The One Thing it Always Comes Back to

capture-20150329-204841Weeks ago, people were dismissing the possibility of the real reason behind the complicated nuclear talks with Iran. No one quite believed it was as much about oil as it was nukes. But let’s be honest – the U.S. can annihilate Iran in a Heaven’s heartbeat – no nukes required. We have the best military in the world – the best. The truth is, this entire Iran nuclear nonsense has been going on far longer than many realize. In fact, this little gem from the National Security Archive is like a page ripped from today:

U.S.-Iran Nuclear Negotiations in 1970s Featured Shah’s Nationalism and U.S. Weapons Worries

You can see the actual DoD unclassified document here.

It’s from the mid-1970s, declassified in 2009. No, seriously, I promise – the mid-70s. Don’t feel bad if you get bored reading it because it’s so similar to what we’re seeing today, with a few distinctions. Some of the language is verbatim. Note too that there are links to more than this one document on the NSA page, all having to do with Iran’s need/desire/demand for nuclear weapons. More importantly, it’s indicative of just how long this nice little waltz has been going on, especially between the U.S. and Iran.

Keep in mind, too, it goes even further back, but the Carter Administration is especially notable for a particularly dark time in American and Iranian relations, which is why I focused on this time period.

So, then, if this isn’t a new song and dance, why the strong focus right now? Remember, we can drop kick Iran in two seconds. It comes back to oil. It always comes back to oil.

The big oil companies have been storing the surplus of oil in huge barges, keeping it safe, ready to sell it at higher prices once the market rebounds. This is one reason why we didn’t hear much complaining from the big players early on, when the price of oil began its freefall. I don’t think anyone believed it would continue for as long as it did. The U.S. has placed sanctions on what seems like the entire world, so it’s not like these oil conglomerates were worried about Iranian oil (or anyone else for that matter). They, along with the Obama Administration, thought they could wait out the OPEC stubbornness. And then Iran popped up.

Turns out, Iran has its own surplus stored in its own barges. They’ve been hoarding their oil ever since we put sanctions on them a few years ago, just waiting for the golden opportunity to say, “Hey, U,S., lift those sanctions and buy our oil.” The U.S. is dealing with job losses in energy – with more to follow and Obama has, frankly, alienated nearly every ally we have, not to mention his remarkable failure as this nation’s leader. Iran knows it may not get other countries on its side, but having our allies turn their backs on us? That works out beautifully, even if it was unintentional. Here are a few of those Obama failures:

Chechen leader threatens to send weapons to Mexico if U.S. arms Ukraine Fox News

Obama to ‘reassess’ Israel relationship CNN

Barack Obama, the Iranian Candidate Washington Times

Obama-Netanyahu Rift Threatens US-Israel Bond Defense News

Yemen crisis threatens Obama Iran nuclear talks, further clouds Middle East policy Washington Times

So, we have PM Netanyahu wondering why Obama declassified his country’s documents, we have James Jeffrey, who served as Obama’s ambassador to Iraq and was a top national security aide in the George W. Bush White House, exclaiming “We’re in a goddamn free fall here,” in reference to the U.S. and the collective Middle East and we have the rest of our allies, including the UK, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands joining China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in the past two days alone. In fact, the media in the UK says it like this: US isolated as Australia and Russia join China’s development bank.

Did I leave any allies out?

Meanwhile, we have the Republicans who are so angry and worried about the oil crisis that comes if Obama lifts Iran’s oil sanctions, they’re not even considering the big picture and we have Obama who’s in his own world that makes sense only to him. Remember, 47 Republican leaders sent Iran that nice little love letter a few weeks ago.

And, then, of course – there’s Russia.

But speaking of the oil – because again, it always comes back to the oil – here’s what Miswin Mahesh, an analyst at Barclays in London told Bloomberg a few hours ago:

“The first wave to look out for when these sanctions are removed is that stored oil coming back into the market”

He’s referring to the Iranian oil, of course.

And when all of the dust settles, when all of the feelings have been hurt, the promises have been broken and the truths come out, where do you think that leaves Americans? What do you think that does for an already-rickety economy? How will the Obama Administration explain, first, that it’s been doctoring the unemployment numbers, and second, how will it explain to the thousands more in the collective energy sector, why they no longer have jobs in an industry that should have been a sure thing? Because even after then, the truth remains: This is not about Iran’s nuclear dream; it’s about oil.


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