief rabbi, Wolf Gunther Plaut (1912-2012) in his 1990 book, ‘The Man Who Would Be Messiah’ claimed that Rabbi Frank’s follower committed Holocaust during WWII.

      • Kata Fisher August 26, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

        All drama. Indefinite plots.

        I did not know anything about contemporary Jews.

        In general, I never did care what is going on in contemporary. It is just in the air of the times. I saw enough madness with Christian sects and cults that nothing shocks or surprises me.

        To much drama is what most of people/nations need to be content. The human race is on the verge of total/corporate insanity.

        If anything corrected, it is in God-Speed.

    • Laurie Knightly August 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

      Khuzestan may be presently considered Iranian but has a conflicting history. Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the uprising in Khuz against Iran was led by their large Arab population. Prior to 1979, it was an autonomous region. The Arabs there are still interested in separating the area from Iran. Saddam assumed that the Arabs would join him in the war – turns out not. You agree ,above, that Iran ‘took it back’.

      Wouldn’t say that a ‘world government’ is the objective. Too much centralized power in that concept. We desperately need, however, some agreed upon equitable and enforceable global rules and an honorable international tribunal system. It could/should happen.

      • Kata Fisher August 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

        A note:

        Establishing court is most rational.

        However, that court has to be grounded /anchored in legit laws.

        If things that are now do not do by light laws and things.

        I believe if there is the commitment toward justice then also peace can be achieved, and is invertible to achieve peace.

        All we did see was peace on the lips but evil and bloodshed in works.

      • Laurie Knightly August 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

        My last post should have been a reply to Regime Change From Within but went awry……..

      • Regime Change from within August 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

        For those who are fed with colonial history and have been trained under the imperial Educational system which trains ignorant and obedient “citizens” to believe anything are given by their government, so it can be used in empire building by killing millions of people, and making billions more refugees and poor immigrants, please read a piece on history of Khuzistan, a province of Iran (Persia) for thousands of years.

        You have NO question about your own settler state erected on million of deaths, still in process, just a few centuries ago, but expressing doubt about Iranian territory and giving a piece of colonial lies.
        Your fed constructed history by the colonists and imperialists does not tell you the true story of Khuzistan which is NOT an Arab region invaded by ‘Persians’, rather opposite of it, Khuzistan was INVADED by Arabs in 7th century.
        Khuzestan is inhabited by a number of ethnic groups and peoples. Indigenous Persians in major cities, Iranian Arab tribes, the Bakhtiari, Behbahani and Luri of the north, the Qashqai and Afshari tribes, Armenians, the peoples of Dezful, Shushtar and the inhabitants of the coastal regions of the Persian Gulf all make up the population of the province of Khuzestan.
        The first large scale empire based here was that of the powerful 4th millennium BCE Elamites, a non-Semitic kingdom independent of Mesopotamia. Archeological ruins verify the entire province of Khuzestan to be home to the Elamite civilization.

        In previous ages, Iranians referred to Khuzestan as Elam; and historically historians refer to this province as ancient Elam, whose capital was in Susa. Khuzestan is the most ancient Iranian province and is often referred to in Iran as the “birthplace of the nation”, as this is the area where Aryan tribes first settled, assimilating the native Elamite population, and thus laying the foundation for the future Persian Empires of Median, Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid.
        In 1440 CE an Arab extremist Shi’a sect, Mshashaiya, initiated a wave of attacks on Khuzestan, leading to a gradual increase in the Arab population of Khuzestan. From the middle of the 15th century to the 19th century, they came to dominate much of western Khuzestan and were in continual conflict with the Safavid rulers during the reign of that dynasty, as well as with Iranian Arab tribes. In the latter part of the 16th century, the Bani Kaab, from Kuwait, settled in Khuzestan. And during the succeeding centuries, many more Arab tribes moved from southern Iraq to Khuzestan, and as a result, Khuzestan became “extensively Arabized” .
        In the mid 1800s Britain initiated a war with Iran in a failed attempt to conquer Khuzestan. Having lost, the British continued in their attempts to wrest control of the province by supporting a number of foreign Arab tribes that had invaded Iran. Sheikh Khaz’al, of Kuwaiti origin, was the ruler of the last remnants of these tribes, who was the first person to launch secessionist unrests in Khuzestan.

