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The Race for Iran


The new secretary general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Muratbek Sansyzbayevich Imanaliev, said at a news conference in Beijing earlier this week that the conflict in Afghanistan and expanding the SCO’s members to include Iran and Pakistan were the top issues on the SCO’s agenda in 2010.  Certainly, these issues are likely to dominate preparation for the SCO’s annual summit, which will take place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan sometime this coming summer. 

The SCO was founded in 2001 by six original members:  Russia and China along with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.  Formally, the SCO was created to institutionalize the founding members’ ongoing cooperation on border security, counterterrorism, and fighting extremist and separatist activism, as well as for economic cooperation.  More broadly, the SCO has established itself as an increasingly important factor in Central Asian affairs, Sino-Russian relations, and the formation of an international “coalition”—loosely organized around Beijing and Moscow—opposed to what its members see as excessive U.S. unilateralism. 

In 2004, Mongolia became the first state to receive observer status in the SCO; in 2005, Iran, India, and Pakistan were also granted observer status in the SCO.  If one includes the populations and territorial extent of the four observer states along with those of the six core members, the SCO has become the world’s largest regional security organization, in terms of the number of people and the amount of territory it covers.  Among other things, the inclusion of Iran, India, and Pakistan as observers significantly expands the SCO’s already considerable latent potential to exert influence over the development and marketing of Central Asia’s oil and gas resources.          

Over the past three years, Russia has pushed for Iran to be accorded full membership in the SCO.  China has quietly resisted this push.  In public, Chinese officials say only that the issue needs to be studied, as a formal mechanism through which the SCO can bring in new members does not currently exist.  In private, Chinese officials say that including Iran would change the character and function of the SCO in important ways.  In particular, Iranian membership would make it harder for Beijing to insist, as it regularly does, that the SCO is not an alliance directed against any specific country—e.g., the United States. 

It is not clear that Beijing is ready to endorse full membership for Iran in the SCO.  But, as Andrei Ibanov, a Russian analyst, wrote this week in China’s Global Times, Beijing’s heightened strategic standing “allows it a more direct role in advancing its national interests faster than ever”.  And, as we have pointed out repeatedly on this blog and elsewhere, since 2007, China has become more assertive in advancing its perceived interests vis-à-vis Iran, even as U.S. pressure on Beijing to take a tougher line against Tehran intensifies.  We certainly expect that trend to continue. 

In this context, Ibanov argues that

“China’s best move, particularly as the leader of the SCO, would be to encourage and facilitate the acceptance of Iran’s membership into the pact quickly before a new round of sanctions are imposed.  Doing so would not only add strength to China’s ability to access Iran’s energy sources, it would also very seriously dampen any unilateral moves, whether sanctions or missiles aimed at Iran and its nuclear facilities.” 

Two years ago, a general in the People’s Liberation Army intelligence branch told us in Beijing that China would agree to full Iranian membership in the SCO “only if the United States forced its hand”.  Given the Obama Administration’s gratuitous antagonism of China, over Iran and other issues, it will be interesting to see whether Beijing is more open to the prospect of full SCO membership for the Islamic Republic. 

On the Obama Administration’s approach to China, we were surprised to find ourselves in rather strong agreement with a recent Op Ed on this subject in The Wall Street Journal by George Gilder, an intellectual darling of conservative and neoconservative Republicans for many years.  We disagree with Gilder on many subjects, particularly with regard to the Middle East.  But his Op Ed, entitled “Why Antagonize China?”, contains passages of real insight:      

It started last June in Beijing when U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner lectured Chinese Premier Wen Jiaboa, who recoiled like a man cornered by a crank at a cocktail party.  Mr. Geithner was haranguing the Chinese on…the need for a Chinese dollar devaluation, on which one can scarcely imagine that he can persuade Chinese holders of a trillion dollars of reserves.  This week in a meeting with Senate Democrats, President Obama continued to fret about the dollar being too strong against the yuan at a time when most of the world’s investors fear that the Chinese will act on his words and crash the dollar… 

Yes, the Chinese are needlessly aggressive in missile deployments against Taiwan, but there is absolutely no prospect of a successful U.S. defense of that country.  Sending them $6 billion of new weapons is a needless provocation against China that does nothing valuable for the defense of the U.S. or Taiwan…

[But] a foreign policy of serious people at a time of crisis will recognize that the current Chinese regime is the best we can expect from that country.  The Chinese revitalization of Asian capitalism remains the most important positive event in the world in the last 30 years.  Not only did it release a billion people from penury and oppression but it transformed China from a communist enemy of the U.S. into a now indispensable capitalist partner.  It is ironic that liberals who once welcomed appeasement of the monstrous regime of Mao Zedong now become openly bellicose at various murky incidents of Internet hacking…

The U.S. is as dependent on China for its economic and military health and economic growth as China is dependent on the U.S. for its key markets, reserve finance, and global capitalist trading regime.

