Wednesday, February 03, 2021


Vic Rosenthal's weekly column

The other day YouTube decided that I wanted to see a compendium of large ships crashing into each other or into docks, cranes, and other installations. What impressed me was the unavoidability of the crashes: the ships moved ponderously, inexorably, toward their fates as tiny humans scuttled around on the decks, horns blowing with great urgency (I imagine the ship’s captains shouting “Full astern!”), but all for nothing when the almost irresistible force of the ship meets the almost immovable object of its nemesis in a crescendo of crushing, grinding, and snapping.

Whew. And this reminded me of the situation with Iran. The Iranians have ramped up their production of enriched uranium and activated advanced centrifuges in their Natanz facility, and they are threatening to kick out IAEA inspectors on 26 February. They are telling US officials that if they want to reenter the (worthless) deal, they’d better hurry and start removing sanctions while there is still time. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, for his part, is demanding that the Iranians first “return to compliance,” although what that would mean in practice considering the progress they have made is unclear.

What is becoming clear is that the Biden Administration is dead set on a course of returning to the deal, although Blinken, at least, wants to renegotiate it. On the other hand Robert Malley, President Biden’s choice for Special Envoy to Iran, wants to jump back in to the deal as it was when President Trump took the US out of it. Malley’s think tank published a position paper a few days ago, which contained this:

The Biden administration should pursue U.S. re-entry into the 2015 nuclear deal, starting by revoking the 2018 order ending U.S. JCPOA participation and initiating a process of fully reversing Trump-era sanctions while Iran brings its nuclear program back into full compliance. As further confidence-building measures, Washington could support Iran’s International Monetary Fund loan request as a sign of good-will in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and perhaps engage Tehran in discussions on a prisoner swap.

Do you hear the horns blowing and the captains shouting yet?

Persia was among the earliest known places where the game of chess was played, and the Iranians have proven to be very good negotiators. A strategy that calls for American concessions up front (“confidence building”) will fail, as it did under Obama. Only a tough strategy that demands action by Iran as an alternative to more pressure (“an offer that they can’t refuse”) will succeed. The Trump Administration left the US in a strong bargaining position toward Iran, with very painful sanctions in force. The US should insist on concrete, verifiable steps by Iran before removing any sanctions, and should threaten to take even stronger action if Iran does not comply.

Biden’s administration is replete with former Obama Administration officials (conservative blogger Jeff Dunetz calls it “the reBama Administration”), including Malley, who incidentally is also very out front about his pro-Palestinian sympathies. From the standpoint of American or Israeli interests, Malley is a wretched choice. He is far more pro-Iranian than even Blinken, Jake Sullivan, or Wendy Sherman, all former Obama-era Iran hands retreaded by Biden.

One wonders why Biden picked a team that is unlikely to produce better results than it did under Obama, and may even do considerably worse. Maybe Blinken vs. Malley is a good-cop bad-cop routine. But who knows if Biden was responsible for those choices, or if they were made for him?
Fortunately I am not Prime Minister of Israel, but if I were I would not expect better performance from a reBama Iran team than from the original one. And I think this could have been known for some time. Biden announced his intention to reenter the deal in September of 2020. From then on, it became clear that any military action by Israel – even special operations short of war – would be construed by the new administration as a slap in the face.

This could be the reason that Biden announced so early that he would be re-entering the deal: so that the “slap in the face” argument could be used against any last-minute Israeli action before Biden took office, or even before the election. And it was indeed deployed (by Obama surrogates Ben Rhodes and John Brennan) to criticize Israel’s assassination of the head of Iran’s nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, on 27 November.

Rhodes and Brennan said that Israel’s act was “aimed at undermining diplomacy” between the US and Iran, and that seemed ridiculous. How could anyone see it as anything but an attempt to slow Iran’s progress to the bomb? But in fact they were sending a message: after Biden becomes president, we’ll remember anything you do now, and you’ll be sorry.

I missed this. On 1 October, I wrote that I had expected that if Biden won the election, Israel would act against the Iranian nuclear facilities in the last weeks of the Trump Administration. I was wrong. Apparently our government got the message that the Americans would not forgive Israel if she eliminated the need for an Iran deal before Biden could sign one.

The weeks passed, Iran ramped up their processes, and Israel did nothing. Now that Biden is in the White House, it is even less likely that Israel will act, despite the recent sabre-rattling of our Chief of Staff.

Israel is in the position of a helpless observer on the deck of a small vessel who can only watch as a huge cruise ship or supertanker plows into it – which is just where the people pulling Biden’s strings want us.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



Follow by Email



For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW hum Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive