by Stephen Lendman
American agreements aren't worth the paper they're written on. US history reflects it. Iranians aren't surprised. More below on Washington's latest betrayal.
Native Americans suffered through centuries of heroic lost struggles. From 1492 to today, they experienced promises made and broken.
Winning the West involved betraying them. One US treaty after another was violated. Imperialism works this way. Things haven't changed. Today they're worse than ever.
Earlier US policy makers sought sea to shinning sea dominance. Today they want it globally. They want it unchallenged. They'll stop at nothing to get it.
Obama is America's latest rogue leader. He's a serial liar. His word isn't his bond. James Petras asked if the so-called "historic (Geneva) breakthrough" was real or a mirage.
Does it end 34 years of Iran bashing? Or is the latest US betrayal dressed up in legal diplomatic mumbo jumbo?
The Big Lie about an Iranian nuclear threat persists. It's fake. It's a red herring. US intelligence reports say so.
It's common knowledge in Washington. It doesn't matter. Congressional Iran bashing continues. So do punitive administration actions. More on that below.
Petras said Geneva ostensibly "is directed toward undermining Iran's potential 'capacity' to have a nuclear program: there are no weapons to destroy, no weapons plans exist, no war plans exist and there are no strategic offensive military operations on the Iranian 'drawing board.' "
"We know this because repeated US intelligence reports" say so.
"So the entire current negotiations are over weakening Iran's ongoing peaceful, legal nuclear program..."
They aim to "undermin(e) any future advance in nuclear technology that might protect Iran from an Israeli or US attack.."
Longstanding US/Israeli policy prioritizes destroying Iranian independence. It's replacing it with pro-Western puppet governance.
It's advancing US/Israeli imperialism. It's eliminating all rival states. It's establishing unchallenged control. It's going all out by whatever means necessary.
For decades, Iran sought normalized relations with Washington and other Western countries. For years, it offered major nuclear program concessions.
It did so in vain. Sincere efforts were rebuffed. Is Iran again being set up? Is Geneva more mirage than real? Does betrayal remain official US policy?
On the one hand, Obama officials asked Congress to hold off on new sanctions. On the other, he imposed his own.
Doing so reveals his duplicity. It suggests his real intentions. His latest move shows it.
On December 12, an administration press release headlined "Additional Treasury and State Designations Targeting Networks Linked to Iran WMD Proliferation and Sanctions Evasion." In part it said:
"Today, the US Departments of the Treasury and State announced the designation of a number of companies and individuals for evading international sanctions against Iran and for providing support for Iran's nuclear program."
"The Joint Plan of Action reached in Geneva does not, and will not, interfere with our continued efforts to expose and disrupt those supporting Iran's nuclear program or seeking to evade our sanctions."
Targeted companies included Mid Oil Asia, Singa Tankers, Siqiriya Maritime, and Ferland Company Limited among others.
Iranian companies included Eyvaz Technic Manufacturing Company, The Exploration and Nuclear Raw Materials Production Company, Maro Sanat, Navid Composite Material Company, Negin Parto Khavar.
Authority cited was Obama's June 3, 2013 Executive Order 13645. It's titled "Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions With Respect To Iran."
It orders the Treasury and State Departments to impose them. Doing so violates the letter and spirit of Geneva.
It modestly eased some sanctions. Agreement was reached on refraining from imposing new ones. It did so throughout the interim agreement's six month period.
Iran's Majlis is its Islamic Consultative Assembly. It's Iran's parliament. Alaeddin Boroujerdi chairs its National Security and Foreign Policy Committee. He accused Washington of violating Geneva, saying:
"Undoubtedly, the latest US move to blacklist a number of Iranian companies and institutions is the flagrant violation of the Geneva nuclear accord, and the US officials revealed that they are not trustworthy."
"The recent US action showed that this country, despite its claim of being a world superpower, is in practice a follower of Zionist lobbies and is incapable of acting independently concerning its affairs and policies."
"Given (America's) hostile approach and the violation of (Geneva), one cannot be optimistic about the future of the nuclear talks."
"We should take (all) necessary measures to expedite our peaceful (nuclear) activities."
Mohammad Khazaei is Iran's UN envoy. "Although American officials link the recent measures to the sanctions imposed before the Geneva talks, such moves can, at this juncture, have serious negative consequences on the trend of the negotiations," he said.
"At this juncture, the negative implications of this move will deepen the suspicions of the Iranian nation and the international community which are waiting for a comprehensive win-win agreement as a result of the talks," he added.
"The move will also see the negotiations lose international and Iranians' support."