It is self-destructive folly to sacrifice this core synergy at the heart of global capitalism in order to gain concessions on global warming, dollar weakening, or Internet politics. 

How many enemies do we need? 

How many indeed.  This blog is, in many respects, dedicated to the proposition that the United States does not need the Islamic Republic as an enemy.  It is a disturbing sign of how far off the track the Obama Administration’s foreign policy has gone that both the Leveretts and George Gilder feel compelled to point out just how dangerous it could be for the United States to turn China into an enemy.     

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett



  1. Dan cooper says:


    You must be politically naive to think that CIA and MOSSAD are not active in Iran.

    Have you studied this link?


    If you have, please let me know what you think.

    So far, American government has lost nearly 5000 soldiers, spent over 900 billion dollars, killed, and maimed over one million Iraqis?

    This is the price American government is prepared to pay in order to change a regime in Iraq and replace it by a puppet government to look after the interests of US and Israel in the region, now you are suggesting that USA and Israel are not involved with has happened in Iran.

    Panner: please wake up

    To American government, “Iran” is worth far more than “Iraq”

    USA and Israel are aware that an attack on Iran will have “catastrophic consequences”; instead, and for the time being, The CIA and Mossad plan for Iran is an agenda to maintain division and instability.

    According to your logic, Iraqi people must blame themselves for what happened to their country and not the USA.

    In the same token, British and American stole oil from Iran for 70 long years(from 1909 to 1979) and toppled the democratically elected Dr Mohammad Mosadegh, again according to your logic, Iranian must not blame the British and Americans and should only blame themselves, this is absurd.

    Regimes come and go and you have the right to be against IRI, but do not scarify “Iran” for the sake of your ideology. The threat from USA and Israel is real.

    If you consider the Mullas to be your enemy and the USA, the enemy of Mullas, please always remember this:

    The enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

  2. jay says:

    The great thing about democracy (which at times could be frustrating) is that everyone can participate and opine. Of course, the same freedoms enable us to “skip” certain postings that seem to engage in what appears to be less than honest discourse. In other words, we can always ignore certain people!

    I can follow the Leverett’s reasoning in most of their writings, although I may not agree with every conclusion they draw. In certain postings here and elsewhere I see expression of personal distaste for the current regime in Iran. I can respect distaste for a regime or certain individuals in the regime, but that does not pass for rational discourse. By all objectively measurable accounts I have seen the regime in Iran has the support of the majority of Iranians in an “overall” sense – on specific issues the level of support may be smaller. No doubt, there is a significant group in Iran that does not support the current regime. It is nonetheless a minority! Despite many anecdotal claims, I have not seen any hard evidence, polling data or otherwise, to support an opposing conclusion regarding support for the regime.

    With respect to the interests of the US (and the US only), I suggest that friendly relations with Iran presents a major strategic win for the US – the most glaring challenge to face future US administrations will be china and Iran will be a major hedge. The opposing voices to friendly relations with Iran appear to conflate the interests of the US with the interest of other (foreign) states, and then use the confusion to argue for pressure and conflict.

    Those (Americans) who wish to Advocate for the interests of a foreign state, either directly or indirectly (for example, by arguing against friendly relations with a third country), are free to do so. However, in the interest of honest discussion, it is helpful to be upfront about it.

  3. Iranian says:

    You are absolutely correct Liz.

  4. Paneer says:

    It’s good news that those who are supporting further confrontation and potential war are in the minority here. Let’s hope the same is true everywhere. I hope that Obama shows a little bit of courage and stops portraying himself Bush II to the outside world.

    No one is supporting confrontation. It’s the false bravado and hubris of your paymaster that are endangering Iranians and will eventually lead them to slaughte in the next 15 years.

    You’re not the brightes tool in the shed…

  5. Liz says:

    It’s good news that those who are supporting further confrontation and potential war are in the minority here. Let’s hope the same is true everywhere. I hope that Obama shows a little bit of courage and stops portraying himself Bush II to the outside world.

