by Peter Koenig
“PressTV”, “Global Research”, “ICH”. – “International treaties are being held hostage by the west.There has been a lot of interference inside Iran by Washington. The nuclear issue is just an excuse to undermine the Islamic Republic and has very little to do with anything else.”– Interview with RT by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, 6 April 2015.
This statement is right on the dot. The artificially created nuclear issue – is just an excuse for regime change… perhaps yes. But there is more to it. While the expressed views on what the recent “Lausanne deal” really brought for Iran and the 5+1 participants may differ widely, one must sense that there is another story behind the story.
A little detail, nobody talks about, and maybe most pundits – even honest ones – are not aware of. In 2007 Iran was about to launch the Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB) – an international hydrocarbon exchange, akin to a stock exchange, where all countries, hydrocarbon producers or not, could trade this (still) chief energy source in euros, as an alternative to the US dollar.
This, of course would have meant the demise of the dollar hegemony – the liberation of the world from the dollar stranglehold. This was inadmissible for Washington. It would have meant the end of the dollar as the world’s chief reserve currency, and giving up the instrument of coercing the world into accepting Washington’s dictate, the tool that serves to dish out sanctions left and right – no way!
Hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of hydrocarbonsare traded on a daily basis; huge amounts of dollars that find no justification in the US economy, but – they allow the FED to print money at will – and every new dollar is a dollar of international debt, filling the reserve coffers of nations around the world, thereby also gradually devaluing the US currency, but barely affecting the US economy.
As long as petrol and gas are traded in dollars – a ‘negotiated’imposition on Saudi Arabia by Father Bush, friend of the House of Saud, in the early 70s under the Carter Administration, in return for military protection – and as long as the world needs hydrocarbons to fuel its industries, so long the world will need dollars, insane amounts of dollars. The so-called Quantitative Easing (QE) allowed the US to print hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollarsto finance wars and conflicts around the globe, and to fund the relentless Zionist-Anglo-Saxon lie and propaganda machine. No problem. It’s just debt. Debt –paradoxically carried by the very countries that the empire eventually fights and lies to; countries which hold dollars in their reserves.
Hardly anybody knows that the real US debt, consisting of ‘unmet obligations’has risen in the last 7 years from about 48 trillion to close to 130 trillion dollars in 2014 (GAO – General Accounting Office), about seven and a half times the US GDP. Comparatively speaking, a debt by a multiple higher than that of ‘troika’ (EU-IMF-ECB) badgered and shattered Greece.
Allowing a country like Iran destroying the US hegemon’s power base by taking a sovereign decision to abandon the dollar for oil and gas trading – no way. A pretext had to be invented to surmise the country which according to George W. Bush became a link of the axis of evil. What better than the nuclear threat – with the full support of Israel,of course.Bolstered by worldwide media manipulation, Iran became a nuclear menace not only for Israel and the entire region, but also for the US of A. A threat for the empire, some 15,000 km away, when at that time the most powerful Iranian long-range missile had a range capacityof about 2,000 km.
This sounds almost like the latest (bad) Obama joke, accusing Venezuela to be an imminent threat to the United States. It would be laughable, if it wouldn’t be so sad, so criminal actually. Because this lie is followed by economic warfare, akin to the one led against Russia – which – eventually backfired punishing the ‘sanctioneers’ themselves, especially the Europeans.When the real impact of the ‘sanctions’ became evident, the MSM were simply silent. People easily forget.Without opening their eyes, they remain gullible for the next lie.
The dollar is the ultimate pillar of the empire’s world hegemony. Without it, it is doomed. Washington knows it. You don’t have to look far to find similar examples to that of Iran. When Saddam Hussein announced in the late 1990’s that he would sell Iraq’s petrol in euros, as soon as the embargo would end in 2000, a reason had to be found to invade his country. The WMD menace that never existed was sold around the world, including at the UN Security Council, and – bingo – the western media killing machine had created a motive for invading Iraq and to murder Saddam. As if this wasn’t enough, he was suddenly linked to 9/11 – and big miracle, Americans bought even this lie.
Muammar Gadhafi was another victim for asserting his country’s sovereignty. He announced a new hard currency for Africa, the Gold Dinar, backed by Libyan gold. Libyan and African hydrocarbons could henceforth be traded in an alternative currency to the dollar, the Gold Dinar. Gadhafi also intended to free Africans from the western predatory telephone giants, by introducing a Libya sponsored low-price mobile network throughout Africa. Gadhafi was atrociously murdered by CIA handlers on 20 October 2011. Libya today is a hotbed of civil unrest and murder.
