Home | About | Donate

Is the 'Military Option' on Iran Off the Table?


Is the 'Military Option' on Iran Off the Table?

Ray McGovern

If, as seems likely, President Barack Obama retains enough support to complete the nuclear deal with Iran, it will be largely because enough members of the House and Senate are persuaded by his argument that the only other real option is war.

This was the rhetorical gauntlet the president threw down at his press conference last week. Equally significant, Mr. Obama omitted the until-now obligatory warning that "all options, including the military one, remain on the table."


We need no more war with any country.


I have to got bring this up because it is driving me crazy - how the media in the US can continue to discuss the Iranian deal as having stopped their ability to have a nucler weapons program.
Now as understand it the Iranians have made it clear on many occasions that they were not pursuing a nuclear weapon.
Not only that, two national intelligence estimates (NIE’s) which is culmination of information gathered from the 16 US intelligence agencies stated, “ that they could find no evidence to suggest that Iran had a nuclear weapons program.”
So, the way I am seeing this is that Iran just negotiated away a program they didn’t have in the first place to get the sanctions removed. And negotiated away any attempt in future of pursuing something they never intended to have in the first place.
Gotta hand it to those Persians for letting the west think they won something and getting those pesky sanctions removed.
All the US can do is pat itself on back for having negotiated such clever deal. :slight_smile:


It’s true Iran never had a nuclear weapons program, and never wanted to waste $billions on weapons that have never been used since 1945 - they’ve said this repeatedly, and they also have said they are spending every available dime on weapons that CAN be used in what they expect is an inevitable attack by the USA and Israel, some day.

But the negotiations weren’t just about the fictitious “nuclear weapons program”. The West (USA/Israel and obedient European vassals) would have liked to see the entire Iranian nuclear power program eliminated (enrichment, medical isotopes reactor, research, power plants…), which was a non-starter in Iran - the NPT gives them every right to nuclear power. The West would also have liked unlimited access to every site in Iran, like they did in Iraq with ‘weapons inspectors’ that looked for Hussein’s location for assassination (he changed location every night), and looked at every target site which they then used in the eventual invasion of Iraq - which would give Israel/US unlimited information as to Iranian military capabilities and targets before they attack. Another non-starter to Iranian negotiators. And The West is still keeping some sanctions in place because of ‘human rights violations’ - which of course doesn’t apply to ‘allies’ like Saudi Arabia that beheads dissidents for disrespect to the Dictator King.

So, there were real negotiations going on - even in the absence of a real ‘nuclear weapons’ program.


" For me, it is a source of vicarious pride that there remains such a high premium on my former colleagues in collection and analysis performing their monitoring duties as the sine qua non for such deals".
Sorry, I can’t agree with you on that Mr. McGovern. Your former colleagues failed to provide the President and the amerikan people with any legal justification for what the Slick Oily administration did to the Iranian government. Illegal sanctions, the illegal seizure .of 100 Billion dollars in Iranian assets around the world, for what legitimate reason? Nothing that Iran was doing with their uranium enrichment program was illegal under the (NPT) Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970. The Iranians are allowed to enrich uranium up to 20 percent under the NPT, which is exactly what they were doing! To enrich uranium one needs centrifuges. Nothing in the NPT stops Iran from having any number of centrifuges as long as they don’t start enriching uranium above the 20 percent limit, something that the IAEA has made sure of because of many requests made by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia over the last couple of decades!
If you wish to point fingers at people who aren’t in compliance with their obligations under the NPT you can point at the US, Russia, China, France and Britain. One of the main obligations for the five above mentioned countries under the NPT was that they were supposed to cut back their nuclear forces down to zero by now. But, just last year Slick Oily asked the US Congress and Senate for a $ trillion dollars with which to update and expand amerika’s nuclear forces, a violation of the NPT. In return for threats issued by amerika, Britain and Germany Vladimir Putin has said that the Russian’s will deploy a new generation of ICBM’s and surface to air interceptors! Then there are the three really dangerous members of the big bang club. The three countries who have large stock piles of nuclear weapons and have refused to join the NPT. Those countries are of course,India, Pakistan and Israel. All countries that are party to the NPT also have the obligation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the technologies related to it. Yet, for decades the US government has helped Israel hide the fact that they have a nuclear arsenal of anywhere between 40 and 400 nuclear weapons. In 2007 the Bush administration traded nuclear technology for mango’s from India.
I believe your ex-colleagues need to speak a whole lot more truth to power to prevent accidental and/or intentional wars in the future!


Iran’s probably nonexistent nuclear ambitions were never the driving force behind the unrelenting pressure on the regime, merely a pretext.

In my view, saner heads in the Obama administration were really sparring with the neocons, not Iran. The problem is that captured media were hewing very closely to the neocon propaganda line, and exploiting the public’s carefully inculcated belief that presidents must be very aggressive in dealing with other countries’ governments who have interests that differ from those of our own. Obama couldn’t appear to be ‘weak’.

In this light, the apparent giving in on sanctions in return for nothing makes more sense. Certainly, it’s a good sign that the neocons and Zionists are seething.


It is rather ironic that it was the US that gave IRAN the technology back in the mid 70’s, the Shah having argued with the Ford adminstration that oil exports were their major source of income. That the more they had to use domestically the less they had to put on the market.


That’s exactly true, the Shah was busy planning nuclear power plants (before he was overthrown in 1979) so that he could export more oil - a plan that the US heartily endorsed (and not just because the US was selling them the nuclear power plants).

The Shah approved plans to construct, with U.S. help, up to 23 nuclear power stations by 2000. In March 1974, the Shah envisioned a time when the world’s oil supply would run out, and declared, “Petroleum is a noble material, much too valuable to burn … We envision producing, as soon as possible, 23,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear plants.”

"President Gerald Ford signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a U.S.-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. The deal was for a complete ‘nuclear fuel cycle’. "The Ford strategy paper said the “introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran’s economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals.”

Somehow, the American MSM seemed to forget that argument when the new post-Shah Iranian government started building nuclear power plants with the Russians, and then argued that Iran had no need for nuclear power (electricity) since they were sitting on ‘an ocean of oil’ that they could burn to make electricity.

Shameless propaganda - changing the argument to fit the desired conclusion.


The answer is, “Not if the Republicans take the White House in 1916”. My sense is that, as much as she loves war and the Israeli Likud Party, Clinton will not override Obama’s agreement.


“Shameless propaganda - changing the argument to fit the desired conclusion.”
That my aware friend is standard. History begins where they decide.

If you have not and have the time I think this is a very good paper on the history of US involvement in the ME. I read it many years ago and refer back to it from time to time.

“Ancient History”: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention | Cato Institute