        Sheikh Khaz’al rose to power in 1897 and had originally been supported by the British colonialists. He was finally defeated and arrested in 1925 by Reza Shah of Pahlavi and the area of Khuzestan he had dominated returned to the province. Reza Shah Pahlavi, however, restored the original name of the province from Arabistan to Khuzestan. Domination of Khuzestan was also Saddam Hussein’s primary strategic objective that launched the Iran-Iraq war. Being on the border with Iraq, Khuzestan suffered the heaviest damage of all Iranian provinces during the 8 years of imposed war, which forced thousands of Iranians to flee the province.
        Furthermore, The Arab population fought hard against Saddam, US puppet invaded Iran supported by US police state, Britain and many other ‘civilized’ Western countries and Arab puppet reactionary states to separate Khuzistan, from Iran where Arab population thought them a very good lessons.
        That’s why the brutal West especially Britain and US police state since the defeat are working with constructed and opportunist group to create ‘separatists’ in Iran. Majority of the so called ‘riots’ in the region, like in Arab world, are constructed and executed by CIA – MI6 – Mossad TRAINED TERRORISTS.

        One example is the following:
        In December 2004 Daniel Brett, journalist and Young Fabian, founds BAFS because of his strong affection for the poor, downtrodden Ahwazi people. The BAFS website goes live in March 2005. Within a couple weeks BAFS receives an explosive letter which appeared to be from the Tehran leadership proposing ethnic cleansing against the Ahwazi Arabs. Shortly thereafter there are protests, riots, arrests and deaths over in Iran.

        The riot of April 15-17 2005 in the oil rich province of Khuzestan connected to Daniel Brutt a MI6 agent. The riot started by circulation of a fabricated letter where ‘revealed’ a supposed government plan to move ethnic Persians into the region. The fabricated letter caused a riot in Khuzestan. The letter was first published in English on the website of the newly-founded British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) and then broadcast into Khuzestan over BAFS-supported Al-Ahwaz TV into Iran.
        To expose Daniel Brett and the story of BAFS: Search in the net reveals: In December 2004 Daniel Brett, journalist and Young Fabian, founded BAFS. The BAFS website goes live in March 2005. Within a couple of weeks BAFS receives an explosive letter which appeared to be from Tehran leadership proposing ethnic cleansing against the Ahwazi Arabs. Shortly thereafter there are protests, riots, arrests and deaths in Iran. Daniel Brett then uses his journalistic skills and the BAFS brand to focus ‘human rights’ groups and media attention on the Iranian government’s repression in Ahwazi region.
        Daniel Brett is a ‘journalist’ specializing in defense, security, hydrocarbons and the petrochemicals industry in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He was educated in politics and development economics at Queen Mary and Westfield College and the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is International and Embassy Receptions Officer of the Young Fabians. That’s why many label him as MI6 agent which he denies.

  5. Laurie Knightly August 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    And I said that the Shatt Al – Arab was Iran’s only exit and I meant landlocked Iraq…….. One must fight experiencing a bit of ego leak over such blunders……

  6. Regime Change from Within August 25, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    Aravand Rood – Shat al Arab – has been shared most of the time between neighboring countries.

    Iran has NOT been ‘unreasonable’. Look at the history to judge what you are saying.
    In 1639 between the Persian and the Ottoman empires, which divided the territory according to tribal customs and loyalties, without attempting a rigorous land survey. During the Mandate of Iraq (1920–32), the British advisors in Iraq were able to keep the waterway binational under the thalweg principle that worked in Europe: the dividing line was a line drawn between the deepest points along the stream bed. In 1937, Iran and Iraq signed a treaty that settled the dispute over control of the Shatt al-Arab. The 1937 treaty recognized the Iranian-Iraqi border as along the low-water mark on the eastern side of the Shatt al-Arab. By the late 1960s, the build-up of Iranian power under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, led Iran to take a more assertive stance in the Near East. In April 1969, Iran abrogated the 1937 treaty over the Shatt al-Arab, and as such, Iran ceased paying tolls to Iraq when its ships used the Shatt al-Arab. The Shah justified his move by arguing that almost all river borders all over the world ran along the thalweg, and by claiming that because most of the ships that used the Shatt al-Arab were Iranian, the 1937 treaty was unfair to Iran. Iraq threatened war over the Iranian move, but when on 24 April 1969 an Iranian tanker escorted by Iranian warships sailed down the Shatt al-Arab, Iraq being the militarily weaker state did nothing.

