WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

U.S.---Iran Rapprochement?

It remains to be seen whether the agreement between the United States / Western powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran will produce a "real deal", or whether the entire thing will evaporate just like past Israeli--Palestinian negotiations.

It's telling that immediately after the agreement was announced in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the agreement didn't recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium; Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insisted otherwise, that such a right was implicit in the deal.

Tellingly, global oil prices are dropping as traders see an easing in tensions. But could either the United States Congress or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (or the Saudis, behind the scenes) derail the entire thing with stepped-up sanctions and/or a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran?

If the latter, the 1956 Suez crisis will look like child's play.

Articles in The NEW REPUBLIC, left-of-center but normally staunchly pro-Israel, suggest pro-Israel folks, at least of liberal sensibilities, are prepared to give the deal the benefit of the doubt. TNR headlines: "Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal Could Be a Major Triumph" and "The Iran Deal is Better than Nothing -- Even for Israel".

The Associated Press reports U.S. diplomats met with Iranian officials for a number of months in bilateral negotiations brokered by Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman (who has maintained cordial relations with both Western powers and the Iranians). This means that such talks actually began when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still the Iranian president. One of the key U.S. officials involved in those behind-the-scene negotiations in Oman: Jake Sullivan, Vice President Joe Biden's top foreign-policy adviser.

By the way, isn't President Obama - in a way - fulfilling one of his campaign promises? Talking to longtime enemies such as Iran. Indeed, in 2007, Obama vowed to pursue "aggressive personal diplomacy" with Iranian leaders.

It's also worth exploring that, for better or worse, Secretary of State John Kerry has unleashed a volley of diplomacy, while his predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, played it safe. You can judge whether this was because (a). She regarded such diplomacy as folly (b). She was resisting such daring diplomacy primarily to safeguard her political prospects. But just as in playing four corners in high school / college basketball, the strategy can backfire badly. (c). She is much more beholden to the Israeli lobby.

The pact between the West and Iran DOES deliver something long sought by Iran skeptics: A deadline. The Obama Administration has agreed to an interim agreement with an explicit expiration date six months ahead. If the parties can't hammer out a permanent deal in half a year (May 2014), the administration will face escalating pressure to choose the military option -- or look the other way as Israel does.

Maybe so, but Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called the pact a "historic mistake", and some Congressional lawmakers immediately concurred with Netanyahu.

You can read this contrarian analysis from Pepe Escobar in The ASIA TIMES on line...


The DAILY MAIL on line recounts the behind-the-scenes negotiations...


From NATIONAL JOURNAL: "The Iran Deal: Is This Nixon Goes to China??


Posted at 8:20am on November 25, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 9:41am
Two observations... The consensus among all relevant parties seems to be this is better than nothing, and if it falls apart, nothing was lost. Totally unlike Munich which lost Europe. Difference is Iran is not Hitler's Germany; there are two different types of individuals leading each.

As for your interesting juxtaposition between Hillary and Kerry, one must remember that both outside factors and that all this came from a gaffe in London over what Syria had to do to stop the upcoming war... which led to Iran... etc.

One could say in typical American fashion, Kerry has bumbled his way through successes, as was in the latter 60's very well-characterized by Mr. Magoo...

Allan Loudell
Mon, Nov 25, 2013 9:45am

Except that the latest accounts have the United States engaging in preliminary negotiations with Tehran in Oman BEFORE the Kerry gaffe... when Ahmadinejad was still the Iranian president!

Allan Loudell

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 9:58am
That's the difference right there. I wouldn't have dealt with Ahmadinejad either... He was too close to Hitler in personality.

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 10:43am
Neither Iranian leader should be trusted...Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a "wolf" in wolf's clothing (very open about who he was/what he thought)...the current leader is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Does this administration ever back/support the right side?
Syria? No.
Egypt? No.
Libya? No.
Israel? No.
Tea Party? Nope (and they sent the IRS after them)

Mr. Loudell: Trivia question...why/when did Persia change it's name to Iran?
I have read various accounts and was curious what your opinion was for the name change during Hitler's time?

Allan Loudell
Mon, Nov 25, 2013 11:36am
Mr. Grey...

The most commonly given year for the Persia-to-Iran conversion is 1935... something about referring to the country in the native Farsi... although some see the name change through the prism of "Aryan" connotations.

To others, calling Iran "Persia" is as inaccurate as it is to refer to The Netherlands as "Holland".

The government of Shah Reza Pahlavi at one point said BOTH names were okay.

Typically today, scholars and others refer to Persia when referring to longtime history and culture; and Iran, when discussing the modern Iranian nation-state... both Shah and Islamic Revolution.

