Top Iran General Endorses Nuclear Deal with US, UNSC

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Iranian Chief of Staff Major-Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi said Saturday that despite some reservations, he saw 16 major advantages to the Iran deal. He didn’t mention any specific disadvantages.

Firouzabadi said, “The armed forces have the largest number of concerns about the effect of the accord on the defensive capabilities of iran . . . but this pact and the UN Security Council resolution have many advantages that critics are ignoring.”

He said that Iran’s right to enrichment has been recognized.

He noted that the tone of the UNSC resolution issued concurrently with the deal had also softened toward Iran, and the world body was now requesting compliance with regard, e.g., to missiles, whereas before it commanded imperiously.

Other advantages in his view include the document’s call for end of sanctions if Iran complies with its conditions. Likewise, the end of sanctions is envisaged on a specific timetable. Many of his points have to do with Iran’s relationship with the UN Security Council. For instance, under previous sanctions resolutions, Iran was not given a right to be in the room for their formulation. But with regard to this resolution, Iran can be present for further deliberations regarding it. In other words, Iran was formerly treated as the object of the UNSC’s wrath, whereas now it is being treated as a negotiating partner in good standing.

Maj.-Gen. Firouzabadi’s emphasis on Iran’s improved position, under the nuclear deal, vis-a-vis the UN Security Council, allows him to praise it without even mentioning the United States (except to the extent that he implies that the new resolution will constrain all UNSC members to respect it).

Firouzabadi was appointed by, and is close to Iran’s clerical leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and for him to speak openly in favor of the deal is likely a sign that Khamenei is supporting it.


Related video:

PressTV on Maj.-Gen. Firouzabadi’s remarks

12 Responses

  1. The Iranian hardliners have a number of genuine concerns about the nuclear agreement. Contrary to the misinformation spread by Western media, Iranian hardliners, the revolutionary guards and the military are not upset about not being able to manufacture nuclear weapons. They argue that the agreement will lay Iran open to Western intelligence organizations and will make it more vulnerable to a Western attack.

    In a recent article in the hardline newspaper Keyhan it was pointed out that the United States and Israel had been threatening to attack Iran for a long time. One reason that they had not done so was because they were not quite sure about the extent of Iranian capabilities. Under the agreement, anytime that the West, perhaps prodded by MOSSAD, raises a suspicion Iran only has 25 days to comply with the request for the inspection not only of its nuclear but also of its military sites.

    Meanwhile, American and Israeli leaders still continue saying that all options are on the table. In fact, the head of Israel’s military intelligence in April argued that the agreement would make it easier to attack Iran. He wrote: “[M]ilitary action against the Iranian nuclear program in 2025 would in all probability not be much more complicated or difficult than in 2015… [T]he Iranian program will be reduced compared to what it is today, intelligence about it will be better, and it will be less immune than it is at present.” They have also openly threatened that they would continue killing Iranian scientists.

    The Iranians have given a lot in return for what they have received, namely to have their right to enrichment under the NPT recognized, at least with many conditions attached. This makes the ballyhoo by Republican opponents of the deal the more ridiculous.

    • This is true and perceptive but a whole lot of others would need to be persuaded of any Iranian breakout towards a nuclear weapon, and that would be difficult if they are transparent in not doing it. Sure, the US or Israel can go attack Iran any time, they always could but doesn’t the deal ratchet down that prospect? If it does, then it has to be worth it.

    • Several points:

      (1) In the best-selling book “By Way of Deception”, a former Mossad officer conceded that Israel targeted and did kill Iraqi nuclear scientist personnel;

      (2) there are strong suspicions that Israel was behind the killing of several Iranian atomic physicists in recent years;

      (3) Iraq’s suspicions during the Saddam Hussein regime that the CIA would misuse UN WMD inspections to obtain Iraqi “executive communications” information useful to assassinate Hussein were later confirmed when it was revealed the CIA had, in fact, infiltrated the UN inspection team for that purpose;

      (4) there has been credible information and satellite photos published by blogger Richard Silverstein that the Israeli Air Force in preceding months had bombed a suspected atomic weapons research facility at a military installation in Parchin, Iran;

      (5) Iraq’s former Osirak reactor is not the only one Israel has targeted – the New Yorker magazine confirmed that Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor at al-Kibar in 2007 during Operation Orchard – the mission was so complex that the Mossad had psychologists issue reports on President Bashar Assad to divine whether his predisposition would likely result in a retaliatory counter-strike (they were correct in that he was unlikely to retaliate).

      In sum, it is not unreasonable to assume that Israel would use IAEA inspection information made available to them to assist them to target Iranian government leaders or atomic energy interests either militarily or via covert intelligence operations.

  2. One prickly factor in areas involving international cooperation, is the role of the US which while obviously frequently valuable, if not essential, appears to resist being party to any initiative which it doesn’t itself entirely control, or appear to control. This deal with Iran is an example of the latter. The deal simply wasn’t a solely US initiative although one would hardly guess that listening to Obama or any other legislator, media outlet or man in the street. True, Obama did acknowledge the deal could not have been achieved without the others, but even there, the unavoidable implication is the others were helping the US. This perspective completely ignores the role played by the UK. France and Germany who had, since 2003, been seeking to clarify suspicions about Iranian nuclear activities.

    The three foreign ministers went to Tehran in 2003 and the result was a joint declaration link to What may have caused feathers to flutter across the water and in Tel Aviv was the civilised diplomatic tone of the accord. and more specifically the last paragraph:

    They [UK. France and Germany] will co-operate with Iran to promote security and stability in the region including the establishment of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East in accordance with the objectives of the United Nations.

