On Thursday, they met in New York. They did so on the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting. They held what they called substantive talks.
They were the first in over a generation. Smiles, handshakes, and positive sounding language mean nothing. They can't erase decades of unrelenting US hostility.
Iran remains justifiably cautious. John Kerry said he and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif "had a very constructive meeting.""Needless to say," he added, "one meeting and a change in tone, which was welcome, doesn't answer those questions yet and there is a lot of work to be done."He wants Iran to prove its good intentions. As usual US policy twists things irresponsibly. America has all the proving to do.
Iran long ago sought rapprochement. Washington spurned its good faith efforts. It's done repeatedly. It's done it consistently. It's done it irresponsibly.
Don't expect a new leaf turned over now. Doing so would be totally out of character.
Iran is America's top global bete noire. It's for reasons unrelated to its policies. Its government has good reason to proceed cautiously going forward.
Zarif said he's "satisfied with this first step. Now we have to see whether we can match our positive words with serious deeds so we can move forward."
"Of course as we move forward, there has to be removal of sanctions and in the end game there has to be a total lifting of all sanctions and both bilateral sanctions, unilateral sanctions as well as multilateral sanctions and UN sanctions and we hope to be able to move in that direction within a short span of time."
Iranian President Hassan Rohani hopes for a deal resolving Iran's nuclear program in three to six months.
Achieving it won't be easy. Washington obstructed previous efforts. Nothing suggests changed policy ahead.
Iran's program is entirely peaceful. America knows. So do other Western nations and Israel. They falsely claim otherwise.
At issue is regime change. Washington wants Iranian sovereignty destroyed. It wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing it. So does Israel.
Falsifying an Iranian nuclear threat is red herring cover to achieve it. Israeli Lobby pressure remains intense.
AIPAC's in the vanguard leading it. On September 20, it headlined "Negotiations with Iran Must Be Backed by Strength," saying:
"Washington can improve the prospects of success...by taking steps to expand sanctions against Iran and to enhance the credibility of the option to use force."
"The international community should only consider sanctions relief if Iran complies with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that require suspending its nuclear activities."
AIPAC wants them ended entirely. Iran's program is entirely peaceful. It's no different from comparable ones in dozens of other countries.
Iran alone is criticized. It's falsely accused of pursuing nuclear weapons. No evidence suggests it. None exists.
It calls "baseless allegations unprofessional, unfair, illegal and politicized." It does so for good reason.
Tehran complies fully with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. It was one of its first signatories. Nothing suggests nonconformance.
Full compliance isn't good enough for AIPAC. "Iran must demonstrate seriousness in talks by taking concrete actions to suspend and roll back its nuclear program," its statement says.
AIPAC wants it entirely halted. "Pleasant rhetoric will not suffice," it said. "If Iran fails to act, sanctions must be increased."
"If Iran suspends its nuclear activity, the United States should be prepared to suspend any new sanctions."
Otherwise AIPAC wants new sanctions. It wants current ones unchanged no matter what Iran does.
"Strengthening the credibility of military action against Iran's nuclear program is crucial if talks are to succeed," said AIPAC.
"Iran cannot be allowed to advance its nuclear program while using negotiations as a delaying tactic."
AIPAC wants Iran denied its legitimate right. Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. It's a nuclear outlaw. It's one of only four non-signatory states. Others include India, Pakistan and South Sudan.
North Korea was an earlier signatory. In 2003, it withdrew. It's unclear if it complied with NPT provisions doing so.
Washington, other Western nations and AIPAC turn a blind eye to Israel's worst practices. They include maintaining formidable nuclear, chemical and biological weapons arsenals.
In all its wars, Israel uses banned weapons. It tests new ones. It's never been held accountable. Washington does the same thing. Both countries demand unconditional Iranian nuclear surrender. They have no right to do so.
AIPAC wants that much and more. It wants America to "support Israel's right to act against Iran if it feels compelled - in its legitimate self-defense - to act."
Lindsey Graham (R. SC) is one of Washington's most hawkish senators. He's drafting legislation with likeminded lawmakers to attack Iran.
"Look how we've handled the chemical weapons threat in Syria," he said.
"If we duplicate that with the Iranians, they're going to march toward a nuclear weapon and dare Israel to attack them."
"So in the next six months, our friends in Israel are going to have to take the Iranians on, unless the United States can send a clear signal to Iran, unlike what we've sent to Syria."
"The mixed message and the debacle called Syria can't be repeated when it comes to Iran."