When Shah Reza Pahlavi's government celebrated the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire (Cyrus the Great) in October 1971, it most definitely used "Persian" rather than "Iranian" because of the historic context. Ironically, some see the opulence and grandiosity of that anniversary celebration (which caught the imagination of Western media; I remember LIFE magazine's extensive treatment!) as one of the precipitating factors to the Shah's downfall later in that decade.

Of course, most of us still call THE Gulf "The Persian Gulf", not the "Iranian Gulf", and Arabs call it "the Arab Gulf".

I'm not sure the Obama Administration is truly supporting EITHER side in Syria, although it tries to differentiate between the various rebels.

Allan Loudell

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 12:32pm
Wow! I was the inspiration for Mr. Loudell's trivia question for the day! ;)

Allan Loudell
Mon, Nov 25, 2013 1:02pm
Yes, Mr. Grey---

Truth is, at times, I run far behind at formulating trivia questions, and just do them on the fly.

So yes, your question inspired me!

Allan Loudell

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 1:56pm
It was pretty cool hearing my question posed on the air...I wasn't able to call WDEL at the time; otherwise, I could have answered my question with your answer.

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 7:37pm
Did it drive traffic to the blog to search out the answer? I laughed when I heard that part...

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 7:42pm
I'm finally glad Earl has accepted reality and in his published list of "failed states", puts the Tea Party right there in the middle with them...

Does this administration ever back/support the right side?
Tea Party? Nope (and they sent the IRS after them)

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 7:43pm
The above list could be called the "Gallery of Strong-arm Thugs"... lol..

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 11:51pm
kavips: glad you can see the humor of this administration turning it's back on our former allies, inflaming hatred for our country around the world (wasn't Obama the only one who could make the world love us again) and using the IRS to destroy his political enemies.

Would it be funny if it were "the other side" (Republicans) using the government to destroy their political enemies? I rather doubt you would be laughing then...and I would not cheer on "my side" if they acted in that way. Government is supposed to work for us not for themselves and their political buddies.

Tue, Nov 26, 2013 1:33am
You are right Earl. It was not funny when Cheney and Bush practically destroyed our relationships with Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, just to name a few...

In fact, they gave Obama a Nobel Peace Prize for just replacing Dick Cheney with Joe Biden.... Wow, the Nobel Peace Foundation said: That was the greatest peace act that whole year!"

The problem is and always was, no one cares about YOUR allies.. Who are they? Assad? Qaddafi? Mubarak? Ahmadinejad, King Saud? The Omar of Oman? Al Qaeda?

We have Europe and Canada and Mexico back into our fold. We are a million times better off than the last time we were crazy enough to put a Republican in the White House...

Republicans back then, were as incompetent in foreign affairs, as they are today in trying to shut the government down... Biggest bumbling fools ever found in the greatest nation in the world...

You seem to be the only human being still supporting them.

Tue, Nov 26, 2013 2:00am
Allan, If you act early, you may have a scoop on Newark Election Day...

There was mysterious activity in Newark this past weekend. Vans and pickups were doing lit drops supporting the power plant, and supporting the one candidate who is in favor of putting in that power plant unit, which will be the biggest boiler in the state, but unfortunately, is only 200 feet, or 10 Wal*Mart aisles away, from the nearest residential area....

It was being done in violation of current election laws... It would have been fine under the old law as it stood a year ago, they would spend the money within the 8-day window, and file a year-end report after their candidate was sworn in.. Gilligan changed the law last year, and they realized late Sunday that they had 24 hours to report it. It is still not up on the Dept. of Election's site, but just before closing the Office of Elections reported out they received notice from a brand new PAC and gave out the information...

PAC’s chairman is Vince D’Anna, a real estate agent from the Evergreen neighborhood of Newark. D’Anna, who also donated $100 to Sierer’s official campaign.

According to the documents, Delaware Jobs Now is in care of Delawareans for Environmental and Economic Development.

This company is not a registered PAC. Perhaps an illegality. There was first the money spent, then a PAC hastily created around that money to make it look legal.

Its founding board members is Andrew Lubin, University of Delaware’s real estate director, who is responsible for the development of the STAR Campus.

Now here is what is funny. The candidate these groups are supporting, Polly Sierer, is condemning the PAC publicly that is supporting her!!! However, the contact person on the PAC's mailer, is one of the sponsors or hosts of her big Fundraiser back in October... He is listed right on the program.... One of six, right on the front page...

So for her to complain she knows nothing to the News Journal I think it was, when the PAC's treasurer was right beside her throwing the function, stretches belief in regards to her not even knowing of the effort...

Now, if one looked at the campaign finances before yesterday, she had raised roughly $5000... About what is expected for a mayor's special election....

The PAC...get this.. has only one donor... Delaware Jobs Now... which has put up get this... $45,000 for a bitty mayor's race, which everyone else is lucky to spend $5000....