  6. Paneer says:

    The calibre of the commenters on this site leaves much to be desired. I’m not learning anything new here as I thought I would be….

    Luckily, Obama is smarter than all of you, “Iran Experts” and is able to see reality for what it is.

  7. Alan says:

    Lysander: “Following such a deal it would be able to tell the public that through perseverance it forced major concessions from the US. Whereas the opposition was ready to give away the store in exchange for a pat on the head. And they wouldn’t have even gotten the pat in the head. The opposition understands this and they know they have the most to loose from a favorable deal with the west.”

    I think it was in fact the opposition that considered Ahmadinejad et al were going to “give away the store for a pat on the head”, which is why they opposed him so vehemently after Geneva that he had to back track on the offer.

    Still, I think you’re right, the opposition may well fear the political coup for Ahmadinejad if he does bring Iran in from the cold. El Baradei said as much. But on the other hand, if he does do so on the basis of a harder line brought about by opposition demands, it could be the common ground the elite need to repair the split amongst themselves that created the unrest in the first place.

  8. Iranian@Iran says:

    The green movement, which never had the support of the majority of Iranians, as the polls show, has lost its credibility among most of its supporters inside Iran exactly because of astro-turf elements that have taken over the movement.

  9. Johnh says:

    Paneer can probably can also say with absolute certainty that all those participating in the Green Movement are committed idealists, as opposed to say astro-turf elements with business relationships to Rafsanjani, Moussavi, of the National Endowment for Democracy and Mossad. Personally, I would hope that the Green Movement is mostly comprised of genuine idealists aspiring to a democratic Iran. My hunch, however, is that the situation is much more complex and that there are significant astro-turf elements involved, not just grassroots.

  10. JohnH says:

    Paneer said, “The regime is itching for a war or an invasion.” He claims to know the intentions of the regime.

    Paneer also knows the will of the Iranian people: “Iran’s government does not represent the true will of the people. It governe true fear and domestic terror. Has no popular base.”

    That’s exactly what they said about Venezuela. Yes opinion polls gave Chavez 60% approval ratings. Voters in internationally monitored elections gave him 60%. Now World Opinion Poll’s telephone poll (which leaves out many poorer voters who have no phones) found that the Ahmadinejad’s election was legitimate. So who do you believe, an election and an opinion poll, or this dude Paneer, who has superior parallel processing skills, talks with his affluent extemded family and claims that the government has ‘no popular base.’ Keep dreaming, Paneer.

  11. Paneer says:

    Pro-IRI Rent-a-mob

    Will Tehran choose the Tiananmen solution?


  12. Paneer says:

    The Lies of Iran in Pictures
    In 1979, and again last year, the reality of the Islamic Republic was revealed in famous images of death.
    LA Times / Joshua Prager
    recommended by vildemose

  13. Paneer says:

    John H: I never spoke for “all” Iranians. Do you speak for “all” Americans??

    I might not have a crystal ball but I can make very educated guesses and connect unseeminlgy unrelated dots because I process information globally or as they say in cognitive science, my parallel processing is pretty above average. I also have a lot at stake (my family still is in Iran), which you don’t have. I don’t want Iran being nuked in a few years under a Republican President.

  14. JohnH says:

    Yeah, yeah Paneer. You are uniquely qualified to speak for all Iranians. And most of all you have special powers to peer inside the minds of the leadership of the IRI.

    Anybody else believe that? I have a bridge to sell you.

  15. Paneer says:

    rfjk: What have you offered to the discussion except your covert bigotry??? You are too transparent…


  16. Paneer says:

    Arnold Evans: Can you tell me what direction I want the country to follow??

    Please enlighten me…I didn’t know I had prescribed any direction.

  17. Paneer says:

    rfjk: bla…bla…bla..

    JohnH: Delusional or not, will not change the goals and nature of the IRI. If you can’t process information globally, it’s not my fault.

    John H:

    I think there is a cultural disconnect here. I don’t think you can use your western criteria and yard stick to get into the mind set of ideologically driven system of shia theocracy. I also said military win is not always the goal.

    Your intellectual laziness is duly noted again…

  18. JohnH says:

    Paneer’s curious statement (after saying Iran ‘wants war’). “Iran’s defense spending has nothing to do with what Iran wants or not. Winning militarily is not always the goal. Please study the Iran-Iraq war.”

