Iran Threatens to Pull out of Nuclear Deal over new UN Sanctions

Iranian member of parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar warned Thursday that “If (the West) issues a new resolution against Iran, we will not be committed to Tehran’s statement and dispatching fuel outside Iran will be canceled.”

Turkey and Brazil, with full backing from Washington DC and in close cooperation with the Obama administration, had apparently succeeded by Monday morning in negotiating a deal whereby Iran would send over half of its low enriched uranium to Turkey, which would then send it on to (presumably) France and Russia for enrichment to 19.75 percent for use in Iran’s medical reactor for the production of medical isotopes. The deal was nearly identical to the one sought last October in Geneva by the Obama administration. Iran had agreed to something like this arrangement, but then reneged.

In the meantime, the Obama administration determined to seek a further round of United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iran. Even as Brazil and Turkey were working overtime to get an agreement from Tehran, Washington had finally persuaded Russia and China to accept a new round of relatively weak sanctions. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton more or less rejected the Turkey-Brazil deal as soon as it was announced, in favor of increased sanctions.

Veteran Iran observer Gary Sick predicted this course, calling it “moving the goalposts”– an email observation. Yesterday Roger Cohen wrote an op-ed for NYT to the same effect. Obama would no longer take ‘yes’ for an answer.

One sticking point was that Iran did not offer, in the deal struck with Turkey and Brazil, to cease enriching uranium. But this goal is the primary one of the Obama administration and Gareth Porter argues that even last October’s negotiations were viewed in Washington as a step toward ending the enrichment program. (The Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty gives Iran the right to enrich for peaceful nuclear reactors to generate electricity, but the US and the Security Council have attempted to amend the NPT ex post facto).

Brazil’s foreign minister said, according to the USG Open Source Center translation of an article in the Portuguese Agencia Brasil for Thursday, May 20, 2010:

‘According to the minister of foreign affairs, who spoke with reporters at Itamaraty in Brasilia today, no one will be able to ignore the agreement signed in Tehran. “. . . I feel that ignoring that agreement would reflect an attitude of disdain for a peaceful solution. I don’t believe it is possible to do that.”

Amorim said that before traveling to Tehran with Lula, he had already learned that permanent members of the UN Security Council were drafting a resolution proposing new sanctions against Iran but that they would await the results of Lula’s trip. According to Amorim, there has not yet been time to analyze the document. “If you have a result and the next day someone presents a resolution proposing sanctions, the wait was in fact purely formal.”

The minister said the announcement that Iran would continue its uranium enrichment program even after the agreement was signed with Brazil and Turkey was a matter to be dealt with in a second phase.

“We were not intending to solve all the problems at once. That requires a conversation not with Brazil but with the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and I am optimistic about its results. We put the ball in the goal area, but the goal will have to be scored by the permanent members of the council and the representatives of the IAEA.”

Amorim emphasized that continuing the uranium enrichment program was not part of the negotiations leading to the agreement signed yesterday. “I am trusting in people’s common sense and feel that we have helped give a peaceful negotiation a chance. It was not we who invented the agreement. It had already been proposed by the UN Security Council and the IAEA.”

Amorim is likely to be disappointed by all sides, and in my view the reason lies in part in domestic US politics.

There are four domestic political forces affecting Iran policy. The War Hawks, including the more hard line of the Israel lobbies, would like to see the US back on the war footing with Iran characteristic of the late Bush administration. The pragmatic hawks such as US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, aware of how ruinous entering a third war would be for the US at this point, would at least like to see the imposition of robust sanctions. The Realists, exemplified by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, would like to see engagement and negotiation with the regime in Tehran, even at the cost of ignoring the Islamic Republic’s crackdown on the Green Movement and massive human rights violations. The Democratic left and the National Iranian American Council (the most effective Iranian-American advocacy group) would like to see a rapprochement with Iran, but urge continued pressure by the West on the regime to open up and to cease its authoritarian measures.

