In the American election campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly declared he would tear up the nuclear deal with Iran.
The former Premier of New South Wales and Foreign Minister of Australia, Bob Carr, has this to say about Trump’s policy on Iran, in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald December 8, titled “As Trump casts around for a fight or two, we should quietly ease off military ties” (with America):
According to Carr, Peter Jennings of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute believes ‘now is the time or Australia to further integrate its armed forces with America’s’, ‘now we have an opportunity to modernise the alliance in ways that will meet higher US expectations“.
Bob Carr argues against this:
“In this same spirit of going forth to find unnecessary fights the Trump transition team is examining new US sanctions against Iran unrelated to Iran’s now-halted nuclear weapons development. Trump may be accepting he cannot tear up the Iran deal on day one as he promised. The deal is not just between America and Iran. It’s between eight parties – including the European Union and Russia. “He can’t tear it up,” one American has told me. “The deal is laminated.”
Kim Beazley as ambassador in Washington found that Republican senators on record opposing the Iran deal were quietly hoping it would be approved. They did not want to inherit a problem from hell: an Iran unrestrained in reaching a nuclear bomb within three months.
Members of the Obama administration fear Trump, unable to “tear up” the Iran agreement, will apply extra sanctions on other subjects – human rights or the behaviour of its vessels in the Gulf – until Iranian hardliners take command and themselves “tear up” the agreement.
General Michael Flynn is Trump’s national security adviser, very likely to be more powerful than the eventual secretary of state.
This week The New York Times discovered that in the 2012 Benghazi crisis, produced by a jihadist assault on the US consulate, he alone insisted that Iran was behind the attack.
To this day not even the Israel lobby or hardline Republicans in the Senate have been able to produce evidence that Iran was behind Benghazi.
The New York Times said, “For weeks, he pushed analysts for evidence that the attack might have had a state sponsor – sometimes shouting at them when they didn’t come to the conclusions he wanted”.
His behaviour had a distinct resemblance to the Bush administration’s determination to invent a case that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction.”
At about the same time, the British Prime Minister Theresa May declared in a speech to Gulf State leaders that Britain would support the States against Iran.
“It follows a speech by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in which he sought to align British rhetoric more closely with that of the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump.”
“Speaking at summit of the Gulf Co-operation Council – comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain – Mrs May also said the UK wanted to “make a more permanent and more enduring commitment to the long-term security of the Gulf” and would invest more than £3bn in defence spending in the region over the next 10 years.
“Gulf security is our security,” she said.
“Extremists plotting terror attacks here, in this region, are not only targeting the Gulf but, as we have seen, targeting the streets of Europe, too.
“Whether we’re confronting the terrorism of al-Qaeda, or the murderous barbarity of [so-called Islamic State], no country is a more committed partner for you in this fight than the UK.”
Mrs May said she was determined to build further on the trade and investment relationship between the Gulf and the UK.
“Just as Gulf security is our security, so your prosperity is also our prosperity. Already the Gulf is a special market for the UK.”
She said that last year trade between the UK and the Gulf was worth more than £30bn and, at the same time, Gulf investment in the UK was helping to regenerate cities from Aberdeen to Teeside and Manchester to London.”
“She alleged that Iran’s activities include:
- Sending fighters including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps ‘Qods Force to Syria to shore up President Bashar al-Assad
- Providing support to the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen, and so working against the interests of the international community in bringing about peace and stability in the country
- Undermining stability in Lebanon and Iraq”
Conveniently forgotten is that Iran was invited by the legitimate government of Syria to help it in its fight against what it believes to be terrorists including AlQaida and IS, and it is in Iraq by invitation of the Iraqi government, fighting against IS. It supports Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen, both of which as Shiites feel threatened by the Sunni alliance led by Saudi Arabia, which has bombarded the Houthis resulting in thousands of civilian casualties over many months. Who then are the terrorists in the Middle East, and is Britain’s policy there predominantly, if not entirely, determined by its economic interests? And who is behind the extremists such as Al Qaida and IS? Certainly not Iran!
I believe that Bob Carr deserves our full support. Likewise, Europe should not – like Theresa May does – try to ingratiate itself with the US, but follow a line that guarantees stability and peace. Future generations would certainly not understand support for a belligerent development which may have disastrous consequences (see Iraq).