    So the regime is not spending much on arming itself for war or for defending itself? It only wants martyrdom?

    You’re becoming delusional.

  19. rfjk says:

    paneer said on:
    January 13, 2010 at 8:54 pm:

    “Like all ad hominem attacks, (argumentum ad hominem means argument against the person) it is an act of intellectual surrender. The person who employs an ad hominem attack is admitting they cannot win the debate on merit, and hope to chuck the entire thing out the window by attacking the messenger. This is a logical fallacy of the first order, because the messenger is not the message.”

    I would charge that paneer hoists himself on his own petard, but that would be false since what he actually engages in are ‘ad hominem abusive’ arguments:

    “Ad hominem abusive usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions.”

    Fallacies driven by incorrect reasoning and stooping to crude personalizations are often indicative of personalities who crave attention, especially within safe environments and locales from which they can hurl their false and offensive remarks. Such individuals also hunger for similar responses in kind to feed whatever the nature of their personal distress.

    I’ve noted some here have responded to these outbursts of childish behavior, but any and all retorts are exercises in futility since logical arguments or discussion are not the goal.

  20. Liz says:

    105 percent of Iranians agree with him according to a Paneer survey carried out in his home!

  21. Arnold Evans says:

    Paneer, do you think most Iranians agree with you about what direction the country should go in?

    What makes you think so?

  22. Paneer says:

    “Iranian” this is for you: Happy Birthday:

    by Fred

    “In four days time IRR, the Islamist Rapist Republic will celebrate its 31st birthday.

    Here are my suggestions for what the celebrants should be most proud of:

    1- Creating parallel Irans, one behind closed doors and the forced one in public

    2- Instilling hypocrisy as a virtue

    3- Encouraging deceit as a national art form

    4- Adding copious amount of abhorrent Islamist savagery into the nation’s staple diet

    5- Making Iran the Mecca of Anti-Semites, orphaned lefties, free loafers, parasites, terrorists and other likewise international luminaries

    6- Having the knack to find the worst and promoting them to the highest positions

    And for the icing on their birthday cake:

    The Islamist Rapists and their supporters/accomplices should be really proud of holding, per capita-wise, the world record in brain drain, executions, especially of the children, road accident fatalities, drug addiction, jailing of reporters…

    Last but not least, the cherry on top of their birthday cake of achievements should be their practice of raping Iranian men, women and children. Enjoy your slice of the Islamist birthday cake.

    7 – Creating an object of affection for present and former Leninists, post-USSR 8 – Promoting Iran’s economy to have a lower GDP per capita than Gabon, despite having the 3rd largest oil reserves and 2nd largest natural gas reserves in the world (give IRI another 31 years, and the good times will come–might I then suggest calling Iran the Gabon of the Gulf?) “”


  23. Paneer says:

    Iranian: I never thought I would paritally agree with you…lol

    Yes, the Islamic republic right now as it stands is not a military threat to anyone EXCEPT its own citizens.

    Second, as I said before, war on Iran either by Israel or the US will only prolonge the staying power of the political Islam (one of IRI’s grand delusions of uniting all muslims (sunni and shia) and completely kicking the US out of the Islamic lands) in Iran the entire region and it will perhaps lead to a nuclear conflagration in the ME in the next couple of decades. No one is advocating war on Iran. We have seen the uttter debacle in Afghanistan and Iraq at the expense of wiping out the middle class here in America.

  24. Iranian says:

    It’s clear that Iran is not a threat to anyone. In fact, some of the claims made by the green supporters are quite dishonest and show just how irrational and dangerous they can be. They advocate violence and war and are opposed to dialogue.

  25. Paneer says:

    IRI and the West are like two different operating systems, PC and Mac. They are not compatible and data is not compiled correctly in their respective operating system hardware, and therefore, it gives rise garbbled set of information.

  26. Paneer says:

    West skeptical of Iran nuclear offer
    Officials say Tehran will be measured in actions, not words
    Actions rather than words
    Still it was unclear how much of a concession the Ahmadinejad comments represented.

    His timeframe of four or five months appeared to fall short of the year that Western officials say the process would take.

    It was also unclear if Iran was ready to ship out 70 percent of its enriched uranium in one batch, as foreseen under the IAEA-mediated plan. That would prevent the Islamic Republic from topping up its supply through its enrichment program and maintain enough to make the core of a nuclear warhead.