On December 12, The New York Times headlined "White House Punishes More Firms over Iran Sanctions," saying:
"(T)he Obama administration announced an expanded list of (targeted) companies and individuals." It aims "to block their trading activities around the world."
Asian, European and Iranian companies were named.
Singapore's Mid Oil Asia was "accused of helping the National Iranian Tanker Company make payments for services through money transfers."
It allegedly omitted naming vessels involved or their Iranian ownership. Singapore Tankers was accused of helping Iran make "urgent payments."
Five companies were accused of helping Tehran's nuclear and missile program.
Iran's Eyvaz Technic Manufacturing Company was accused of obtaining sensitive, hard to build centrifuge components.
Another company was accused of helping Iran build its Arak heavy water facility.
David Cohen is US Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. He said new sanctions show Washington's economic pressure will continue.
"Today's actions should be a stark reminder to businesses, banks and brokers everywhere that we will continue relentlessly to enforce our sanctions, even as we explore the possibility of a long-term, comprehensive resolution of our concerns with Iran's nuclear program," he said.
"No one should doubt our resolve to continue to hold accountable those involved in illicit conduct. Iran is still off limits."
Cohen said sanctions pressure in the new year will escalate. He disingenuously claimed doing so won't undermine Geneva.
He denied any link between new penalties and congressional efforts to pass sanctions.
At the same time, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman told Senate Banking Committee members:
"Now is not the time to introduce new sanctions because doing so could risk derailing the promising first step."
The administration is "prepared to ramp up sanctions" if Iran violates Geneva or a comprehensive deal proves unattainable.
An unnamed senior Obama administration official said:
"The sanctions framework that remains in place will allow us to continue to apply pressure on the Iranian government and the Iranian economy."
Doing so sends a "loud and clear message that we are quite serious about taking action against anyone who engages in this activity."
It sends a louder/clearer one about Obama's real intentions. It bears repeating what previous articles stressed.
Throughout his tenure, he broke every major promise made. He said one thing. He did another. Is this time different?"
Evidence so far shows duplicitous business as usual continues. Obama can't be trusted. He's a con man. He's a rogue leader. He's an unindicted war criminal.
On November 24, Geneva terms were agreed on. Doing so was hailed as a "historic breakthrough." It appears more subterfuge than changed policy.
Same old, same old persists. Iranian officials responded angrily. Vienna nuclear talks ended abruptly. They began Monday. On Thursday, they were halted.
The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted an unnamed Tehran official saying "Iran has ended the talks because of the addition of more individuals and companies to the sanctions list. It was against the path of agreements."
On December 14, Tehran's Mehr News headlined "Iran says new US sanctions go against the spirit of Geneva deal."
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said:
"The US administration has been recently making efforts to prevent the Senate from imposing new sanctions on Iran, and on the other hand they blacklist a number of additional companies under sanctions."
"This double game and indecision is not to the benefit of the negotiation atmosphere and is against the spirit of the Geneva agreement."
"We are evaluating the situation and will react accordingly."
Iran's Foreign Minister spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham added:
"The responsibility of the consequences of the imprudent measures rests with the US government."
Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: "The US administration's decision goes against the spirit of this document."
"Widening American 'blacklists' could seriously complicate the fulfillment of the Geneva agreement, which proposes easing the sanctions regime."
It bears repeating. US history reflects a trail of broken treaties and promises. This time appears no different.
Separately, The New York Times headlined "A Disappearing Spy, and a Scandal at the CIA."
Robert Levinson was a former FBI agent. In 2007, he went missing in Iran. He did so during a visit to Iran's Kish Island. He's been identified as a CIA spy.
The Times quoted him saying he's "done quite a few other crazy things in (his) life. I am questioning just why, at this point, with seven kids and a great wife, why would I put myself in such jeopardy."
A cover story said he was working on a documentary film. Other fabrications claimed he was investigating cigarette smuggling or researching a book on Russia's mafia.
"(H)e was a CIA contractor," said The Times. His disappearance cost three agency officials their jobs.
AP said he was on an unapproved mission. "He vanished while investigating the Iranian government for the US."
The CIA paid Levinson's family $2.5 million, said AP. It did so "to pre-empt a revealing lawsuit."
"This story reveals serious mistakes and improper actions inside the US government's most important intelligence agency," a separate AP statement added.
"Those actions, the investigation and consequences have all been kept secret from the public."
Iranians officials know full well how America operates. Spying reflects one of many longstanding reprehensible US activities.
They remain ongoing disruptively. They bode ill for ending 34 years of Iran bashing. So does breaching the letter and spirit of Geneva.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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