War Criminal Elliott Abrams Tapped as the US Special Envoy to Iran

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Note: The announcement comes on the day marking 75 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

From Iranian FM Javad Zarif, August 6:  @JZarif

75 years ago today, the US gained the infamy of becoming the 1st and ONLY user of nuclear weapons. And against innocents. Today, US & Israeli nukes threaten our region. It’s long overdue to end nuclear nightmare & the #MAD doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Keep in mind that he and President Rouhani have stated unequivocally and repeatedly: ‘Nuclear Weapons are forbidden by our religion’. But Western Powers and media refuse to believe it, and have for a long time.  Apparently at Bibi’s urging, the Pentagon under Shrub Bush had stocked up on bunker-busting bombs to use on various ‘underground’ nuclear facilities in Iran. 

The Islamic Republic (formerly Persia) had always been in compliance with the IAEA’s rules under Director Generals El Baradei, then Yukiya Amano (who died in July, 2019), adn was replaced by Argentinean Rafael Grossi.

According to Newsweek, Grossi’s June report claimed that:

“…since the end of January 2020, Tehran has refused the IAEA access to two nuclear sites of concern and declined to answer questions about a third. The IAEA report includes the admonishment, “For over four months, Iran has denied access to the Agency…and, for almost a year, has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify Agency questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities in Iran.”

The nuclear deal has been unravelling since May 2018 when Donald Trump withdrew the US and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Tehran said earlier this year it would gradually shed its commitments under the deal and is due to announce its next step within days unless the US lifts economic sanctions.  And they did, and have, mainly by way of the speed of their newer centrifuges at which they’re able to enrich uranium, not so much the incremental levels of enrichment, as I understand it.

But sure, Tehran is doing so in order to convince the other parties to the JCPOA: Germany, France, China, Russia, and the UK to incentivize the Trump administration to end their egregious sanctions on the beleaguered nation.  Sanctions have not been lifted.

According to Newseek, ‘The IAEA Did Its Part on Iran. Now the World Must Act’:

“A key conclusion from the IAEA’s report, issued on June 5 by its director-general, Rafael M. Grossi, is that since the end of January 2020, Tehran has refused the IAEA access to two nuclear sites of concern and declined to answer questions about a third. The IAEA report includes the admonishment, “For over four months, Iran has denied access to the Agency…and, for almost a year, has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify Agency questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities in Iran.”

“The first site is Lavisan-Shian. It was located at the former headquarters of Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear weapons program, the Physics Research Center. The IAEA’s questions about what happened at Lavisan arose after the agency learned more from an archive of Iran’s nuclear files that were exfiltrated by Israel in 2018.” [‘exfiltrated’ ilnk leads to Bibi on youtube]

Under Brian Hook (who’d resigned), Trump and Pompeo’s ‘maximum pressure on Iran’ (that that coincided with the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) in 2018) wasn’t quite panning out, even though Mafia Don Pompeo had solicited stories on Twitter: ‘Tell us your stories of oppression under Iran’s regime!’ trying his best to create an insurgency (perhaps with the aid of CIA cutouts) that would eventually topple the Evil Regime from within.

From Rt.com, Aug. 6, 2020:  (w/ a photo of Abrams I couldn’t bear to bring)

“The US is putting Iran on regime-change notice, appointing Iran-Contra convict Elliott Abrams as Special Representative for Iran in addition to his duties as Special Representative for Venezuela, a State Department release shows.” […]

“Tensions between the two countries nearly spiraled into war in January after a US airstrike killed Quds Force leader Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, provoking a barrage of missiles from Iran targeting two coalition bases in Iraq. The US has also flooded the Persian Gulf with military assets and placed bounties on Iranian ships and other military assets.

Abrams has been a ubiquitous presence in the US’ regime-change efforts in Latin America, helping to replace left-leaning governments with right-wing dictatorships in El Salvador and Guatemala and attempting similar makeovers in Nicaragua and Venezuela. In 1991, he pleaded guilty to two minor criminal counts regarding the Iran-Contra scandal, in which the CIA illegally funneled weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras. However, he was subsequently pardoned by then-President George HW Bush and went on to continue undermining democratically-elected governments under George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

The promotion comes ahead of a hotly-anticipated UN Security Council vote on extending the arms embargo on Iran. If the measure does not pass, the US has threatened to trigger “snapback” sanctions agreed upon as part of the 2015 nuclear deal – despite having pulled out of the deal years ago and therefore lacking an ability to enforce its provisions as a “participating nation.”

 ‘US Iran Envoy to Step Down—Ahead of Key U.S. Move on Nuclear Program;

The move comes as the Trump administration is  expected to try to ‘snapback’ UN Iran sanctions, collapse nuclear deal’, Laura Rozen, August 6, 2020, justsecurity.org

[Quoting Pomeo]

“Elliott Abrams, currently the Trump administration’s Special Representative for Venezuela, “will assume the position of Special Representative for Iran, in addition to his responsibilities as Special Representative for Venezuela,” Pompeo’s statement said. Abrams, who was convicted in 1991 on two counts of withholding information from Congress related to the Iran contra affair, and subsequently pardoned, has spearheaded the Trump administration’s so far unsuccessful effort to try to oust the Maduro regime in Venezuela through diplomatic and economic pressure. It is a similar approach to that which the Trump administration has taken with Iran, and one in which it finds itself increasingly at odds with its European allies.

The U.S. resolution [before the UN Security Council] –which it could move for a vote on as early as Monday, a diplomat in New York said–is ultimately expected to fail.

If the United States fails to secure passage of the resolution extending the Iran arms embargo, Pompeo on Wednesday vowed the United States would then move to “snapback” all UN sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the JCPOA, though several other permanent UN Security Council members dispute that the United States, which quit the deal, has the legal right to do so. The move would not only re-instate the conventional arms embargo, but, if successful, would also make it essentially impossible for the JCPOA to continue on life support.”

“For their part, Iranian officials have repeatedly said they are open to the United States returning to the deal, whether it be a second term Trump administration or its possible successor.”

From Foxxnews.com, Aug. 6, 2020:

“Hook, in a call with reporters earlier Thursday, had said it would be “diplomatic malpractice” for other countries to allow the embargo to expire and said there was “no question” it was the right thing to do.

“We have an objective to extend the arms embargo,” he said. “That can be done the easy way or it can be done the hard way, but it’s going to be extended.”

You may remember Toni Cartalucci’s  ‘‘America Planned to Break “Iran Nuclear Deal” Years Before Signing It’, Aug.5, 2018, journal-neo.org  (h/t Big Al; a few paragraphs):

“But while the agreement has been hailed as a “signature foreign policy achievement [of Obama’s],” it was, before even its inception – not a vehicle towards peace – but a cynical ploy to justify future war.

The United States had never intended to allow Iran to rise as a counterbalancing regional power in the Middle East or Central Asia nor escape from under the constant threat of US military intervention or the crippling sanctions it has targeted the nation with for decades.

The enduring presence of US military forces in Afghanistan transcending now three presidencies and nearly two decades was one of two bookends placed around the rise of Iran.

The other has been a war waged in the Middle East by the US and its allies against Iraq beginning in 2003 and spreading to Syria and Yemen by 2011.

Despite the numerous proxy wars Washington is waging against Tehran, US policymakers had determined years ago the necessity to justify a wider and more direct confrontation with Tehran itself.

A Conspiracy to Offer Then Sabotage an Iran Peace Deal is Stated US Policy:”  (the rest is here.)

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(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

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