    Iran says it wants to enrich only to make nuclear fuel for an envisaged nationwide network of nuclear reactors.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters Wednesday in Turkey that Ahmadinejad’s comments represented “a formula which could build confidence.”

    But German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told journalists that Iran has to be measured by its actions, not by what it says.”

    “It is up to Iran to show an end to its refusal to negotiate,” he said.

    If there is no real movement on the Iranian side, Westerwelle said, the international community will go forward with preparing new measures including sanctions.

    “Only actions count, not the words,” Westerwelle said.


  27. Pax Turcica from Central Asian Republics says:

    The hand-blooded US Regime,
    Enough of interfering with other independent countries’ sovereignity!!!

  28. Paneer says:

    John H:

    I think there is a cultural disconnect here. I don’t think you can use your western criteria and yard stick to get into the mind set of ideologically driven system of shia theocracy.

  29. Paneer says:

    Lysander: I truly hope you’re right..but I highly doubt it..

  30. Paneer says:

    Iran’s defense spending has nothing to do with what Iran wants or not. Winning militarily is not always the goal.

    Please study the Iran-Iraq war.

  31. JohnH says:

    Paneer–you’re imagining things. If Iran wanted war, it would be arming itself. Fact is, Iran spends almost nothing on arms. Meanwhile, the US is spending lavishly on it military with no significant threat in sight. Who wants war?

    Also, the Shah spent close to 20% of GDP on the military, the current regime less than 3%. Check the facts!

  32. Lysander says:

    No one is asking the US to invade or intervene. The regime is itching for a war or an invasion either by Israel or the US. It’s the only way it can guarantee its survival.”

    I disagree. Iran is now prepared to trade its uranium rather than enrich it herself. The Iran’s only requirement is that the exchange be guaranteed. That is not the sign of war seeking behavior. I think the IRI would happily accept a deal with the US that recognizes Iranian independence and rightful regional status.

    Following such a deal it would be able to tell the public that through perseverance it forced major concessions from the US. Whereas the opposition was ready to give away the store in exchange for a pat on the head. And they wouldn’t have even gotten the pat in the head. The opposition understands this and they know they have the most to loose from a favorable deal with the west.

  33. Paneer says:


    It’s Ahamdinejad and Mesbah Yazdi who want war not the US. Obama is fully aware of that and your beloved mullahs will not get their wish. Remember Khomeini, who called the Iran-Iraq war, “Divine blessing”…

    You can propagandize, demonize as much as you want but it will not change facts on the ground that the Islamic Republic under military junta rule of IRGC is not to be trusted with nuclear weapons or any other weapons for that matter.

    “The Thugs Who Lead Iran’s Supreme Leader”


  34. Liz says:

    It’s obvious that Iran will pursue it’s rights as a sovereign state. It’s the US that’s looking for trouble and I think this makes the so called Iran experts as well as the greens in the US very happy. They are willing to have war and bloodshed in order to gain power, but they will not succeed because Iranians see them more and more for what they really are.

  35. Paneer says:

    rfjk: Anyone blowing any vein seems to be only you. Your incoherent and don’t make any sense.

    No one is asking the US to invade or intervene. The regime is itching for a war or an invasion either by Israel or the US. It’s the only way it can guarantee its survival.

    Read that statement above again and let it sink in before you start having a monologue with yourself.

    You are not really interested in facts and evidence if they don’t corroborate your ideological version of reality.

    I hope the Leveerettes are not as detached from realties as you are.

  36. rfjk says:

    The current US/China spat will wither away like all previous calumnies and exaggerations. These teapot tempests are more representative of the arguments within these countries, not between them. The only reason for the current disagreement between the US and China is chagrin on the part of some US factions at China’s intransigence regarding sanctions (I agree with Steve Clemons). And the principal trouble makers stirring up all this dust are closet Zionists who want a belligerent US policy against Iran, to which China is an impediment.

    The US/China relationship is vastly more important than accomplishing sanctions on Iran, preventing Iranian enrichment or even Iran becoming a nuclear armed power. Not even Taiwan threatens that relationship. Ultimately, the US will have to effect normalized relations with Iran for all the reasons the Leverett’s have elucidated. A normalization that has Israelis crawling the walls. However, all their machinations and opposition cannot prevent the inevitable outcomes of the blunder of 19 March 2003. A series of unfortunate, unexpected and unwanted consequences due to feeling and emotion instead of thinking it through.