"So here's what I’m going to do. I'm going to get a bipartisan coalition together."
"We're going to put together a use-of-force resolution allowing our country to use military force as a last resort to stop the Iranian nuclear program, to make sure they get a clear signal that all this debacle about Syria doesn't mean we're confused about Iran."
Washington is infested with lunatics like Graham. They exert considerable influence. They include Republicans and Democrats.
They've gotten America into one war after another. They've done it for decades. Waging it on Syria remains official administration policy. Only its timing changed.
Iran's turn awaits. Graham and others intend legislation to insure it. Good faith Iranian nuclear negotiations don't matter. Tehran tried unsuccessfully for years to reach agreement.
In 2006, so-called P5+1 talks began. Participating countries include the five permanent Security Council members (America, Britain, China, France and Russia) plus Germany.
Multiple negotiating rounds failed. Washington bears full responsibility. It consistently obstructed Iranian good faith efforts. Nothing suggests changed policy ahead.
It bears repeating. Addressing Iran's nuclear program is subterfuge. It's entirely legitimate. Attacking it is pretext for longstanding regime change plans. They remain firm.
If Iran had no nuclear program, another ruse would be invented to justify belligerence. Washington and Israel are waging war on Iran.
Tel Aviv wants a regional rival removed. America wants regional dominance. It wants it globally. It wants control of Iranian oil and gas. It wants ordinary Iranians exploited. It wants more territory for military bases.
Tactics include saber rattling, cyber attacks, other sabotage, targeted assassinations, deadly explosions, satellite, drone, and other type spying, bogus accusations, lawless sanctions, and attempts to cripple Iran's economy.
On Thursday, Rohani addressed a nuclear disarmament meeting. He did so on the sidelines of the General Assembly session.
He spoke on behalf of 120 Nonaligned Movement (NAM) member states. Iran heads the organization. It does so for another two years. It hosted its August 2012 16th Summit.
Rohani called for nuclear disarmament. He did so responsibly. He did what every leader should do. He said:
"As long as nuclear weapons exist, the threat of their use exists."
"The world has waited too long for nuclear disarmament."
"Almost four decades of international efforts to establish nuclear weapon-free zones have regrettably failed."
"Urgent, practical steps toward the establishment of such a zone are necessary."
"The international community has to redouble efforts in support of the establishment of this zone."
"Let us bestow upon future generations a nuclear weapon-free world."
"This is their right and our responsibility. Let us prove that we are the United Nations, nations united for peace."
Rohani called on Israel to sign NPT. It's the only regional non-signatory. It "should join thereto without any further delay," he stressed.
"All nuclear activities in the region should be subject to IAEA comprehensive safeguards."
"The world has waited (far) too long for nuclear disarmament. Any use of nuclear weapons is a violation of the UN charter and a crime against humanity."
Nuclear disarmament should be implemented in a "comprehensive and nondiscriminatory" manner.
Straightway, "nuclear states should refrain from threats or use of such weapons against non-nuclear states under any circumstances."
Nuclear weapons should never be used for any reason, he stressed.
"No nation should possess nuclear weapons, since there are no right hands for these wrong weapons."
Critics say Rohani's on a charm offensive. His sincerity is palpable. It's real. He genuinely wants a nuclear-free world.
He forthrightly says Iran wants no part of developing nuclear weapons. It wants nuclear technology solely for peaceful purposes.
He deplores conflict. He wants peace. He wants it for future generations. He wants what American and Israel abhor.
He wants lawless sanctions ended. He condemned their imposition. They harm ordinary Iranians most. They're imposed for that reason.
Rohani called them "uncivilized." They're crimes against humanity. World leaders should forthrightly condemn them. They should refuse to obey them.
Washington and Israeli hardliners want them stiffened. They want regime change. War is their bottom line option to achieve it.
Attacking Iran would be madness. Don't bet against it happening. Israel's been spoiling for war for years. Netanyahu more than any previous Israeli leader wants it.
Washington long ago readied plans. Implementing them is as simple as another false flag. It's a favorite US tactic.
They've been used since the 19th century. They're used many times. They'll be used again. Obama's a warrior president.
He's waged war every day throughout his tenure. He shows no signs of changing plans now. He wants Syrian and Iranian regime change. He's ready to destroy both countries to achieve it.
An uneasy calm persists before the next storm. It's just a matter of time before it erupts. Preventing war matters most. Humanity's future depends on it. If that's not worth preserving, what is?
-###-Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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