    All United Nations attempts to intervene as mediators were rebuffed, because Iran was a US puppet and thus US was on Iran’s site. Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq claimed the entire waterway up to the Iranian shore as its territory because Saddam was a US puppet and the situation was changed by then. In March 1975, Iraq signed the Algiers Accord in which it recognized a series of straight lines closely approximating the thalweg (deepest channel) of the waterway, as the official border, in exchange for which Iran ended its support of the Iraqi Kurds. In 1980, Hussein released a statement claiming to abrogate the treaty that he signed, and Iraq invaded Iran.
    In 1988, Peace returns to Iran and Iraq, regarding to Algeria agreement.
    The history of this river shows heavy hand of empirical and occupational power at play.
    In the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the waterway was a key military target for the Coalition Forces (the West). The British Royal Marines staged an amphibious assault to capture the key oil installations and shipping docks located at Umm Qasr on the al-Faw peninsula at the onset of the conflict.

    Click to access Arvand(2008).pdf

    • Laurie Knightly August 26, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      Mr. Regime Change; Yes, you have provided a small sample of the ‘conflicted’ history of Khuzestan – very conflicted. The conflicting variables regarding this one issue could generate a thesis. You provide this piece and question the word ‘conflicted’ regarding the region???

      On the Shatt Al-Arab, I side with Iraq with demonstrated need and justified claim for their only feasible access to the Gulf. The players besides Iraq/Iran, as per usual, require considerable scrutiny. There’s always the proxy issues and alliances.

      On the nuclear deal with Iran, I am not only in favor of the proposed agreement but consider it overly generous/honorable on their part considering that the rest of the nuclear world pays little or no heed to NPT compliance. Not enough for the US to reject the ABM Treaty and create a Missile Defense Program – next is an outer Space Force. Perhaps if Iran were a rogue nuclear power, the US would sponsor/subsidize them like Israel, Pakistan, and India. The Nuclear Policy Review of 2002, listed Russia, China, N Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya as potential nuclear targets. If Iran reneges on the deal later, they are justified in advance.

  7. Iran deal is a zionist dictate August 28, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    Only traitors, imperialists and zionists like “Iran deal” and they are trying to sell it to ignorant and obedient ‘citizent’ of US.

    Even a cursory reading of the nuclear agreement reveals that, as I pointed out in a recent article on the issue, it is highly skewed against Iran. Not only does the agreement downgrade and freeze Iran’s peaceful nuclear technology, it also limit the scope of the county’s scientific research and development, jeopardize its national security or defense capabilities and, perhaps most importantly, undermine its national sovereignty.
    So, considering the fact the deal represents a big win for the US and its allies and, by the same token, a major losa major loss for Iran, why all the uproar against it?

    The main reason, however, seems to be that while the deal obviously represents a fantastic victory for the US and its allies, it nonetheless falls short of what the war party projected and fought for, that is, devastating regime change by military means, similar to what was done to Iraq and Libya.

    The second misconception that the war party’s vehement opposition to the nuclear deal has created is that their ultimate goal vis-à-vis Iran is significantly different from that of the Obama administration and other proponents of the deal. In reality, however, the difference between the opponents and proponents of the deal is largely tactical; strategically, both factions pursue the same objective: regime change in Iran.

    • Kata Fisher August 28, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

      A reflecting note:

      “Overeating that Nato has done and is doing is what?
      Do they over-sell to security council – or what else is going on?
      Overeating that Nato has done and is doing is what?
      Nato and its structure is Crusading Bad.”

      They have to be reevaluated and reformed – that seems most rational. It is New Millennium (already) that hopefully will not end up in the post-nuclear explosions air!

      ‘Nato org’ would be most interesting case study. Is anyone going to do that, as soon as possible?

  8. Remove your mask September 2, 2015 at 6:38 am #

    Mr. Falk don’t pretend you are a ‘progressive’. You are a USG agent and Obama, a mass murderer, supporter. You have supported the action of this mass murderer, Obama, in Libya, Syria, Iran and elsewhere.

    You have slept with pimps of CIA Payam Akhavan, Akbar Ganji, Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel – all supported the action of the mass murderer and supporter military action, but were all silent on mass killings of muslim. Do you think people are stupid not to know you? Remove your veil now.

    • Kata Fisher September 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

      Why would you say such things?

      That is unbelievably disrespectful.

      Why are you so disrespectful?

      Those are some bad accusations – and that what you are saying is not consistent with Professor.

      No one is foolish.

      You, sir, must be full of yourself and self-contenting ideas, right? You, just could not be wrong, and not very sorry? … in a case that you made a bad, misleading assessment?

      I think and believe that you should apologize.

      Will you please do that?

    • Kata Fisher September 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      “Remove your mask:”

      I just got this trough a pastor – can you evaluate it? What do things mean?

      This video, specifically – tell us what do things mean?

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