  37. rfjk says:

    Karim Sadjadpour? I get the impression he would rather rip the veins out of his wrists with his teeth than for the US to normalize relations with the Iranian regime.

    And posting an article by the the infamous Catherine Philp, who shamelessly fronted forged documents falsely accusing Iran of “plans for testing a neutron initiator, a triggering device for a nuclear weapon,” is an even stranger approach in proving an argument.

    IRAN: New Revelations Tear Holes in Nuclear Trigger Story

    States are elaborate, abstract, corporate architectures of the mind through and by which human beings interact, conducting their affairs and interests. Such are not tangible entities that can lust, love, hate, sympathize and all the other emotive capacities of the human being. States always get into trouble when their leaders confuse their feelings and prejudices with the inanimate, intangible structures and power processes of the state.

    Iran’s internal affairs are its own business. And I don’t see any evidence the US is going to invade or conquer that country like the US has done to Iraq and Afghanistan. Dittos for regime change and sanctions. Whether anyone here likes it or not, US interventionism in those countries obligates the US under international laws to certain standards of behavior and responsibility, making our participation in the internal affairs of those countries an obvious and inescapable fact. So all arguments concerning stolen Iranian elections and charges of despotism & tyranny may appease the aggrieved soul, but are virtually worthless exercises in whining when it comes to statecraft between the two countries.

    Sometimes when the Leverett’s chasten and press Obama I feel they are overdoing it. But I often recover myself realizing that my ‘feelings’ are the problem, not the Leverett’s who are doing an invaluable service reminding President Obama that his duty is firstly, principally and always to the US of A to which he swore an oath. Something the last president conveniently forgot.

  38. Iranian@Iran says:

    It’s clear that Iran is both stable and powerful and that as things stand the United States will have less and less influence in the Middle East in the years to come if it does not come to its senses and come to terms with the Islamic Republic. People like Paneer will be spending the rest of there days saying the same things over and over again, as they have been doing for the past three decades, but the Obama administration must show more intelligence and understand that the global balance of power is changing and the US needs better relations with Iran.

  39. Pirouz says:

    It would be considered momentous for the Islamic Republic of Iran accepted into the SCO. No longer could the IRI be considered a candidate for effective isolation.

    If this were to happen, especially as a result of the present policy of publicly bashing the PRC, it would represent another setback to a US administration that so far has yet to distinguish itself in any meaningful way.

  40. Paneer says:

    The 31st anniversary of creation of IRR, the Islamist Rapist Republic is around the corner.

    Ever since its taking the reign of power in Iran the world has become much less secure and a whole lot more violent. The Islamist instigated wanton barbarity is of the kind which had been relegated to the dusty history books.

    Despite the tremendous cost in lives the Iranian people have tried every possible and imaginable peaceful way to bring the ruling savage Islamists to play the game of governance by even their own manifesto of rape and murder, aka IRR Constitution, all to no avail…


  41. Paneer says:

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plays game of cat-and-mouse with West over nuclear deal
    Times Online / James Bone and Catherine Philp
    President Ahmadinejad

  42. Paneer says:


    Ultimately, the real truth is that the US or any state could give two-shakes for the internal affairs and governance of Iran, and shouldn’t

    Interesting indeed. So, it’s ok to do what we have done in the past, namely, coddling ruthless dictators for short-term political gain and monetary profit and when the said dictators get out of control, just bomb them, right?? Is that your long-term solution for national and strategic security of the United States???

  43. Paneer says:

    The Leverett’s are dead on because they frame their arguments strictly from what is in the national and strategic interests of the

    No one is debating that. However, what Leverettes are suggesting is not possible because of the other party is not interested in “negotiating” with you. Why is that so hard for some people to grasp. It would be instructive to find out why??

    Negotiation and normalization of relationship politically and ideologically suicidal for the entire foundation of Shia Khomenist regime. Read Karim Sadjadpour. He is Iranian and knows the culture, speaks the language.


  44. rfjk says:

    I think a better question to ask is what governments in fact represent the will of the people? An honest answer would be zero.

    Some liberal republics and parliamentarian systems allow their citizens to elect rulers (ministers, senators, representatives, prime ministers, presidents, etc.) for short periods of time, but even in those states the people do not by any stretch of the imagination rule, nor are rulers required to reflect the will of the people.

