A senior political analyst based in California said the US move to extend anti-Tehran sanctions for another ten years proves how unreliable Washington could be and how much it is under the thumb of the Zionist regime of Israel.
"So this has clearly sent very negative signals to the global community as far as how unreliable Washington could be and how much it is under the thumb of another foreign power, a tiny minuscule power such as Israel,” Alexander Azadgan said in an interview with Tasnim News Agency.
Alexander Azadgan is a multi-awarded professor of Strategic Global Management & International Political Economy. Azadgan is also a senior fellow with several cutting-edge Iranian think-tanks as well as a regular contributor with Russia’s Katehon think-tank.
The first part of the interview is as follows:
Tasnim: As you know, the US Senate on December 1 voted unanimously to renew sanctions against Iran for 10 years. The legislation, known as Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), had been passed by the House of Representatives earlier on November 15. US President Barack Obama has declined to sign the ISA, but has let it become law anyway. According to experts, the implementation of the legislation would be a breach of the July 2015 nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). What is your assessment of the legislation and in your opinion, what would it signal to the public opinion regarding Washington’s commitment to its international agreements?
Azadgan: In my assessment as far as this particular legislation, I can tell you right off the bat that unfortunately for a long time, the US foreign policy especially through the power of the very corrosive Israeli Zionist lobby in the United States known as AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) they exert tremendous amount of power and influence in the US legislative as well as the executive branch but very much through the legislation branch because our entire political process, electoral process especially when it comes to Congress, is totally corrupted by the negative influence of money which the Israeli Lobby has mastered in the past 60 or 70 years. As far as what would signal to the public opinion regarding Washington's commitment, this clearly sends the signal that Washington reneges on its promises and its commitments. So as far as Washington's credibility, it is crystal clear to the global audience in the way they want to treat Iran when it comes to this issue.
Now the interesting development with this was that President Obama although he had veto power over this particular act, ISA (Iran Sanctions Act), he went ahead and not practice his veto power and decided not to actually sign this legislature which effectively makes it law because the only way it would have not made it US law would have been for the president to veto it and this tells us so much about President Obama. Unfortunately, he is going with the very corrosive and toxic direction of the wind these past few months especially since the election of Donald Trump and he's not practicing leadership, you know, true leadership role in having veto this legislation which would have possibly change the course of world history since the election or the selection of Donald Trump into the presidency. We have seen this backpedaling especially as we witness with President Obama's not vetoing this particular illegal legislation that was just passed. So this has clearly sent very negative signals to the global community as far as how unreliable Washington could be and how much it is under the thumb of another foreign power, a tiny minuscule power such as Israel.
Tasnim: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has described the renewal of anti-Iran sanctions for another 10 years as a clear violation of the JCPOA, warning the US government that Iran would certainly react to it. Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi also recently said Tehran has drawn up plans to react to any possible violation of the JCPOA by the US, saying those scenarios could not be made public. What is your take on that?
Azadgan: I don't think Iranians approached this whole process of JCPOA naively. Certainly they acted in good faith even the IAEA, which is under the thumb of Washington especially under the leadership of Mr. Amano, acknowledged that during the past year and a half since this signing of the JCPOA that Iran has fully stayed consistent with his commitment according to the agreement. So, Iran certainly has options and certainly those options are not going to be obviously made public because there are matters of very sensitive national security for the Iranians and I'm sure the Iranians had a contingency plan having gone into this whole process, the JCPOA process, in case Washington reneges on his promise because the Iranians were participating or never anticipating a possible republican victory in these elections. Obviously, nobody really thought that Donald Trump get in but there was a possibility that any of the other Republican now above candidates could have possibly got in and so Iranians definitely did have contingency plans. As far as Ayatollah Khamenei’s approach to these whole proceedings, I think Ayatollah Khamenei’s advice to President Rouhani's administration right from the outset was very even-handed, was very diplomatic, was very wise and it was very prudent.
Iran wanted to prove its good faith in going through these negotiations not just for the sake of negotiating but for the sake of coming to an agreement and that's what JCPOA was all about but with the coming into power of president-elect Trump we are seeing all the wrong signals starting from when he was campaigning in distorting the JCPOA as the worst deal between the United States and any other country until up to his recent comments that the JCPOA was the worst agreement in human history which is absolutely ludicrous and baseless. Now you have to understand that Mr. Trump is a showman. He is a petty businessman. There's talk that if Mr. Trump didn't get the US presidency that he was basically bankrupt in all these businesses. So, you know, he's using the US presidency, you know, his voice to the rest of the world and I don't think he has any understanding as far as the serious implication of his reckless words and the reckless policies that he's promising to pursue and we have to really take him at his word.
There are many analysts who are saying that, you know, a lot of his rhetoric is ridiculous, Islamophobic, and Iranophobic toxic rhetoric was for domestic consumption during the campaign. That may hold some water but as we are analyzing the individuals that he's selecting to be part of his cabinet one is worse than the other really except for the Secretary of State Mr. Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation who seems to have a reconciliatory approach at least when it comes to Russia. The rest of the people that Mr. Trump is suggesting or nominating to Congress for them to be approved, one is really worse than the other. They are even making George Bush administration look like moderates so these are very dangerous times we are living in. The toxic rhetoric having come out of Mr. Trump's mouth both during the campaign and now affirming it through his selections certainly should send a chill to everybody's spine throughout the world as far as when it comes to the global peace and security which the Iranian nuclear deal is a very integral part of that puzzle.