Iran’s case is a bit more complicated. Iran has Russia and China backing. Nevertheless, with the propaganda machine painting a nuclear danger to the world, Iran could be brought to her knees, no problem. No matter what logic said and still says, no matter that the 15 US key intelligence agencies assured the then Bush Administration that Iran has no plans of manufacturing a nuclear bomb, that Iran was genuine in using its enriched uranium for power generation and for medical purposes.
No matter that Iran’s enrichment process reached a mere 20% purity, enough for medical purposes, but far from the 97% required for a nuclear bomb,Iran had to be oppressed and under a web of lies made a pariah state, a risk for the world. That’s what the average American and European today believes. It’s a shame. Nobody openly dares talk about the only nuclear threat in the Middle East, Israel. That is another shame.
No matter what the Lausanne deal is today, or next June, after three more months of intense, but useless negotiations, no matter what a UN resolution would say about the deal, about the lifting of sanctions – Washington will always find a pretext to keep the stranglehold on Iran. As Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich said, “International treaties are being held hostage by the west”– there is no international compact or law that prevents the only rogue state in the world, the atrociously criminal US empire from crushing its way to satisfy its abject greed.
Always – that is, as long as empire survives. And yes, the economic survival is only a question of time. Fifteen years ago some 90% of worldwide reserve holdings were kept in US dollars, or dollar denominated securities. In 2010 the ratio shrunk to about 60%; today it is approaching 50%. When it sinks below 50%, governments around the globe may gradually lose confidence in the greenback, seeing it as what it is and has been for the last 100 years, nothing else buta fraudulent Mickey-Mouse currency at the service of a Zionist dominated western financial system, not worth the paper it’s printed on; a currency that has been abusing and impoverishing the ‘non-aligned’ worldat will.
Iran knows it, Russia knows it – without direct confrontation, the empire’s grip may not hold as long as the Iran deal is planned to last, some 20 to 30 years. Therefore, the large concessions that Iran had to make for ‘peace’ – to reduce its enrichment process to 3.37% just enough to fuel power plants, and to sell or transfer its stock of 20% enriched medical-grade uranium abroad –these concessions to reach this ‘glorious’ interim agreement, are unimportant. It is a winner for Iran, as announced by Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as Russia’s Sergei Lavrov. Even if Washington derails the agreement within the next three months, or at any time at will, as is likely, Iran has won a battle of credibility worldwide, as she is ready to adhere to a signed agreement, no matter how far it sets her back.
In fact, the rotten palaces of empire are crumbling as these lines are going into print. Two new international Asian based development and investment banks have been created within the last two years. The BRICS Development Bank was signed into existence in Brazil in July 2014 by the leaders of the 5 BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Earlier this yearsponsored by China and 20 other countries, the Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank – AIIB, located in Shanghai, was created. Iran is a founding member of the AIIB.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister has also just announced that the Venezuela sponsored Banco del Sur – development bank for the Latin American hemisphere – will become operational in the course of 2015. These three banks are direct challenges to the Washington dominated IMF, World Bank and IDB (Inter-American Development Bank). Guess which ones are the most notorious ‘allies’ of Washington and which against the will of the White House, are joining AIIB’s forty-some membership? – They include the epitome of neoliberal Europeans – UK, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
Washington’s seemingly blind and preposterous arrogance drives the closest allies into the ‘adversary’s camp. The FED (Federal Reserve Bank) announced on 2 April 2015 that it fined the German Commerz bank with 1.7 billion US dollars for dealing with Cuba, Sudan and Iran – Washington sanctioned countries.
This can only happen as long as all international banking transactions have to be channeled through US banks and controlled by the Rothschild dominated BIS – Bank for International Settlement. Russia, China and other SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) aligned countries have already broken away from the dollar system for international contracts and money transfers, including hydrocarbon trading. They are about to launch an alternative to the western ruled privately owned SWIFT transfer systems. The new system could be joined by any country wanting to break loose from the predatory dollar claws.
When even the staunchest stooges of empire seek alliances in the East, the writing is on the wall, that the economic winds are shifting, that a tectonic sea-change is in the offing and that the Iran nuclear deal, one way or another, doesn’t really matter in the foreseeable future.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich: Iran Nuclear Deal Differences