    What states have are “interests.” The Leverett’s are dead on because they frame their arguments strictly from what is in the national and strategic interests of the US, and how those interests may or may not intersect with Iran’s. Ultimately, the real truth is that the US or any state could give two-shakes for the internal affairs and governance of Iran, and shouldn’t. Any group or ideologue that exclusively bases policy making upon the internal affairs of a state is selling snake oil, or an incredibly immature person.

  45. Paneer says:

    I hope in whatever way I was able to shed some light on Iran’s situation.

    I’m not here to wrestle with the IRI propagndists because it’s an exercise in futility.

    I do respect the Leverettes despite our vehement disagreements, and that’s why I’ve been such a harsh critic. I do believe that they love the US and want the best for the US and Iran as I do.

    The rest of IRI little groupies…Adios.

  46. Paneer says:


    Iranians have rejected Ahmadinejad’s vision and have given their lives for their conviction. No amount of propaganda from VEVAK is going to change that.

    If you think branding Iranians as crazy loon supporters of messianic Ahmadinejad is going to advance your agenda then you’re a bigger fool than I thought.

  47. Iranian says:

    The people of Iran have spoken and they have elected Ahmadinejad. Fabricating quotes by Iranian leaders may mislead Americans, but they are not going to change the reality on the ground in Iran.

  48. Paneer says:


    Iran’s government does not represent the true will of the people. It governe true fear and domestic terror. Has no popular base. The “base” (Basiji tribe et al. probably 15% of the population made up of illiterate high school drop outs and their extensive families) is paid and bought for by subsidies. You stop the subsidies, you stop the base.

    Your support of the wholly illegitimate government of Khameni who issues threats publicly on Friday prayers against its own citizens and calls himself the “agent of God”, reveal only your true nature and agenda.

  49. Paneer says:

    What are you fighting for?
    Most determining factor in the outcome of a movement is the ideals of the people involved

    Phrases like, “No (violent) revolution in history has brought democracy to a country”, “Revolution is not the answer”, “The Iranian regime is a totalitarian/authoritarian regime because it was established by a violent revolution”, “Reform is the only way forward” and so on, are talking points repeated by some so-called “reformist intellectuals” nowadays. But do they have any validity? And are they based on historical facts? To answer these questions let’s first focus on the term “violent revolution”, recently used by these “reformist intellectuals”, to refer to the Iranian revolution of 1979>>>


  50. Liz says:

    The US government has no realistic option but to accept the will of the Iranian people and the Ahmadinejad presidency. The Iranian opposition in the US has been promising the overthrow of the “unpopular and hated Iranian regime” for over three dacades now. Thirty years from now they will probably be saying the same thing. It’s time to move on and think of US interests, which can not be realistically pursued through confrontation with Iran.

  51. rfjk says:

    If Europe could unite than not only would the US be overthrown, but a new Rome would also be the result on a global scale. Neither of these will happen because historic, nativistic tendencies of parochialism and xenophobia are again plaguing the tiny states on the European peninsula of western Eurasia.

    ‘Atlantists’ wouldn’t agree, but I believe that’s a good thing for the America’s and the East. Consider the horrific slaughter these tiny states inflicted upon the world starting in 1914 and 1939. Trust me, we have enough difficulties to work our way through, without risking round 3 and the mother of all nightmares.

  52. Paneer says:

    Iranian,and all other IRI apologists:

    The end of Islamic Republic of Rapists is not a matter of if but when

    12 months or 24 months, it will largely depend on the brutality of the regime and how many they are willing to kill/imprison but one thing that is for sure is that the end is nearing.

    I held no respect or love for Shah, far from it, but at least once he realized that his was doomed and left without resorting to any large mass killings. I hope that this regime does the same thing…. It is time

    Thirty two years ago there were those that said the Shah was too powerful, that he had the army and the dreaded SAVAK on his side and as such how could a revolution be successful?

  53. Paneer says:

    WigWag: Lol.

    Iranian: You are a supporter of a murderous regime.. You are hardly in any position to lecture others what to do.

  54. Iranian says:

    China has already become Iran’s most important trading partner and large numbers of young Iranians are going to China to study. The United States should change direction and seriously think about ways to improve relations with the Islamic Republic. Otherwise, in a few years time Iranians will no longer have a strong incentive to build bridges with the US. As China grows stronger, the US will be needing meaningful ties with Iran more and more.

