by Martin Jay, Strategic Culture:
The Iran deal is the ultimate test of just how much Joe Biden loves the old continent, Martin Jay writes.
When Joe Biden took office, many pundits said that at least relations between the U.S. and EU would be restored. But the Iran deal is the ultimate test of just how much he loves the old continent.
Just how far will Israel go to scupper the so-called Iran deal from being signed by both Iran and the West? And will it play a fair game or use underhand and covert tactics to achieve its goal of the deal never being signed? Recently, we have seen the talks in Vienna progress as even the Americans say that certain key negotiating points have been taken out of the deal from the Iranians which has made the negotiations move closer to an agreement; we have also seen though Israel pulling out all the stops, from a PR and lobbying perspective at least.
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And then there is the murky subject of skullduggery to destroy the talks. If you’re one of these people who believes in fairies at the bottom of the garden or that certain toothpastes can make your teeth whiter, then you might not buy into Israel using Mossad to derail the deal. Attacks on U.S. forces for example in Iraq, supposedly carried out by Iran-backed militias would normally have most people pointing the finger at Iran, proclaiming that Tehran is not at all serious about the deal but just playing along for time so that it can roll out a nuclear bomb. Then there is the curious case of the Salman Rushdie attack, which, again, many would point out could be attributed to the Iranians who still have a very much ‘alive’ fatwa against the British writer. Indeed, even the Supreme Leader is reported to have made a comment against Rushdie when he heard of the knife attack.
Given even the Israeli media have speculated that Mossad did it, it would be easy to conclude an open and shut case right?
Yet the author believes, like the 9/11 attacks in New York, which was the dirty work of Mossad, that these previous attacks can also be attributed to the Israelis who may well be plotting a bigger attack in the U.S. which Iran can be framed for; in fact, Americans are so ignorant of Islam or anything to do with the Arab world, that such an attack doesn’t even need to be linked to Iran but simply “Islamic terrorists” which might have tenuous links with Tehran.
There is no limit for Israel in terms of how far it can go to block the deal as the elite there believes that the Iran deal would exponentially boost Tehran’s power given the impact of sanctions relief on the economy. But the emergence of Iran as a regional player, economically, will always be a threat to Israel especially as it throws the spotlight on the once pariah state and many will see the fraud of hatred between Israel and Iran for what it is. Just as for decades the West goaded the Gulf States about Iran, installing fear to such a point that it was America and the UK who cleaned up on weapons sales, Israel needs to keep this yarn alive that Iran is the threat both for internal politics with their own people and also to justify the obscene amount of military aid which is sent to Israel each year. But any hack in Lebanon who has connections with Hezbollah will tell you that this threat is phoney and that both sides have enormous respect for one another; in reality both sides are fooling their own people into buying into the threat of an attack as it’s good for political support. The recent claims by Matthew Levitt in the Israeli media for example that Hezbollah wants to start some skirmishes with Israel can’t be taken seriously from those who are close to the Shiite group in Lebanon who say simply that Hezbollah is too scared to do such a thing off its own bat; being directed by the Supreme Leader in Iran though is another matter.
Hezbollah and Indeed Israel’s game of smoke and mirrors in Lebanon makes some pundits question whether Iran is really serious about reaching out for a deal with the west to lift its sanctions, or just playing us all along to win time? Surely Israel can’t have it both ways as its desperate antics of late tend to contradict themselves.
Hezbollah serves Israel well as the latter can focus more of defence spending and other such border initiatives in preference for being held more accountable for its governance. For Hezbollah it’s exactly the same. The threat of Israel launching at attack, once again, is the very bedrock of Hezbollah support in Lebanon. Without that threat, the Shia group may well lose half of its support overnight. This is one of the reasons why Israel continues to bomb Syria, targeting Iranian and Hezbollah activities: to keep the dream alive. It’s another reason why Hezbollah has a despondent enthusiasm towards Lebanon securing gas drilling rights close to Israel’s maritime border.