Saturday, November 22, 2014

Iran's Ever-Ticking Nuclear Clock: Countdown to Nothing

Recycled rhetoric that sounds ominous, yet signifies nothing - least of all reality - is standard practice when fear-mongering about, well, anything. But especially about Iran's nuclear program, constant threats to bomb it, and the dire predictions of how soon Iran will have an atomic weapon.

Time is always running out on diplomacy, a military operation is always around the corner, and Iran is always just months away from decimating Israel and holding the world hostage with a single nuclear bomb that it isn't even making. The clock, we hear ad nauseum, is ticking.

With nuclear negotiations nearing their latest deadline in Vienna this weekend, we are hearing - once again - that it's "crunch time" for diplomacy and anything less than a comprehensive deal sets the stage for war.

While a fair and just nuclear deal would certainly be in the best interest of all parties involved, we've heard all this before. The "clock" has long been "ticking" when it comes to Iran, or so we've been told for over a decade now.

Starting with an AP story published today, here's a little trip down memory-hole lane and here's hoping that, come Monday and the inking of a multilateral agreement, this talking point's time will finally be up.

Associated Press - November 22, 2014:

Associated Press / The Columbus Dispatch, November 9, 2014:

New Europe - October 16, 2014:

Council on Foreign Relations, September 17, 2014:

Newser, July 15, 2014:

AFP, July 1, 2014:

The Globe and Mail, June 10, 2014:

SBS, February 19, 2014:

CNN, January 13, 2014:

The New York Times, November 25, 2013:

The Jerusalem Post, November 4, 2013:

Roll Call, August 2, 2013:

American Enterprise Institute, July 10, 2013:

Ha'aretz, April 21, 2013:

BBC News, April 7, 2013:

The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2013:

The Hill, March 5, 2013:

The Times of Israel, March 4, 2013:

The Telegraph, December 26, 2012:

James G. Zumwalt, December 26, 2012:

Atlantic Treaty Association, November 7, 2012:

CBS DC, October 22, 2012:

The Sydney Morning Herald, October 2, 2012:

Foreign Policy, August 30, 2012:

The American Spectator, August 27, 2012:

Ha'aretz, August 14, 2012:

Albuquerque Journal, June 28, 2012:

Reuters, June 21, 2012:

TIME, April 2, 2012:

National Review, March 2, 2012:

NewsMax, February 8, 2012:

New English Review, February 2012:

CBS Sunday Morning, January 15, 2012:

The New York Times, December 29, 2011:

The Weekly StandardDecember 19, 2011:

AEI Center for Defense Studies, December 12, 2011:

UPI, November 9, 2011:

The Hill, November 8, 2011:

Associated Press, November 4, 2011:

New York Post, January 18, 2011:

The Atlantic, August 20, 2010:

The New York Times, March 19, 2010:

Voice of America, December 6, 2009:

The Spectator (UK), December 1, 2009:

New York Post, November 16, 2009:

Christian Science Monitor, November 3, 2009:

Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2009:

Daily Motion, July 13, 2009:

Meet the Press, June 21, 2009:

Politico, June 19, 2009:

The Washington Post, March 8, 2009:

EurasiaNet, June 13, 2008:

Toronto Star, May 17, 2008:

Arms Control Today, November 1, 2006:

Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2006:

Institute for Science and International Security, March 27, 2006:

Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), May 26, 2005:

Dawn, March 19, 2005:

Voice of America, September 19, 2004:



November 23, 2014 - Yes, seriously.



November 24, 2014 - And this:

Also, the above Foreign Policy piece has been slightly updated to read more definitive:



November 24, 2014 - Apparently, time is up! What's next? Oh right, OVERTIME!

h/t Sam Khanlari



January 9, 2015 - A new year, but the same old talking points, this time courtesy of Ellie Maruyama, a research associate in the Energy, Environment and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, a DC think tank.



March 5, 2015 - George Jahn, the Associated Press' perennial neocon stenographer, has a new piece up about...guess what...?



March 16, 2015 - More "ticking clock" rhetoric from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry:

And more commentary of Kerry's "ticking clock" rhetoric from MSNBC, which interviewed noted Brookings warmonger Kenneth Pollock:



March 31, 2015 - Thankfully, CNN has managed to squeeze in one more ticking clock headline before nuclear talks are set to conclude this evening in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The sentiment was echoed by ITV:



July 5, 2015 - With talks in Vienna extended past the previously self-imposed June 30 deadline, the Washington Examiner thought it best to revive our favorite phrase before time runs out:



July 20, 2015 - Not even a comprehensive deal signed by Iran, the EU, and six world powers can derail the "ticking clock" terminology. Behold! The Congressional clock!



July 21, 2015 - Oh no! Thanks to a just-released "Special Arms Control Association Newsletter," we've officially entered a time warp!



Yastreblyansky said...

That's brilliant and beautifully done.

juandonjuan said...

for the clock to STILL be ticking after all these years, the question is, who is winding it? hmm?

Anonymous said...

Brilliantly executed Nima. Shokran. Mamnun. Thankyou. All those "Iran Clock Tickings" mindless mantras show the absolute homogenized view of the Corporate Mainstream Media. No wonder people are abandoning those outlets.

Iran-thru-Open-Eyes said...

Mr. Shirazi's catalog also demonstrates the vacuity of the "western" or at least USA-influenced imagination, mired, as it is, in sports metaphors.

The Italo Calvino quote at the bottom of the Wide Asleep web page cast the contrast in high relief: Calvino relies on the wisdom and complexity of Dante to make the point that we all must constantly strive, even at the cost of our comfort, to confront the forces of mindlessness and complacency.

rs said...

Thank you!
Wish, the likes of John Bolton could read this!