  55. rfjk says:

    It should be crystal clear from the Iraqi debacle that the US of A does not have the power to conquer a war torn, previously defeated, fifth rate military, that had suffered a devastating decade under international embargo and continuous bombardment. The last thing the US needs is another war or more enemies. At this precise, point in time we have too much talk of either, besides the wars we are waging and the enemies we already have.

  56. rfjk says:

    China is a competitor, just like Russia or Iran. Its not an enemy. Unchecked US stupidity, the profoundest stupidity in the universe can of course handily accomplish it with no input from the Chinese at all. I believe the stakes are too high for such stupidity that eternally reigns among some factions not to be checked.

  57. rfjk says:

    The truth is that both China and the US have no effective leverage against each others political/economies, not without bringing complete and total ruin to both and igniting a global depression of unimaginable suffering and adverse consequences. The global, fiat, currency games everyone participates in is the greatest monetary bubble in the history of high finance. The only factor keeping that ‘stooge hall show’ alive is pure faith that transactions of utterly worthless paper results in an exchange of something of value. Kill that and we kill all our worlds.

    The SCO was originally the Shanghai Five founded back in 1996. Initially it was focused on demilitarizing borders, security and improving inter/Eurasian relations among its member states. What transformed a rather local and narrowly focused group of five into the SCO of today were the dazzling, stupefied, loser polices and wars of the worst president in US history. The rise of today’s SCO was in response to US aggression & unilateralism in their neighborhoods. Russia of course is more ambitious and would like to transform the SCO into the NATO of the East, but so far China has resisted for very solid national security interests of its own.

    The surest way to hurt the US without immediate harm to China is to admit Iran to the SCO. Whether or not that would kill a rapprochement with Iran is a debatable proposition, but it undoubtedly would make it a much more difficult task than it currently is. The great game of the 21st century is about M/E and central Eurasian oil and gas. The Turks understand this very well to the ire of some factions in the US foreign policy community, besides the Russians who profit from their energy stranglehold over Europe.

    US power is based upon the post WW II global, economic order and its various international institutions. Its this economic system that spawned globalism, which China and the rising industrial states benefited so massively from. And the grease that lubes the wheels of this surviving paradigm from the Bipolar world order remains oil and gas. Any economic alliances, pacts or agreements that minimize or block US influence, leverage and access to the worlds reserves of hydro carbons in the long run weaken and ultimately destroy US power.

    The question is has the US elected another stupid president and have the Chinese decided against partnering with the US? Personally, I doubt the former and am sure the Chinese recognize the latter is a huge gamble with unwanted consequences should it fail. After all, without the US as a unifying theme in the SCO, those members states would be at each others throats in a heart beat.

  58. Jon Harrison says:

    China IS an enemy. All the more reason why Iran needs to be brought in on our side before the showdown occurs.

  59. Iranian@Iran says:

    It’s obvious that the Iranians will not bow down to American pressure and give up their nuclear program. The best way forward is for the US government to come to terms with reality and accept a solution that both sides can accept. In ten years time China will be far more powerful than it is today and it is very important for the US to prevent the two countries from becoming strategic partners. Continued hostility towards Iran works against American interests. The so called Iran experts in DC have their own agenda that in reality will only make things worse for the US if they get their way.

  60. Liz says:

    I think it’s foolish to push Iran into the Chinese camp, as is being done now by the Obama administration. The US will have more than enough trouble in the future with China as things stand.

  61. Lysander says:

    Indeed. Instead of the Leverett approach, the US should continue to try the WigWag plan and seek total dominance in every point of the globe. The US should challenge Iran in the Persian Gulf, China in the Straights of Taiwan, Russia in the Baltic and Black Seas, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Brazil and Argentina in South America. The US should also fight as many counterinsurgency wars as possible at the same time. Iraq and Afghanistan are not enough. Let’s add Yemen and maybe Pakistan to the list.

    Such a plan is sure to yield far better results than seeking any compromise with any of these powers. That would be appeasement.

  62. WigWag says:

    “It is a disturbing sign of how far off the track the Obama Administration’s foreign policy has gone that both the Leveretts and George Gilder feel compelled to point out just how dangerous it could be for the United States to turn China into an enemy.” (Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett)

    Yes, instead President Obama should try the Leverett’s approach to foreign policy issues. Whether it’s Iran, China, Saudi Arabia or Turkey there is exactly one common position the Leveretts (and Katcher) would like the United States to adopt.

    What is that position?