Streetwise Professor

July 21, 2015

Perhaps There is an Alternate Universe Where This All Makes Sense

Filed under: History,Military,Politics — The Professor @ 6:45 pm

The US has entered into  deal with Iran that will unfreeze $100 to $15o billion in assets, and which will also unleash an investment bonanza in the country going forward. (With unseemly haste, the German vice chancellor has already run to Tehran to rekindle economic ties.) Iran is a longtime supporter of Hezbollah and the Syrian government, and all sentient beings (and by saying this I understand I exclude John Kerry and Barack Obama) realize that Iran will spend some of this windfall on Hezbollah, Syria, and other equally charming organizations and countries. Indeed, Iran has made plain that it will do so:

In relevant remarks on Monday, renowned political analyst Dr. Mohammad Marandi said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told him in Vienna last week that Iran would continue to supply arms to the regional nations even under a final nuclear deal.

“When we were in Vienna, the Arab reporters asked me if Iran would continue arms aids to its regional allies under the final deal, and when I asked Mr. Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, the question, he told me that Iran would continue the arms supply policy,” Marandi, a Tehran University Professor, said.

“Mr. Zarif told me that Iran would continue its arms aid to the regional nations and he told me that it would be in violation of the UN Security Council resolution (that was adopted earlier today), but it would not be in opposition to the agreement (also known as the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action),” he reiterated adding that Zarif had not asked him to remain unnamed when reflecting the answer to the reporters.

Simultaneously, however, the US is sanctioning Hezbollah officials for their involvement in the Syrian bloodbath:

The U.S. government on Tuesday imposed sanctions on three leaders of the militant group Hezbollah and a businessman in Lebanon, saying they were key players in the group’s military operations in Syria.

The sanctions were imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department.

“The United States will continue to aggressively target (Hezbollah) for its terrorist activities worldwide as well as its ongoing support to (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad’s ruthless military campaign in Syria,” said Adam Szubin, the Treasury Department’s acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Jesus H. Christ: Who is the biggest supporter of “Assad’s ruthless military campaign in Syria”? Iran! So we are freeing billions to a country that will use it to support Assad’s butchery but we are sanctioning Hezbollah (which is pretty much a wholly-owned Iranian subsidiary) because it supports Assad’s butchery.

You cannot make up this stuff. It is impossible.

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  1. It’s easily understood if you believe, as I do, that Obama’s sole aim is to leave some sort of legacy as the man who “solved” America’s long-running problems with Iran (and Cuba). So long as he thinks he can achieve this goal he’ll sign absolutely anything – consequences be damned.

    Comment by Tim Newman — July 21, 2015 @ 8:10 pm

  2. Link fixed

    Comment by Tim Newman — July 21, 2015 @ 8:11 pm

  3. @Tim-Great post. I especially liked the pivot from Obama to Putin. All of it was spot on.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 22, 2015 @ 5:45 pm

  4. Why is it such a bad plan? Iran will spend its vast influx of cash on its version of Vietnam while returning to the energy market, kneecapping Putin’s oil machine while giving the buckling euros an alternate dictatorship to suck up to in lieu of their preferred Ruskie buddies. The Hizballah sanctions are there to placate strategic liability Israel. And if things go really well, China will be sucked into the region as part of its pretensions of being the next super power and waste the trillions of dollars it doesnt have trying to re-assemble that jigsaw puzzle.

    Comment by d — July 22, 2015 @ 9:44 pm

  5. I’m a little late to this party but perhaps there’s a possibility of information sharing wrt Iran on Syria. Informants are hard to come by. You don’t arrest a drug mule then offer a plea where you demand they cut off all ties to bad people, do you? No. You coach them to burrow in deeper and deliver the big fish.

    Or, simply give them access to western financial systems and follow the money.

    I agree with d, Iranian oil competing in global markets will keep supply high, prices low and do so for an extended period. Not to mention the gas. Its a brave new world for Petrostates. The reign of Putin will not be ending anytime soon. It’s not as if the Russian people have viable alternatives. I especially liked the Expensive Watch Scandal. If Russians didn’t like corruption and oligarchy there wouldn’t be so much of it, right?

    Speaking of illicit industries, it’s not as if the U.S. has not had a hand in quite a few “opposition groups” who buy and sell things to further a dark agenda (opium doesn’t grow in the United States yet staggering amounts of heroin is hitting the streets of nearly every town in America,) meanwhile Afghanistan’s poppy crop seems to be expanding exponentially. I can’t wait to see all the bumpkins in North Dakota migrate to Iran to work in their oilfields. Something tells me working conditions will be better over there.

    The flow of arms is like a fist in a bucket of water, remove it and the water instantly takes its place. At least Zarif is being upfront about it, something Putin is not wrt Ukraine.

    Cheap oil is still king, and Iran has a good amount of it.

    Comment by MissCantBeWrong — August 5, 2015 @ 2:55 am

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