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No Bombs Are Dropping, But the US and Israel Are At War With Iran

In the case of Iran, international politics has become a de-facto state of war.

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However, the P5+1—the permanent UN Security Council members, Britain, France, the US, Russia, China, plus Germany —is demanding an end to all enrichment, an Iranian commitment to ship the enriched fuel out of the country, and closure of the enrichment plant at Fordo: “stop, shut, and ship.” In return, Iran would get enriched fuel for medical use and some spare parts for its civilian airlines. The sanctions would remain in place, however, although it would open the subject up for discussion. The problem is that many of the more onerous sanctions are those independently applied by the United States and the EU. Russia and China have expressed opposition to the independent sanctions, but so far have not shown a willingness to openly flaunt them.

It will be hard for Tehran to make further concessions, particularly if there is no light at the end of the sanction tunnel. Indeed, some of the demands seem almost crafted to derail a diplomatic solution, raising the suspicion that the dispute is less about Iran’s nuclear program than a concerted drive to marginalize a country that has resisted European and U.S. interests in the Middle East. Isolate Iran enough, the thinking goes, and it might bring about regime change. Moscow and Beijing don’t support such an outcome, but they have little influence over what Washington and Brussels do independently.

There is still no evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Indeed, the body of evidence suggests the opposite, including the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that Tehran mothballed its program in 2003. But evidence is irrelevant when the enormous economic power of the United States and the EU can cow the rest of the world, and force a country to its knees without resorting to open hostilities.

In short, war by other means.

 
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