Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Former Insiders Criticise Iran Policy as U.S. Hegemony--Review of Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett "Going to Tehran" by Gareth Porter


Former Insiders Criticise Iran Policy as U.S. Hegemony
Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON, 25 Feb (IPS) - "Going to Tehran" arguably represents the most important work on the subject of U.S.-Iran relations to be published thus far. 

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett tackle not only U.S. policy toward Iran but the broader context of Middle East policy with a systematic analytical perspective informed by personal experience, as well as very extensive documentation.

More importantly, however, their exposé required a degree of courage that may be unparalleled in the writing of former U.S. national security officials about issues on which they worked. They have chosen not just to criticise U.S. policy toward Iran but to analyse that policy as a problem of U.S. hegemony.

Their national security state credentials are impeccable. They both served at different times as senior coordinators dealing with Iran on the National Security Council Staff, and Hillary Mann Leverett was one of the few U.S. officials who have been authorised to negotiate with Iranian officials.

Both wrote memoranda in 2003 urging the George W. Bush administration to take the Iranian “roadmap” proposal for bilateral negotiations seriously but found policymakers either uninterested or powerless to influence the decision. Hillary Mann Leverett even has a connection with the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), having interned with that lobby group as a youth.

After leaving the U.S. government in disagreement with U.S. policy toward Iran, the Leveretts did not follow the normal pattern of settling into the jobs where they would support the broad outlines of the U.S. role in world politics in return for comfortable incomes and continued access to power.

Instead, they have chosen to take a firm stand in opposition to U.S. policy toward Iran, criticising the policy of the Barack Obama administration as far more aggressive than is generally recognised. They went even farther, however, contesting the consensus view in Washington among policy wonks, news media and Iran human rights activists that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election in June 2009 was fraudulent.

The Leveretts’ uncompromising posture toward the policymaking system and those outside the government who support U.S. policy has made them extremely unpopular in Washington foreign policy elite circles. After talking to some of their antagonists, The New Republic even passed on the rumor that the Leveretts had become shills for oil companies and others who wanted to do business with Iran.

The problem for the establishment, however, is that they turned out to be immune to the blandishments that normally keep former officials either safely supportive or quiet on national security issues that call for heated debate.

In "Going to Tehran", the Leveretts elaborate on the contrarian analysis they have been making on their blog (formerly “The Race for Iran” and now “Going to Tehran”) They take to task those supporting U.S. systematic pressures on Iran for substituting wishful thinking that most Iranians long for secular democracy, and offer a hard analysis of the history of the Iranian revolution.

In an analysis of the roots of the legitimacy of the Islamic regime, they point to evidence that the single most important factor that swept the Khomeini movement into power in 1979 was “the Shah’s indifference to the religious sensibilities of Iranians". That point, which conflicts with just about everything that has appeared in the mass media on Iran for decades, certainly has far-reaching analytical significance.

The Leveretts’ 56-page review of the evidence regarding the legitimacy of the 2009 election emphasises polls done by U.S.-based Terror Free Tomorrow and World Public Opinon and Canadian-based Globe Scan and 10 surveys by the University of Tehran. All of the polls were consistent with one another and with official election data on both a wide margin of victory by Ahmadinejad and turnout rates.

The Leveretts also point out that the leading opposition candidate, Hossein Mir Mousavi, did not produce “a single one of his 40,676 observers to claim that the count at his or her station had been incorrect, and none came forward independently".

"Going to Tehran" has chapters analysing Iran’s “Grand Strategy” and on the role of negotiating with the United States that debunk much of which passes for expert opinion in Washington's think tank world. They view Iran’s nuclear programme as aimed at achieving the same status as Japan, Canada and other “threshold nuclear states” which have the capability to become nuclear powers but forego that option.

The Leveretts also point out that it is a status that is not forbidden by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty – much to the chagrin of the United States and its anti-Iran allies.

In a later chapter, they allude briefly to what is surely the best-kept secret about the Iranian nuclear programme and Iranian foreign policy: the Iranian leadership’s calculation that the enrichment programme is the only incentive the United States has to reach a strategic accommodation with Tehran. That one fact helps to explain most of the twists and turns in Iran’s nuclear programme and its nuclear diplomacy over the past decade.

One of the propaganda themes most popular inside the Washington beltway is that the Islamic regime in Iran cannot negotiate seriously with the United States because the survival of the regime depends on hostility toward the United States.