The Obama administration came into office talking like the Realists, and the Realists, most Iranian-Americans and the left wing of the Democratic Party would have liked to see him take the Brazil-Turkey deal. But through congressional pressure and that of the Israel lobbies, the pro-sanctions faction has come out on top. Adopting the position of the pragmatic hawks and seeking tighter sanctions has the advantage that it blunts the arguments of the War Hawks. It is a better platform for Democrats to run on in the November midterms than open, direct negotiations with Iran. Ironically, Obama has allowed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and SecDef Gates to continue to build up Iran as a supposedly major security challenge to the US, making it harder for him to follow through on his original plan of direct negotiations with Tehran. (How unlikely a candidate Iran is to play major foe of the United States is clear if you look, as Stephen Walt has, at the basic economic and military realities; Iran is poor and weak.

Unhelpful linkage with other Middle East policy may be in play, as well. The slight increase of sanctions may be intended to mollify Israel and forestall a disastrous military strike by that country on the Iranian nuclear facilities at Natanz near Isfahan. Promising stricter sanctions may also be important to the US negotiations with the Likud-led government of Israel over a two-state solution with the Palestinians. That is, horsetrading over Israel-Palestinian issues may be driving Iran policy in the White House.

Those pragmatic hawks eager for stronger sanctions seem to envisage restrictions on Iran’s finance sector in its interfacing with the rest of the world.

Likewise, they wish to forestall further Russian arms deals with Tehran. Vedomosti Online reported on Thursday, May 20, 2010 (according to the translation of the USG Open Source Center):

‘Konstantin Makiyenko, expert of the Center for Analysis of Strategy and Technology, says that the adoption of this resolution would terminate the military-technical cooperation of Russia and Iran, except, probably, merely for deliveries of transport helicopters, and would directly affect deliveries to Iran of S-300 missile systems. . . The first contract for the delivery of Tor M-1 air-defense missile systems was signed in 2006, and for deliveries of the S-300, in 2007, but the contract has still not been executed. Russia is citing technical problems.’

In contrast, Aleksey Arbatov of the Russian Academy of Sciences World Economy and International Relations Institute said, “The delivery of the S-300 never was planned since it would have provoked an Israeli military attack on Iran, now Israel is taking a time-out to asses the effectiveness of the new sanctions, and in the event of noncompliance with them, could strike in the fall or spring. . .” He added that Iran’s lack of the S-300 minimizes the number of casualties on the attacking side . . .”

Nevertheless, Arbatov thinks the West is flailing around on the sanctions issue and is unlikely to be effective: “The sanctions are being imposed as a conscience salve, they will have no effect, like the previous ones . . .’

Obama mysteriously has ceased leading on the Iran issue and is instead showing himself willing to be led. Thus have the pragmatic hawks (with the war hawks waiting in the wings) defeated the Realists and the liberal internationalists. Obama stabbed Turkey and Brazil in the back after asking them to risk their face for him. Obama is giving Iran the impression that he is indecisive. All of this backtracking for the sake of a sanctions regime that is highly unlikely actually to change Iran’s behavior, contrary to the express hopes of Secretary Gates. Obama’s current Iran policy cannot be explained in the terms of US-Iranian relations. It must be driven by something else. The Israel lobbies and dealings with the Netanyahu government are the likeliest candidates in explaining the abandonment of a Realist approach.

30 Responses

  1. Things just got more deliberate:

    US Begins Massive Military Build Up Around Iran, Sending Up To 4 New Carrier Groups In Region new
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/20/2010 19:30 -0500

    * Barack Obama
    * Iran
    * Israel

    As if uncontrollable economic contagion was not enough for the administration, Obama is now willing to add geopolitical risk to the current extremely precarious economic and financial situation. Over at Debkafile we read that the president has decided to “boost US military strength in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions in the short term with an extra air and naval strike forces and 6,000 Marine and sea combatants.” With just one aircraft carrier in proximity to Iran, the Nobel peace prize winner has decided to send a clear message that peace will no longer be tolerated, and has decided to increase the US aircraft carrier presence in the region by a 400-500% CAGR.

    • .
      The US only has 11 Carriers, and a Carrier makes one 6-month cruise every 2 years, generally. So, at any given time, there are only 3 or 4 carriers able to go to sea.
      One is more-or-less permanently at Yokohama, Japan. One is either in the Persian Gulf or in the Arabian Sea/ Gulf of Aden, looking for barefoot pirates. One is often in the Atlantic, cruising to the Mediterranean. When a 4th one is available, it’s usually steaming between the West Coast and Hawai’i.
      Supposedly two more carriers can be put to sea within 30 days in an emergency, and 2 more in 90 days, but that is only for a short surge.
      At any given time, one carrier is undergoing a refueling that takes over 2 years, and 2 or 3 are being drydocked, upgraded and repaired.

