Friday, January 24, 2014

Iranian Officials Respond to John Kerry's "Military Option" Threat

United States Secretary of State John Kerry

In response to recent comments by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry regarding a potential military strike on Iran, Brigadier General Seyyed Masoud Jazayeri - Iran's deputy chief of staff - said in an interview that, in the event of an attack, American interests in the region would be "completely destroyed."

Speaking to Al Arabiya this week, Kerry defended the interim international deal over Iran's nuclear program and the alleviating of some sanctions, but declared that if Iran were to back out of its commitments, "the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do."

Such rhetoric is par for the course for American officials focused on diplomacy, but still eager to appear bellicose and aggressive to certain influential communities and audiences.

President Barack Obama
Last month, in a conversation at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center, a pro-Israel think tank in Washington, DC, President Barack Obama said much of the same. "What I've consistently said is even as I don't take any options off the table," Obama told Haim Saban, the organization's Israel-obsessed billionaire benefactor, "what we do have to test is the possibility that we can resolve this issue diplomatically."

The president repeated this a number of times during the conversation. "The best way for us to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapons is for a comprehensive, verifiable, diplomatic resolution, without taking any other options off the table if we fail to achieve that," he said, adding later that "when the President of the United States says that he doesn't take any options off the table, that should be taken seriously."

Following Obama's own appearance, Secretary Kerry also addressed the Saban conference in December. He assured the attendees that "as we negotiate, we will continue to be perfectly clear that, for Iran, the price of noncompliance, of failing to satisfy international concerns about the nuclear program, will be that we immediately ratchet up new sanctions, along with whatever further steps are needed to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, including – as President Obama just made clear – a military option, if that were necessary."

MP Hossein Naqavi Hosseini
In his own recent comments, General Jazayeri emphasized that the U.S. government is well aware that "the military option against Iran is not practical."

Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, an Iranian parliamentarian and spokesman for the Majlis' National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, reacted to Kerry's new comments by saying, "These statements are indicative of the U.S. double standards and will bring about nothing but tarnishing the US image," adding, "Definitely, we also announce that if the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) commit the least breach of the Geneva agreement, we will also have all the options on our table."

"Under pressures by the Zionist lobby, the U.S. adopts dual policies; on the one hand, they talk about agreement and positive relations with Iran, but on the other hand, they use an intimidating tone," Hosseini said.


Originally published as an update on a March 24, 2013 post documenting Iranian reactions to constant threats of military action, entitled, "Khamenei's Nowruz Speech and the 'Threat' That Wasn't."


No comments: