Monday, May 14, 2018

Impact of Trump's Iran Nuke Deal Pull-Out on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mid-East

What motivated President Donald Trump's unilateral decision to withdraw the United States from JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) on Iran nuclear weapons program? Why did the European signatories to the deal fail to persuade Trump to abide by the deal? What role did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the Bush era neocons play in this decision?

How will the Trump decision impact Iran's stability? Will the hardliners on all sides be emboldened? Will the US, Israel and Arabs succeed in bringing about a "regime change" in Iran? Will Iran's economic stress turn the Iranian people against the powerful clerics led by Ayatollah Khamenei?

 How will Iran respond to the threat from US, Saudi Arabia and Israel? Will Iran step up proxy wars against US in Afghanistan and the Middle East? How will these events affect Pakistan? Will there be a renewed intensified sectarian war in Pakistan? Will India's efforts to bypass Pakistan to reach Central Asia via Chabahar suffer a setback?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran-Pakistan Ties

Are Iran and Russia Supporting Taliban in Afghanistan?

Iran's Chabahar Port

Viewpoint From Overseas Youtube Channel

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel


Riaz Haq said...

Mani Shankar Aiyar On #Trump Putting #India In Its Place. "India is being told that a Major Defense Partner cannot get away with transgressing US foreign policy priorities" #Iran #Modi … via @ndtv

The cancellation of the 2+2 talks with India, first in March this year and again now in June, needs to be evaluated not in narrow bilateral terms but in the overall perspective of the direction in which Trump is taking his country's foreign policy. The cancellations, without even a hint of an alternative date are Trump's way of demanding: what has India to give the US here and now?

For the present, our answer has to be: "Nothing". For, with good reason, we are wary of sacrificing our renewed economic and political relations with Iran only because Trump has denounced the Obama era agreement to end Iran's quest for nuclear weapons. Nor have we been able to deliver on the massive economic bonanza in terms of gargantuan purchases of US nuclear power plants (closed in the US since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979) that the US was so looking forward to when Bush press-ganged his entire team of allies in the IAEA and NSG to give India the exemptions needed to push through the US-India civil nuclear power deal. Significantly, there is no similar US push in evidence to fulfill a major foreign policy objective of the Modi government - full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. On trade too, India is keeping fairly tightly closed the door to unimpeded imports of US agricultural products, as extolled by Trump. Reciprocally, it is not Indian but US interests that are given priority in determining the conditions for the issue of HB1 visas.

The accent being on transactional gains for the US, or "deal-making" to reprise Trump's vocabulary, it is hardly surprising that the US are holding out on the 2+2 talks before being assured of the material gains they can get out of Indians talking and the Americans taking.

Riaz Haq said...

How #Israel's #Mossad broke into an #Iranian facility and stole half a ton of #nuclear files. Mossad agents broke into a warehouse in an industrial area in #Tehran, had 6 and 1/2 hours to finish the job before the morning shift arrived at 7 A.M. #Iran

An operation by the Mossad earlier this year to steal files relating to Iran's nuclear program was conducted on January 31, according to a report by the New York Times. Mossad operatives broke into a warehouse in an industrial area in Tehran and, according to the report, had six hours and 29 minutes to finish the job before the morning shift arrived at 7 A.M. During this limited time, they disabled the alarms, broke through two doors, burned open dozens of safes and fled the city with the documents.

The agents were carrying blowtorches that burned at some 2,000 degrees Celsius to cut through the safes, according to the Times,. The report suggests that Israel may have had help on the inside, since it says that the Mossad agents knew exactly which safes to break into – leaving many of the others untouched. At the end of the night, the agents fled with half a ton of secret materials, including 50,000 pages and 163 compact discs containing files, videos and plans.

The Iranians began storing the files at the warehouse after signing a landmark 2015 accord on its nuclear program with the United States, European powers, Russia and China. The deal gave the UN nuclear watchdog access to suspected nuclear sites in Iran.

Israel claims that after signing the agreement, the Iranian regime collected files from across the country about the nuclear program, storing them at the warehouse. The warehouse wasn't guarded around the clock so as to not arouse suspicion.

The report was based on briefings Israel gave Western media outlets last week and included details from the stolem documents, which were presented in April by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a prime time address.

The report further stated that Israeli officials said Tehran received help for its nuclear program from Pakistan and from other foreign experts.

Another report, from the Washington Post, says that Iran was on the verge of acquiring "key bombmaking technologies" when the program, code-named Project Amad, was halted some 15 years ago.