      A supercarrier is a phenomenal weapons system, but unless it happens to be nearby when the next war starts, it will be pretty much useless. It’s aircraft can only go out about 750 miles before they have to turn back. So, they have to loiter where we project they will be needed. Airbases in Qatar and Pakistan are much better ideas.
      .

  2. Unfortunately, Obama is not a progressive on anything; whether one is talking about restoring civil liberties, reining in executive power, or in forging a new path in foreign diplomacy. Actions speak louder than words, and Obama’s actions since attaining office is basically a continuance of the Bush era power grabs and war mongering. Wishing he could have been a progressive force in the country and the world, is wishing for something that never existed to begin with. Basically, whether we are talking about foreign policy, or domestic policy, we have been had!

  3. The United States Policies towards Iran would seem to have in common the lack of both logic and sense, until one factors in the State of Israel.

    The key is Israel’s refusal to countenance the existence of any State, which could become a credible future adversary to its hegemony in the Middle East.
    Another factor is the United States’ seemingly unshakeable commitment to Israel, for a multitude of reasons, many of which do not reflect well on the parties involved, and its commitment to “defang” these States.

    Interestingly, the United States under Bush would seem to have adopted this Israeli policy for itself, albeit in a worldwide context.

    What you politely call horse trading with the Israelis, is in fact closer to blackmail.

  4. On the issue of Iran, the Obama seems confused. Hmmm, maybe craven would be more applicable. Just this very Friday morning, there was a curious blub on the Google News page about South Africa having “weapons grade plutonium.” I find that more than curious. South Africa? The nuclear genie is spread far and wide across our sorely wounded planet and that genie will never be returned to it’s bottle. Iran has legally done all Iran is allowed to do under the terms of the NPT and still, Iran is vilified. So and bottom line would be, the 900 lb. kosher gorilla in the room is Israel. Paranoid to the point of extreme dementia. Israel has nukes and Israel has control of the United States Congress. Shameful if not treasonous. It is comprehensively sad that the Obama has turned out to be one bitter disappointment.

    • “It is comprehensively sad that the Obama has turned out to be one bitter disappointment.”

      In a little over a year, so many promises have been broken – it is so disheartening that a man with so much promise would turn out in this way.

  5. “Obama’s current Iran policy cannot be explained in the terms of US-Iranian relations. It must be driven by something else. The Israel lobbies and dealings with the Netanyahu government are the likeliest candidates in explaining the abandonment of a Realist approach.”

    This group should be known as the Delusionists. They believe a miitary strike against Iran will have no negative consequences and will deliver to Israel glory and prestige.

    Continued sanctions against Iran may lead to increased conflict. Increased conflict will sink the US, mainly b sinking the dollar. The dollar is at the precipice, if it falls, then US support for Israel become meaningless. The US would then do whatever China tells it to do, and China may very well tell the US to drop Israel and seek peace with Iran.

    China needs oil and unlike the US, China can pay for oil. Iran has oil. Go figure.

    Somebody needs to lobotomize Netanhayu. The man is crazy.

  6. “Obama’s current Iran policy cannot be explained in the terms of US-Iranian relations. It must be driven by something else. The Israel lobbies and dealings with the Netanyahu government are the likeliest candidates in explaining the abandonment of a Realist approach.”

    This group should be known as the Delusionists. They believe a miitary strike against Iran will have no negative consequences and will deliver to Israel glory and prestige.

    Continued sanctions against Iran may lead to increased conflict. Increased conflict will sink the US, mainly b sinking the dollar. The dollar is at the precipice, if it falls, then US support for Israel become meaningless. The US would then do whatever China tells it to do, and China may very well tell the US to drop Israel and seek peace with Iran.

    China needs oil and unlike the US, China can pay for oil. Iran has oil. Go figure.

    Somebody needs to lobotomize Netanhayu. The man is crazy.

  7. Dear Juan,

    I take this opportunity to let you know that like your new website very much. Your blog is the first thing I look at in the morning. The above is a brilliant analysis of the nuclear deal struck by Iran, Turkey, and Brazil and I agree with your conclusion because there cannot be another explanation for this farce.