The Leveretts debunk that notion by detailing a series of episodes beginning with President Hashemi Rafsanjani’s effort to improve relations in 1991 and again in 1995 and Iran’s offer to cooperate against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and, more generally after 9/11, about which Hillary Mann Leverett had personal experience.

Finally, they provide the most detailed analysis available on the 2003 Iranian proposal for a “roadmap” for negotiations with the United States, which the Bush administration gave the back of its hand.

The central message of "Going to Tehran" is that the United States has been unwilling to let go of the demand for Iran’s subordination to dominant U.S. power in the region. The Leveretts identify the decisive turning point in the U.S. “quest for dominance in the Middle East” as the collapse of the Soviet Union, which they say “liberated the United States from balance of power constraints”.

They cite the recollection of senior advisers to Secretary of State James Baker that the George H. W. Bush administration considered engagement with Iran as part of a post-Gulf War strategy but decided in the aftermath of the Soviet adversary’s disappearance that “it didn’t need to”.

Subsequent U.S. policy in the region, including what former national security adviser Bent Scowcroft called “the nutty idea” of “dual containment” of Iraq and Iran, they argue, has flowed from the new incentive for Washington to maintain and enhance its dominance in the Middle East.

The authors offer a succinct analysis of the Clinton administration’s regional and Iran policies as precursors to Bush’s Iraq War and Iran regime change policy. Their account suggests that the role of Republican neoconservatives in those policies should not be exaggerated, and that more fundamental political-institutional interests were already pushing the U.S. national security state in that direction before 2001.

They analyse the Bush administration’s flirtation with regime change and the Obama administration’s less-than-half-hearted diplomatic engagement with Iran as both motivated by a refusal to budge from a stance of maintaining the status quo of U.S.-Israeli hegemony.

Consistent with but going beyond the Leveretts’ analysis is the Bush conviction that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq had shaken the Iranians, and that there was no need to make the slightest concession to the regime. The Obama administration has apparently fallen into the same conceptual trap, believing that the United States and its allies have Iran by the throat because of its “crippling sanctions”.

Thanks to the Leveretts, opponents of U.S. policies of domination and intervention in the Middle East have a new and rich source of analysis to argue against those policies more effectively.

*Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan.(END/2013) 


Anonymous said...

What's up to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web page, and your views are nice for new people.

Here is my homepage umowa pożyczki pod zastaw auta wzór

Anonymous said...

І blog frequentlу and I tгuly apprecіate уour contеnt.
Youг aгticle hаѕ really peaked my intегest.
I'm going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

Here is my website pożyczka pod zastaw mieszkania

Anonymous said...

So the Leveretts are courageous outsiders in DC policy circles.
Three quarters of this article explains how this is so.
Next we learn that Ahmadinejad was fairly elected, and also that the Iranians are deeply religious, this being the main reason the Shah was deposed.
So what else is new?
More interesting is what's ignored...Iran's terrorist proxies, Iran's involvement in backing the Syrian regime,etc.

Anonymous said...

From the New Republic:
"To the Leveretts, Ahmadinejad’s Bill Clinton-like personal touch underscores their argument that, far from a thug repressing his people, he is, in fact, a charming leader with broad Iranian support--and one whose true nature the United States fails to understand."

If this is true (which it isn't) Beeman has been underating Ahmadinejad. But it seems as though the spreme leader is stuck with him for a little while.

Anonymous said...

What's up, after reading this remarkable article i am too glad to share my experience here with colleagues.

My website: diet that works
Also see my web page :: diets that work

Anonymous said...

Between us speaking, I would address for the help to a moderator.
It is remarkable, very good information
In my opinion you are not right. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will communicate.
Brilliant idea and it is duly
Very valuable information

[url=http://shenenmaoyipp.webstarts.com/?r=20130113212248][b]michael kors outlet online[/b][/url]
[url=http://spaces.covers.com/blog/cheapbags8][b]michael kors outlet online[/b][/url]
[url=http://www.homebasedbusinessprogram.com/profiles/blogs/historic-handbag-trivia][b]michael kors outlet online[/b][/url]
[url=http://www.squidoo.com/shenenmaoyitt][b]michael kors outlet online[/b][/url]
[url=http://yaba.com/mkbagcheap2/blog/45302/][b]michael kors outlet online[/b][/url]

Anonymous said...

publicizing your home business is the of industry, you must Recognize how to deal and
Side your competitors in next the ladder of home business.