    In 2006 the US, with Russia and China got in on the act and the P5+1 was born and with it a whole new atmosphere of demonisation, doubt and duplicity fed in large part by unsubstantiated claims and doubtful evidence, principally the infamous laptop link to

    Europeans had had dealings with Persia for over 2000 years, some good some bad but always conducted in a formal manner. Now the whole thing began to get ugly. However, relations appear, from Dr Cole’s account of the Iranian Chief of Staff’s recent statement, to have been restored to an acceptable level, despite Tel Aviv, AIPAC and various members of the US legislature.

  3. One critically-important point flows from the intentions of the other negotiating partners in the event Congress overturns a presidential veto. Will the others allow Congress, clearly heavily influenced by the Israelis, to derail advances to date, or will they move forward with their own agreement with Iran regarding sanctions and inspections, essentially leaving the United States to act on its own , presumably in concert with Israel? What happens if Russia delivers the ground-to-air defense systems Iran has had on order for several years? I wonder how much preliminary arms shopping is underway on behalf of Iran in case everyone else signs off on the agreement. Certainly Iranian military strategists have been calculating how to strike US military assets and economic interests in the event of an attack. Destruction of oil access in the Middle East or an audacious attack on the US homeland?

    • Because of what the USA and UK did in 1953 (and the USA continues to do today around the world) , Iran’s leadership has been extremely paranoid about another USA attack for over 35 years.

      As a result, Iran has indeed been thinking very, very hard about how to best hurt the USA with the fewest resources (classic asymmetric thinking).

      So yes, Iran is well prepared for USA and/or Israeli attack.

      As for attacking the USA homeland, Iran will not do that because it is not very effective and uses lots of resources. And quite frankly why do it when there are literally thousands of soft USA targets much closer to Iran.

      As for the Russian S-300 sales, they are physically less important than most people realize because Iran has already designed, produced and deployed a clone of the Russia S-400 system (in partnership with China) and the Russian BUK system. That is, Iran already has air defenses equal to those around Moscow and Beijing (this is why the IDF and USA military have been beating up USA and Israeli politicians that are advocating war).

  4. Every military professional understands that nuclear weapons are basically unuseable in combat. So why not give up the possibility of having them in return for the end of sanctions that will allow you to build up your conventional power?

    • Nukes are only good for committing painful suicide and keeping the USA from attacking you.

      Any nation that first uses a nuke will, at the very least, be committing economic suicide, but will very likely suffer nuclear retaliation from multiple sources. It seems that nations down-wind of nuclear explosions get a bit peeved when their people and food sources are contaminated by radioactive debris,. much of which has a half-life of thousands of years, making some places inhabitable.

  5. Funny you never hear the merchants of fear bring up that a politically unstable country like Pakistan is a nuclear power and could provide the suitcase bombs they claim would originate from Iran should Iran become a nuclear power.

    • First of all . . . there is no such thing as a “suitcase nuclear weapon.”

      The nuclear materiel used in a nuclear weapons is highly radioactive and needs some very heavy shielding otherwise any humans near the weapon would quickly die of radiation poisoning.

      Both the simpler “shot gun” bomb design and the implosion bomb design require lots of physically heavy stuff for the bomb to be able to function. Uranium and Plutonium must be highly compressed over a very short time period and if the compression structure is not sturdy enough, the bomb fails to ignite.

      All of this means that even “small” kiloton bombs still weigh over a hundred pounds and are definitely not transportable by a single human in a suitcase.

      As for Pakistan, it is indeed strange that Israelis paranoia ignores Pakistan . . .

      – Pakistan has lots of very well designed and efficient nuclear weapons.

      – The Pakistani “quick launch” solid fuel Shaheen-III medium range ballistic missile can reach most of the Middle East INCLUDING Tel Aviv from Pakistan.

      – Pakistan has a fairly large extremist Sunni population and funds lots of Sunni extremists around the world.

      Then there are the Saudis that Israel also ignore . . .

      – The Saudis have purchased and deployed Chinese “quick launch” solid fuel DF21C medium range ballistic missiles, supposedly with “conventional” warheads, but . . .

      – There are very STRONG indications that the Saudis have paid AQ Khan to build nuclear warheads for the DF21C (simple for his organization to do since they have already built MIRV warheads for the Shaheen-III). It appears that at least one has been built, but no one knows WHERE it is. It could still be in Pakistan or it could be already in KSA and if it is in KSA, is it in a warehouse or already bolted to a DF21C?

      – KSA funds a large number of Sunni extremist around the world, including Al Qaida and ISIS. Right now ISIS is trying to solidify power over a fair amount of real estate, but once things calm down with the inter-Muslim fighting, Israel is the next thing on their list (not the USA or Europe as Israelis pontificate about).

      Note also that both Russia and China consider Israel a threat, because Israel has the capability via the nuclear tipped Jericho 3 ICBM and its nuclear tipped sub launched cruise missiles to attack both.

      So while Israel is obsessing about Iran, there is a very high probability that as many as FOUR nations have nuclear tipped missiles targeted on Israel right this very moment.

      So Israel whines about Iran while ignoring much worse threats.

      BTW – before anyone brings it up, It does not take a nuclear fuel cycle to create a “dirty bomb.” This can easily be done using ANFO and any handy nuclear waste such as the Cesium used in nuclear medicine.

      In reality, Iran is NOT a military threat to Israel unless Israel attacks Iran first (then they will retaliate in the manner that most hurts Israel and the USA – which my be economically not militarily).

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