On May 21, in his first formal public address, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (sworn in May 2) effectively declared war on the sovereign nation of Iran. Pompeo has no constitutional authority to declare war on anyone, as he well knows, so his declaration of war is just short of overt, though it included a not-so-veiled threat of a nuclear attack on Iran. Pompeo’s declaration of war is a reactionary move that revitalizes the malignant Iranaphobia of the Bush presidency, when predictions were rife that Iran would have nuclear weapons by next year, next month, next week, predictions that never came true over twenty years of fearmongering. In effect (as we’ll see), Pompeo wants us to believe that everything bad that happened in the Middle East after Saudi terrorists attacked us on 9/11 in 2001 has been Iran’s fault, starting with Afghanistan. Almost everything Pompeo had to say to the Heritage Foundation on May 21 was a lie or, more typically, an argument built on lies.
Heritage Foundation host Kay Coles James called Pompeo’s 3,700-word speech “Bold, concise, unambiguous” and “a bold vision – clear, concise, unambiguous.” It was none of those, except perhaps bold in its willingness to go to war with an imaginary monster. Even without open warfare, warmongering has its uses both for intimidating other states and creating turmoil among the populace at home. Buckle your seatbelts.
The 2012 Iran nuclear deal (officially the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) was, by all reliable accounts, working effectively in its own terms up until May 8: inspectors confirmed that Iran had eliminated the nuclear programs it had promised to eliminate, that its uranium enrichment program for nuclear power plants was nowhere close to making weapons-grade material, and so on. Whatever perceived flaws the deal may have had, and whatever other problems it didn’t cover, the deal was working to the satisfaction of most of its signatories: Iran, France, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and China. As a measure of international cooperation, the deal not only worked, it was an available precedent for further negotiations among equal parties acting in good faith. The US was not such a party. On May 8, the US president, unilaterally and over the clear objections of all the other parties to the agreement, pulled the US out of the deal for no more clearly articulated reason than that he didn’t like it. Or as Pompeo tried to re-frame it in his May 21 declaration of war:
via ReaderSupportedNews War on Iran Is US Policy Now, According to Secretary of State