Stop by my web site ... site
Also see my page: http://rmtfitness.com/health/practical-plans-for-improve-search-engine-ranking-considered

Anonymous said...

I need tο to thank you for this great reaԁ!
! I definitely lοveԁ evеry bit of it.

Ӏ have got yοu boοk-markeԁ to lοok at
new stuff yοu post…

Here is my blog post maintenace for hcg injections therapy

Anonymous said...

Their coffee is more gourmet European than all American.

Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Kissing at Hockey Game in Canada (October 2011).
Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford had a warm wedding in
Santa Fe on June 15th with the participation of New Mexico's state governor Bill Richardson and the state's Chief Justice, Charles Daniels.

Take a look at my homepage ... aaa new mexico albuquerque nm
Also see my web site :: highlands new mexico athletics

Anonymous said...

Ηі thегe i аm κavin, itѕ
mу first occаsion to commenting anyрlaсe, whеn і гead thіѕ aгticlе і thought i cоuld alѕо creatе comment duе to this sеnsiblе paragraρh.

Мy weblog: vancouverweight loss
Also see my web site :: maintenace for hcg injections therapy

Anonymous said...

[url=http://szkac.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=100377]beats by dre[/url] the technology together with graphical user interface your XE are probably the ultimate handset music and as well,as well as the music unequaled a other hcomponentheld included as in today's times themarket. your phone applications outstanding-support lightweight aluminum unibody for extra capacity and simply reliability. a new XE may resemble a steady as efficiently musical instrument, apartment but even so formidable when it comes to in a hurry potency.

[url=http://www.huaxiazi.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=208814]monster beats dre[/url] just online only problem here it is true that it fits a bit of taught. these are on-headsets earphones found a bit of a problem with them. understand it after for approximately a hour and that i may start fo come to experience a sore our ear. of one's fantastic beats by dre earbuds offer a fitting fancy and also the cosy tendency in adition to highly fresh audio responses. a sufficient a brand new rounded, taking advantage of heater mids and so thumping muskie. housed are actually a nice carrying case and so your trusty music-smartphone-similar belief cable television.

http://www.beatsbydresea.com Adidas Jeremy Scott bone tissues, this tool erupted when he sitting held in a parking lot shortly after acquiring ceased by means of police force. Peters only agreed to be at home for moments, But diamond studs added to necessitate court nine schedule to see in which box fenced in none of explosives, but also 10 schedule to get rid of it. the whole time Pulver established the actual ready palms for issue would possibly increase,

Anonymous said...

[b][url=http://www.banzheng789.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=263728]chanel handbags[/url][/b] women around the have actually struggled with (and as well me) From insufficient assist hermes belts to consider hermes h ipad accessories the they need for many fear of needing to wear that amount of money possibilities other more. someone you care about may perhaps perhaps think Mulberry bag is dear. a lot of these pouches are available with a variety of designer net websites and you can pickup something you would really love to buy.

[b][url=http://judges.cwars.ru/wiki/index.php/index.php?title=women_handbags_at_mlovebag.com]hermes handbag prices[/url][/b] i'm keen on the fact that. most of us execute. the actual most adventuresome among uspeople resembling Beaninspire in their ability for adopt undomesticated scenarios, as well as refund using a stand out that a majority of tells us anything at all. Comme lors des années précédentes, los angeles croissance du continent en 2007 a été impulsée essentiellement level une forte pmanroot mondiale et s cours élevés s produits. D'autres facteurs à l'origine nufactured los angeles croissance en Afrique sont coalescence stabilité macroéconomique et l'amélioration gestion macroéconomique, L'augmentation p los angeles manufacturing un pétrole dans many will pay for nombre, l. a,chicago hausse environnant less flux capitaux privés, L'allégement dom l. a,chicago progresstte et que l'ensemble des s exportations produits autres combustib. Suivi delaware l'industrie (41,5%) Et dom l'agriculture (13,8%), C'est the sectwestern europeanr des functions qui a la place advantage grande (44,7%) Dans the PIB pour l'Afrique.

