Streetwise Professor

May 23, 2018

Ayatollah Khamenei Performs at Open Mike Night

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 7:59 pm

Some comic relief from an unexpected quarter today. Namely, Ayatollah Khamenei–such a card! He accused Germany, France, and the UK of “disloyalty” for not confronting the US for walking on the non-treaty, and spelled out an ultimatum which, if the Europeans do not comply, will trigger a resumption of Iran’s nuclear activities:

He further blasted the Europeans for keeping mum about the US frequent violations of the 2015 nuclear deal in the last two years, and said “the EU is required to make up for this silence”.

Ayatollah Khamenei reminded that the US has violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that accompanies the nuclear deal, and said hence “Europe should issue a resolution against the US violation” of the agreement.

He said “the EU should also undertake to avoid a discussion of Iran’s missile and regional power”.

The Iranian Leader reminded that the nuclear talks were aimed at the removal of the sanctions, “many of which were not lifted, while they have been recently threatening to revive the sanctions desipte the emphasis of the UN Security Council resolution” to the otherwise.

The Leader further underlined that the EU should also pledge “to take action against any kind of sanction against the Islamic Republic and stand against the US sanctions on the basis of a clear-cut position”.

“Europe is also needed to ensure Iran’s full crude sales,” he said, and explained, “In case the Americans manage to strike a blow at our oil sales, (we) should be able to sell whatever volume of oil that we want. The Europeans should compensate (for the loss in crude sales) in a guaranteed manner and buy Iran’s crude.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also underscored that the EU banks should also ensure trade with Iran, and said, “We don’t want a fight with these three countries, but (we) don’t trust them either because of their past record.”

I have it on good authority, from sources who cannot be identified, that in a secret protocol Khamenei demanded that the Europeans supply him with daily shipments of M&Ms, with all of the brown ones removed.

The Leader (what a giveaway that is) also seems somewhat hazy on what JCPOA is: The Islamic Republic cannot deal with a government that easily violates an international treaty, withdraws its signature and in a theatrical show brags about its withdrawal on television.” Um, not a treaty! Obama denied it was a treaty.  He refused to submit it to the Senate for ratification as a treaty, as the Constitution requires.  Hence, whatever Khamenei says or thinks, it is not a treaty that legally binds the US, and hence, it was a simple matter for Trump to walk away, leaving the Ayatollah and the Europutians sputtering in rage.  A perfect illustration of “hoist on his own petard,” as it were (both Khamenei and Obama).

European companies have already made clear that they are not going to get crosswise with the United States.  The Iranian threat to resume processing of nuclear fuel is utterly abstract, and irrelevant to them: the threat of multi-billion dollar fines and the potentially devastating effects of secondary sanctions (cf. Oleg Derispaska) are very concrete and real.  The Germans, French, and British may wish that Iran won’t spin up its centrifuges again, but it would be absurd to impose penalties on their own companies for deferring to the US, especially since it would be trivially easy for the US to beat any penalty that the Europeans impose, and whereas Europe would be harming its own companies by imposing penalties (and incurring greater penalties from the US), it would cost the US nothing to impose them. Solving for the equilibrium in this game is pretty easy–maybe someone should explain it to Khamenei.

And just what “actions” and “stands” can the Europeans take?  Angela can stomp her feet and hold her breath until she’s blue in the face in anger at Trump, and it won’t matter a damn.  When it comes down to actual action, the Europeans are so impotent that all the Viagra in the world wouldn’t help.  It is clear who has escalation dominance here, and all Khamenei’s demands will not change that.

So Khamenei can demand and threaten, and at the end of the day it will avail him nothing, except maybe the Europeans will send  him those M&Ms.  As for the substance of his demands, he’s just pissing in the wind.


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  1. You have to give it to the europeans, they’re willing to ally with a terror state over the country that still safeguards their worthless asses simply because Trump exposed their impotence.

    We really such encourage Vlad to take half the continent by force to see if they become even slightly more grateful for the generous protection they’ve been given.

    My guess is that they won’t.

    Comment by WTH — May 24, 2018 @ 10:32 am

  2. “cf. Oleg Derispaska”

    Have you seen that VTB has announced suspension of all biznes with Deripaska, despite pending criminalization of such actions in Russia? That’s gotta hurt.

    Comment by Ivan — May 24, 2018 @ 1:39 pm

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