    Nayla

  8. While I admire Prof Cole’s clarity in the analysis, I think that Mr. Obama partially, and Mrs. Clinton, fully underestimated their action’s raminification in the internationala community – and I am not talking about the USA’s satraps. Methinks the result will be resemblence of the Bush years. Soon even USA citizens will not ask WHY THEY HATE US, since it appears that the USA is cabaple of exporting only havoc: Wall Street’s mess, chaos -by countering international law, armaments, especially to Israel to kill civilians, and war on Muslim countries.

  9. Please read Ray McGovern on this question:
    quote:
    >
    >
    > But if it’s not really about the remote possibility of Iran building a nuclear bomb and wanting to commit national suicide by using it, what’s actually at stake? The obvious conclusion is that the scare tactics over Iranian nukes are the latest justification for imposing “regime change” in Iran.
    >
    > That goal dates back at least to President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” speech in 2002, but it has an earlier precedent. In 1996, leading American neocons, including Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, prepared a radical strategy paper for Israel’s Netanyahu calling for a new approach to guaranteeing Israel’s security, through the removal or neutralizing of hostile Muslim regimes in the region.
    >
    > Called “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm [2],” the plan envisioned abandoning “land for peace” negotiations and instead “reestablishing the principle of preemption,” beginning with the ouster of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and then tackling other regional enemies in Syria, Lebanon and Iran.
    >
    > However, to achieve such an ambitious goal — with the necessary help of American money and military might — required making traditional peace negotiations appear foolish or impossible and then ratcheting up tensions.

    link to commondreams.org

  10. Top notch post — great analysis, great summary, great collection of links.

    My only minor difference is in the last paragraph, in the realm of speculation over the hidden springs. I think you nailed it better earlier on: the pragmatic position is a much better one to campaign on. Objectively, inarguably and sadly.

  11. Again, no mention of UNSC Resolution 1696–the act that governs the current crisis. In 2006, it was put in force by a vote of 14-1, the lone dissenter being Qatar. Iran made mistakes, which caused it to repeatedly violate its responsibilities under the NPT. Iran should have known it had no room for any mistakes given the context of the times and the longstanding desire of US Imperial policy to overthrow the Iranian government. In effect, Iran dug its own hole.

    To be fair, the US Empire is far worse that Iran when it comes to violating UNSC Resolutions, committing War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, and for those reasons should be ejected from the UNSC and contained by the planet’s countries. Unfortunately, that isn’t reality despite its necessity. And thus Iran is in a pickle because it forgot it needed to be squeeky clean to the nth degree with its nuclear program. It should also be noted–and you should note it whenever you write about it–that ANY attack on Iran by either the US Empire or the Zionist Regime would constitute an act of Terrorism and a massive crime against humanity every bit as gross as 9/11. There is also the unfortunate fact that Bush, Blair, Cheney and other US and UK officials are still at large for their escalation of the Iraqi Holocaust and enjoy an unwarranted freedom that mocks any sense of justice and destroys the rule of law. And there are the crimes by the Zionists, too.

    So, Iran’s in a pickle, and Brazil and Turkey are trying to help it escape from the hole it’s dug for itself. UNSC 1696 “demands” Iran halt enrichment and correct the mistakes it made which provided the rationale for 1696. Iran agreed to correct its mistakes, but restarted its enrichment program, which it had previously halted due to an IAEA resolution in 2003. According to the IAEA, Iran still hasn’t rectified all its mistakes as since 2003 and 2006 others were discovered. I want to see the War Lobby drowned by the solving of this crisis. Obama is no help, so we shouldn’t even look to him for anything. Somehow, the overall dynamic must change in order to get 1696 lifted. This is how Brazil and Turkey see the situation. I believe Iran must become as squeeky clean and transparent to the IAEA as possible, cease its enrichment while the IAEA determines Iran is indeed squeeky clean and in compliance with 1696, at which point 1696 must be lifted allowing Iran to resume its program. The problem with that scenario is the US Empire and its longstanding desire for regime change in Iran as it has the power to keep 1696 in force forever as it can veto any attempt to get it lifted. But what else can be done; is there another peaceful road I cannot see?