As you like to say, one can't make this stuff up....

And it even gets weirder. The pamphlet has the former mayor Vince Funk and Polly Sierer cozily leaning against each other, and both of them publicly state they have no idea of who was dropping the literature......

Now, here is where you come in....

The contact person for this group is Rich Heffron, your buddy who is on your broadcast weekly... Do you think you can get him live on the air to clear this up before anyone else grabs him?

He really needs to... It doesn't look good for him at all.

$45,000 with no accountability, except they got caught....

Tue, Nov 26, 2013 4:24am
The right-wing talk show host "neglects" to mention how the Republican Dulles brothers overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran (to protect their client oil interests) and installed the despised Shah on the throne. When he was finally overthrown, the U.S. gave him sanctuary. Iran has every reason to hate the U.S.
He mentions the Suez Crisis but fails to point out that Britain and France betrayed the Arabs (including Palestinians) who had been promised a homeland in return for supporting the allies in fighting the Ottoman Empire.
And the pro-Zionist talk-show host also does not mention that the Zionists have the bomb but somehow that's OK, despite their long history of aggression against their neighbors and human rights abuses.
There are no problems in the Middle-East that cannot be traced to the U.S. (and before it, the Brits and French) and to arrogance and greed. The entire region has every reason to hate the U.S. and the U.S. deserves it.

Tue, Nov 26, 2013 5:26am
That's right Bill. America is to blame for ALL the world's problems! Never mind that if it weren't for Thomas Edison, the rest of the world would still be lighting gas lamps.

Tue, Nov 26, 2013 12:28pm
Mr. Pizza... there you go again... bashing Tesla.....

Tue, Nov 26, 2013 6:52pm
Actually, I'm quite impressed with Tesla. Unlike Fisker, they seem to be on the cutting edge of electric car technology. They even provide free recharges for their customers.

Of course, Nikola Tesla did a great job of expanding Edison's ideas into some useful devices.

This is the true definition of American exceptionalism. Tesla could not have accomplished as much in Croatia, as in America the free-enterprise system enabled him to flourish.

Wed, Nov 27, 2013 12:36pm
Edison was a crook who stole Tesla's ideas/hardwork.

Back to the topic at top... Iran says this administration is lying to the American public. It's pretty bad when the American public has to learn truth from our enemies instead of this administration.

Afkham and officials said that the White House has “modified” key details of the deal and released their own version of the agreement in the fact sheet.

Iran’s right to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, is fully recognized under the draft released by Tehran.

As the details are finalized, Iran will have the ability to continue its most controversial enrichment program. This drew criticism from proponents of tough nuclear restrictions.

So, the Iranians continue on the path to a nuke and "we" are reviving their economy?

kavips: I'm not a cheerleader for Bush/Cheney, but Obama was supposed to fix all the "allies issues".

You honestly think our relationship with Mexico is better after this administration lied to the Mexican government about gun-running thousands of assault weapons (Fast & Furious) over the Southern border? A lot of their police and civilians have died thanks to F&F.

After snubbing the Canadians over the Keystone XL pipeline you think our relationship is better with them? That pipeline would have strengthened the relationship with our neighbors in the North and lessened our dependence on the Saudis for oil... which would be a really good idea as this Iran deal has pissed off both the Saudis and the Israelis (our supposed ally).

And, How many allies no longer trust our country after Snowden? Germany sure doesn't trust this administration...N.S.A. was too close to the Stasi for Merkel.

Wed, Nov 27, 2013 2:53pm
The problem is and always was, no one cares about YOUR allies.. Who are they?

Assad? He is Russia/Iran's ally but does that mean (1) We should support the opposition that happens to be Al-Qaeda? (2) We should be "the world's policeman"?

Qaddafi? He was not an ally but he was no threat to our country.

Mubarak? Again, bad guy, but no threat to America...the same cannot be said of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ahmadinejad? No...but he's out of the picture.

King Saud? True ally, no...but not an actual enemy (yet)/

Al Qaeda? Definitely not, but it would seem this administration is using our tax dollars to support Al Qaeda in Syria.

Our main allies have traditionally been Great Britain (which is rather humorous considering 1776), Israel, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada and numerous other nations, but it seems to me we have turned our backs on the usual allies, and had our hands bitten by those to whom we have extended our outreach to recently... Again Barack Hussein Obama was supposed to be THE guy to regain "likeability" for our country in the Middle-East after Bush/Cheney; instead that region looks like it did right after Jimmy Carter...complete/utter chaos.

What next even/odd days to fill up your gas tank?

Kavips, you may be too young to remember that time period, but that's what I grew up with and it sucks seeing history repeated when it could be avoided.

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