[b][url=http://judges.cwars.ru/wiki/index.php/index.php?title=birkin_bag_alters_durantes_euros_leurs_rrves._Ils_subissent_ses__at_mlovebags.com]designer bags for less[/url][/b] Derby, british -- in some instances generally primary total collides together with come-in time the oddest methods. types requirements: gather kim also Lisa advisable. Two months the particular, john stumbled upon "Second being, A essential task-jamming world that flatulent, chronically overweight and generally repulsive should redesign their selves for the reason that beautiful, Socially skilled since then, the best remark to the fact that man jon not necessarily seemed too interested by sitting the Lisa-half truths a air bed within relationship partner rodeo.

Anonymous said...

I know this website offers quality dependent posts and other information, is there
any other website which gives such data in

Feel free to surf to my web site: landing page design

Anonymous said...

we are attempting to publish some buisiness cards with thermosensitive ink that would certainly react with the warmth.

My webpage :: xerox phaser 8560 service manual

Anonymous said...

I savor, result in I found exactly what I used to
be looking for. You've ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

Also visit my weblog - プラダ 財布

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.win7license.com]windows 7 activation key[/url] Which brings me to another point make more ashtrays available!. [url=http://www.win8activationkey.com]windows 7 product key[/url] Qshfgxiid [url=http://www.windows7pro.co.uk]windows 7 product key[/url]
motgzb 789117 [url=http://www.robesenligne.com/]robe de mariée[/url] 175495 [url=http://www.vestidostienda.com/]vestidos de novia 2013[/url]

Anonymous said...

[b][url=http://fz517.com/bbs/viewthread.php?tid=268279&extra=]birking bag[/url][/b] leader opt obama will probably sworn with workspace within the 20th of economy is shown. second time he will have the ability give out administrating instructions to relieve its liberties of american citizens. till the time in which it court, sign retail stores about united states of america can be loaded with nervous seniors.

[b][url=http://forum.emmm.tw/viewthread.php?tid=952379&extra=]birkin handbags outlet[/url][/b] have you paid a person who applies each other for whereas ethical each and every work, make sure you sharing life values as being Catholic clergyman the person messing little kids back of everyone抯 rear side and talking the Holy holy book other time? these kind realistic ethically inhibited consumers are everywhere. nothing but when might be you are recommending some honest personality, during the time you discover for yourself you see that strength likely search all this time. kind of like a man individual tells you of family members members the values right after that screws various girl friend on the side and in addition defeats this special better half.

[b][url=http://haha310.sxdx208.515ip.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=216005]birkin handbags for sale[/url][/b] footwear are receiving to be the most frequent shoes or boots designed for males and females. Now you will discover girls that will not are coping with no the availability of order uggs cut price footwear, for instance your primary invest uggs discount relatively easy Cardy. an individual's shop for uggs cheaper easy Cardy happens to be undoubtedly as they are certainly not simply admired having said that beautiful, soft, on top of cosy besides. usually they are produced producing in basic terms best sheepskin combined with manufatured with wool products, you happen to be certain which the seek uggs low primary Cardy boot footwear, booties,hunter wellies may also set up feet experience air, thereby allowing for that you use them conceivably as a very hot environment.

Anonymous said...

" someone [url=http://www.montblancukpens.co.uk]mont blanc outlet[/url]
said optimistically , " you , far", but also marching in Montreal Yanghwa, green like a jasper . take a look at where the fall is how to [url=http://www.montblancukpens.co.uk]http://www.montblancukpens.co.uk[/url]
look .
the [url=http://www.montblancukpens.co.uk]mont blanc meisterstuck wallet[/url]

[url=http://www.montblancukpens.co.uk]montblanc[/url] casual ease empty come and go , lingers .. free creative word essay prize essay " Looking back on yesterday , let us treasure every one today ! you get to , But [url=http://www.montblancstylopaschers.fr]3[/url] if it has been called , and everyone will work together to appreciate my knowledge of the National Day . they finally [url=http://www.montblancukpens.co.uk]mont blanc uk[/url] obtained a great success. she would go and see all the vagaries of the landscape.

Anonymous said...

geotorelxz paying off credit card debt
credit card debt
debt consolidation services

Anonymous said...

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter
to be really something which I think I would never understand.
It seems too complex and very broad for me.
I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!

Have a look at my web-site ... christianlouboutinoutletshop2013.com

Ankur said...

Thanks for your grate informations, I am working on, ASIAN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE.

Try to post best informations like this always

Iraq: Legacy of broken promises and splintered vision