  12. “… sanctions may be intended to mollify Israel and forestall a disastrous military strike by that country on the Iranian nuclear facilities at Natanz near Isfahan.”

    Prof. Cole, it’s important to stress that any strike by Israel or the US on Iranian enrichment and storage facilities would, by design, release the U-hexafloride working medium, a pressurized gas. Conventional explosives would atomise and disperse tons of highly radioactive and chemically toxic material onto Iranian citizens, animals, agriculture and watersheds. It would, in its intended effect, be a radiological attack, the equivalent of a massive dirty bomb.

    Even threatening such an attack on US facilities and territory would be rightfully interpreted as the imminent threat of WMD warfare. A successful attack of this nature would force the permanent evacuation and disuse of the contaminated downwind and downstream areas. It’s not at all like the past Israeli attacks on un-fueled Baathist reactors, in Syria or Iraq.

    It’s beyond me how anyone claiming to be a friend of Israel can see a WMD/radiological attack on Iran as being in the interests of nuclear armed Israel. The active threat of WMD/radiological warfare on Iran significantly raises the risk that Iran will prepare MAD-style reprisal options.

  13. I guess what I don’t get is, exactly what is there in this Turkey offer that from the U.S. administration’s perspective is so great it’s worth changing direction over? The administration’s goal is to get Iran to stop enriching uranium. Right? So the offer on the table is that Iran will halt one particular [legal?] uranium enrichment program and continue with other [possibly not legal?] uranium enrichment programs. Okay? That’s clearly a big step in the right direction, but it doesn’t by itself satisfy give the Americans what they wanted, satisfy Iran’s IAEA obligations, or put us on a path that unambiguously leads to either of these things. What are the Americans losing by just going ahead with the sanctions?

    Now I mean given I can’t work out what exactly it is sanctions are supposed to be accomplishing either, but apparently the administration considers sanctions a real thing and I’m trying to work out what this looks like from their perspective. From their perspective I can’t come up with logic by which they’d have taken this deal (if the deal is, “drop threat of sanctions and we’ll agree to this Turkey-mediated swap while continuing to enrich uranium”).

  14. Prof Cole – I disagree with you that running as a hawk is good for the Democrats. Surely there is pressure from the Israel lobby and Congress, but as you mention Obama in 2008 did not run as a hawk and he won handily. Unfortunately once he won, he got convinced that what would get him relected is not sticking to his positions of the 2008 campaign, but rather being hawkish on some positions so that he can appear to be “centrist”.

    The Obama formula is (Left on health care + Hawkish on wars + extreme right wing on civil liberties) = “Centrist” sweet spot for victory.
    Personally I think it is pretty dicey and stupid.

    It is the same mistake he made in Afghanistan, a strategy which even you acknowledged was full of pitfalls.

    So I would not blame Hillary or Gates, but would blame the guy on the top – namely Obama.

  15. I see a lot of disappointment about Obama. But it is beyond me how can anyone be disappointed. I am not because I was never convinced in the first place that he was a progressive. His words and actions, prior to the election as well as after, have never supported the claim. (continued war, FISA bill, escalation of war in Afghanistan, not closing Gitmo, continued spying on Americans, not prosecuting telecoms fro illegal spying on Americans, not prosecuting war crimes during BUsh/Cheney regime……)

    It also beyond me how gullible AMericans are. Are they completely blind or are they lobotomized? We keep on demonizing Iran…. this “we” includes Israel. WHY IS IT OK FOR ISRAEL TO HAVE 200+ nuclear warheads. ANY ISRAEL IS CRITICIZING IRAN????????

    Am I living in a parallel world?

  16. There are many factors that go into shaping US policy on Iran. Oil/gas is an obvious one. Israel is another and neither will tolerate opposition to their hegemonic designs. Regime change is the starting point and all sanctions and maneuvers are designed with that in mind. If Iran didn’t have a uranium enrichment program other issues would be offered up for the tightening of the screws. Add to that Iranian influence in Iraqi politics and the outlook gets even nastier.

  17. Mark is right, of course. Look at all the way out excuses for invading Iraq. Politicians are not honest. The fact that they are Democrats does not make them less dishonest. I was very much a fan of Hillary Clinton for years. Not so now. I am betrayed. Again.

