Sec. State Kerry Gets Serious about Iran

by: volleyboy1

Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 17:50:27 PM EST

Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

In his first public address regarding Iran, new Secretary of State John Kerry has words from the Administration regarding Iran:

"We are prepared to let diplomacy be the victor in this confrontation over their nuclear program," Kerry said after meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. "The president has made it clear that he is prepared to talk about a peaceful nuclear program."

Kerry also said: "Iran has a choice: they have to prove to the world that it is peaceful and we are prepared to sit responsibly and negotiate how they can do that and how we can all be satisfied."....

...Kerry also said that Iran's recent revelation that it would vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment, which can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads, is "concerning" and "disturbing."

"The president has made it clear that his preference is to have a diplomatic solution, but if he cannot get there, he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to make certain that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon," he said.

Now, this is clearly a diplomatic "shot across the bow" to Iran. Right now it seems it is meant purely as a rhetorical threat as the U.S. in reality is actually going through force reduction in the Persian Gulf and rotating a carrier group OUT of the region.

It comes on the heels of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini's rhetoric stating:

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's supreme leader

Thursday strongly rejected proposals for direct talks with the United States, effectively quashing suggestions for a breakthrough one-on-one dialogue on the nuclear standoff and potentially other issues.....

...."Talks will not solve any problems," Khamenei said in the statement posted Thursday following a meeting with air force commanders.

"You are holding a gun against Iran saying, 'Talks or you'll fire.' The Iranian nation will not be frightened by such threats," he added in apparent reference to U.S. sanctions over Iran's nuclear efforts.

However, this bellicose tone however, has not necessarily been supported through their actions.

First off, while the Bulgarians found Hizbollah guilty in an attack on a civilian bus in Burgas, Bulgaria that wounded a number of Israelis Iran has been quick to distance itself from it's client's actions.

Second, The Iranians publicly rebuffed Syrian requests for action after Israeli warplanes attacked a Syrian transfer of Soviet SA-117 missles to Hizbollah as well as a chemical weapons research facility.

Lately Iranian rhetoric has simply not matched their deeds. SO... what can we take away from this ratcheting up of rhetoric from the U.S.

Well.... (and I have been very wrong before), I think this is a signal that the U.S. is about to take an enhanced DIPLOMATIC role in the region. Now note that I say Diplomatic rather than Military.

Why do I say this? Well I say this due to the fact that the U.S. is in Force Reduction and Balancing the Budget mode, so ADDING a conflict in the region would do neither of those things. Additionally, the administration is discussing peaceable Nuclear energy as a "live with" situation.

At the same time perhaps the unconfirmed "blast" at Fordo was a message to Iran regarding the realities of their quest to enrich Uranium to weapons grade levels.

What then does the U.S. taking the DIPLOMATIC initiative mean... Well, it means that the President is putting the U.S. out in front on both a political and economic track to isolate the Iranian regime.

So far, aside from the Civil War in Syria (that is sure to cost the Iranians that nation), there are grumblings in Lebanon against Hizbollah (an Iranian client), as Israeli Jets fly mock sorties over the country in response to Hizbollah threats. At the same time the Government of Egypt who just had productive talks with Iran is facing popular dissension in the streets.

So is the U.S. signalling a move to enhance it's standing in the region through more covert means and with use of it's allies?

As far as economically, my assumption from Kerry's statements are that should the Iranians NOT "come to the table", they will face another more severe round of sanctions in addition to the ones that are beginning to strongly effect the Iranian economy and causing grumbling amongst the populace.

What I don't see is an all out military strike just yet, and honestly maybe not ever. BUT I do think things are about to get extremely "interesting" in the Persian Gulf.  

volleyboy1 :: Sec. State Kerry Gets Serious about Iran
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Thanks for this analysis and your take on a complex topic. (2.00 / 4)
I like your style, breaking things down so that those with not such sophisticated knowledge of the Middle East issues can understand it, plus that you say you could be wrong. Too many people - and I've seen this over and over again (but not here at the Moose) - write stuff, sound self-important and are sure they are right, with no ifs, ands, or buts, and turn out to be completely off base. It especially irks me when people pass judgment on other cultures without having any real idea what they are about. Living in a second culture makes me very sensitive to that, and I've taught inter-cultural awareness. It's very hard to be objective and NOT look at other countries through your own biased, US-based lens, so I appreciate nuance in discussions of foreign policy.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht

Thans Moozmuse (2.00 / 3)
I try... I am wrong almost as much as I am right (as is everyone who "does" politics". Honestly, I just like talking about the stuff and I learn each time I venture into writing.

SO thanks  for the kind words.  

Vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true!

[ Parent ]
I read this last night (2.00 / 5)
I wanted to read it again this morning.  Now I want to have coffee and read it again.  Thanks.

You're very welcome... I hope that you find something in there that you can use.. (2.00 / 3)

Vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true!

[ Parent ]
Spending more time in and thinking about the region, (2.00 / 2)
it seems more and more that Iran changing completely isn't even a question, just a matter of timing. Two weeks from now I will be 100 miles away separated by nothing but open water and a thousand years.

The south side of the Persian Gulf has transformed since the Iranian Revolution. Modern cities flourish, wealth, freedoms, international connections and futures for their people.

This is not, I am guessing, lost on the Iranian people. Not even on their leadership.

The Syrian regime is fallen, though it is the last to know it. Arab Millenials see their futures, though some elder leaderships still perhaps see their own pasts.

I don't think any of this is lost on our administration, either.

Iran has a choice. To be a powerful, wealthy, vibrant leader in the region in ten and twenty years. Or not.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


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