Unlike ‘Toria’ Kagan-Nuland’s 2014 “leaked” bombast in her five-minute phone call about US imperial designs on Ukraine, few will listen to the three hour audio conversation where Iran’s Zarif sounds off on issues most relevant to Iran’s internal political plight. Iran supposedly initiated a probe into the leaked Zarif conversation (comprehensively referenced here) but sources indicate the leak was internal even if the tendency is to think ‘CIA-shabak first’. (An analysis appears here)
As the analysis states, it’s tempting to see Iran as a monolith. Even skilled observers sometimes fall for the web of paranoia and fear spun by Washington/Tel Aviv media spinmeisters about Iran. The western media universally claims that Iran is fomenting insurrection in the Middle East while being an existential threat to Israel, when precisely the opposite is true.
And while the MEK may be more insidious to Iran’s government than say anti-Castro fanatics are to Cuba, leaving terrorists aside, there are clearly influential elements within Iran who wish to court the west, otherwise the JCPOA would never have been agreed to.* But perhaps more interesting than Zarif’s rather mundane take on Iran’s internal politics, is the US response to the leak. The US response reinforces the notion that even if the leaked audio originated from an internal source, that source was likely in league with either US or Israeli intelligence.
Cui bono? Western intel services want us to believe that Israeli intelligence was harmed here; that Iran is the true culprit in all; that Iran is the threat to world peace and not the US Axis powers. Then there’s the ultimate aim of the leak, being to scupper talks taking place between the US and Iran right now. There is a back story too where Israel has continually attacked and sabotaged oil tankers carrying oil from Iran to Syria, and in one instance a damaged oil tanker polluted Israeli beaches. Of course we know who Bibi’s Pharisees – and Washington – will blame for that.
Unlike Saudi Arabia, Iran’s leadership and its people have been resistant to Wall Street’s siren long before the revolution of 1979, when Mossadegh nationalized Iran’s oil industry seventy years ago. Mossadegh’s actions led to his deposition by Allen Dulles’s CIA, and Mossadegh’s eventual assassination. Even pro-western elements in Iran are aware of such heinous US acts as political assassination, which is still experienced by Iran’s leaders to this very day.
That poses the Big Question: why does Iran continue to play the US game? After all it’s unwise to kiss the snake the first time, much less twice. That snake trades in paper issued by the Federal Reserve and transferred by SWIFT so is that what Iran wants? Or perhaps Iran wishes to re-engage and shed its image as pariah state as imposed on it for decades now, by the United States and Israel? Hmmm, none of this seems to fit.
Here we return to the idea that Iran is not a monolith, and competing powers within Iran have competing agendas. However they conflict, Iran must realize that the Axis of Resistance is of paramount importance. Iran knows that the United States is not a reliable partner. And the world knows that Iran is the major power dedicated to defeating the monster that the United States created: ISIS. Likewise Iran is the only major power to oppose Israeli brutality toward Gaza and Palestinian resistance to Israel’s apartheid regime, which is enshrined in Israeli law.
For those reasons and more, Iran must end its pointless talks with the United States. Iran must reinforce its alliance with Russia, and alignment with China — and Afghanistan — going forward. Despite its conflicted internal agenda, Iran must know that kissing the snake the first time was a major blunder and that only the Axis of Resistance matters now.
*The fact that Iran is not a monolithic political entity may have saved it from major US aggression during the previous US regime.