    When the United States decided to give Israel A bombs the US did not think Israel would use the bombs to coerce, blackmail, bully and terrorize its neighbors (and the world community). How stupid of us.

  18. Good article. A couple of things are wrong:

    Turkey and Brazil, with full backing from Washington DC and in close cooperation with the Obama administration, had apparently succeeded by Monday morning in negotiating a deal whereby Iran would send over half of its low enriched uranium to Turkey, which would then send it on to (presumably) France and Russia for enrichment to 19.75 percent for use in Iran’s medical reactor for the production of medical isotopes. The deal was nearly identical to the one sought last October in Geneva by the Obama administration. Iran had agreed to something like this arrangement, but then reneged.

    1) By now 1200 kgs is probably slightly less than Iran has on hand, but it is very close. Saying over half is probably slightly less accurate than saying about half. But I would not consider that misleading.

    2) The LEU, though is not to leave Turkey until Iran gets the fuel. It will not be Iranian uranium that makes the fuel plates but rather Russian uranium diluted from weapons grade back to whatever France requests for the fuel plates.

    3) Iran did not renege on any agreement. Iran accepted a fuel swap in principle in early October 2009. By late October a) there was the terrorist attack, which Iran believed was supported by the US that killed many Iranian officers b) the West presented an offer that gave no assurances that Iran would ever actually get the fuel, and that left the US room to use returning the fuel as negotiating leverage to try to force Iran to stop enriching uranium. But while Iran was not in a mood to accept a take it or leave it offer from the West with unacceptable terms, that does not mean it reneged on any offer. The late October offer, to this day, has never been spoken of positively by any Iranian official at any level. The idea of a swap has always been acceptable, but never the late October offer.

    There are four domestic political forces affecting Iran policy. The War Hawks, including the more hard line of the Israel lobbies, would like to see the US back on the war footing with Iran characteristic of the late Bush administration.

    4) This is a common misconception. The late Bush administration was far more cooperative with Iran than the Obama administration. You’ll notice that a new NIE is being produced about Iran’s nuclear program. This NIE will not be released to the public the way the 2007 NIE was. If you ask, why was the 2007 NIE, which reduced essentially to zero the chance that Bush could either attack Iran or even get new sanctions was released if the Obama administration demonstrates that the White has the power to refuse to release an NIE, the answer is that it was released as a deliberate gesture. A tangible gesture far more convincing than any of Obama’s speeches to the Iranian people.

    Along with that the Bush administration by the end of its term was in close cooperation with Iran regarding a US exit plan for Iraq.

  19. As Gilad Atzmon wrote a few months ago that Iran must build a nuclear bomb because that’s the only language the US and Israel understand. As I have written at my blog several times that Washington’s problem with the Islamic Republic has nothing to do with the later’s nuclear program but it support for the Islamic resistance groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah. The existing 2 mW TRR is ‘Made in USA’ and during Shah’s regime, the Washington proposed to build over dozen of nuclear reactors in Iran – to be operated by US/Israel technicians.

    Personally, I believe Tehran should not go for the swap because it could be a trap – based on my following reasons:

    link to rehmat1.wordpress.com

  20. so guess who is the real nuclear proliferator on earth?

    Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons

    Exclusive: Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons

    link to guardian.co.uk

  21. Iran did not ‘reneg’ on the original deal. They specifically said that they only agreed to it “in principle” and needed additional concerns addressed, specifically, that they didn’t trust the US to allow any of the LEU converted to fuel to be returned to Iran — so they proposed (quite reasonably) a simultaneous exchange on Iranian soil. The US said “my way or the highway” and so the Iranians backed out, until the Turks stepped in and resolved that concern. Once again, the Iranians did not “reneg” on anything.

  22. Both Israel and Afrikan South Africa had very close relations in various fields – from military, espoinage and state terrorism. South Africa did have ‘untested’ nuclear bombs – but became the first state to destroy its nuclear arsenal under former president Nelson Mandela.

    Alain Gresh wrote in Le Monde:“During the Gaza war, South Africa expressed its strong solidarity with the Palestinians. No one here has forgotten the collaboration between Pretoria and Israel under apartheid, and many see parallels between the Palestinian situation today and that of Black and cloured South Africans back in the days of White rule”

    link to rehmat1.wordpress.com

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