What is Iran’s 9-point plan to destroy Israel?

Summary:  As Obama’s deal with Iran comes home for review it’s important to understand not just how we see Iran (inaccurately), but why. Here’s a case study of the news given us. It’s from a leading Israeli newspaper, but that’s where so much of our perspective on Iran originates. As you read it please remember that we can do better.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

War between Israel and Iran

Iran supreme leader touts 9-point plan to destroy Israel

Ayatollah Khamenei says West Bank should be armed like Gaza, and
Jewish population should return to countries it came from.

From the Times of Israel, 10 November 2014.

Quite horrific headlines from the Times of Israel. It’s the usual fare of course, showing us that Iran is the implacable irrational enemy. I wonder how many people read the article (it’s an oddity of the western press that the story’s text so often contradicts the headline, understandable when you remember that the headline must sell the papers). The opening:

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called over the weekend for the destruction of Israel, stating that the “barbaric” Jewish state “has no cure but to be annihilated.”

So what means does he recommend to destroy Israel? Nukes? Terrorism? Jihad?  The article refers us to a tweet.

Tweet  from Iran

Iran's 9 negotiating points

What are the horrific actions he recommends that justifies our bombing Iran as a follow-up to our cyberattacks, economic sanctions, and Israel’s assassinations of their scientists?

“Of course the elimination of Israel does not mean massacre of the Jewish people in this region. The Islamic Republic has proposed a practical and logical mechanism for this to the international communities. All of  the original people of Palestine including Muslims, Christians and Jews wherever they are, whether inside Palestine, in refugee camps in other countries or just anywhere else, take part in a public and organized referendum. Naturally the Jewish immigrants who have been persuaded into emigration to Palestine do not have the right to take part.”

Is this a reasonable opening offer for negotiations? Yes. The first offer usually reflects a negotiator’s maximum goals, outlining the boundaries for the discussion. The other side will reject it, no matter what the first offer provides.

Always reject the first offer. Across dozens of negotiations in my career, I have found that by rejecting the first offer, that the person or company always comes back with a counteroffer which has averaged better than a 30% improvement over what they initially offered. {From Robert Drager’s Does a CEO Sh*t in the Toilet?.}

Any lawyer worth his salt knew the first offer had to be rejected. Always. He had seen Avery’s mouth drop open in shock and his head shake wildly in absolute disgust and disbelief with first offers, regardless of how reasonable. {John Grisham’s The Firm.}

To put this in context, imagine if the US government was forced to negotiate with Native Americans to redress its broken treaties. Or negotiations for reparations to African Americans for a century of slavery and another century of Jim Crow discrimination. The opening bids would be interesting to see.

Initial bids should be judged for what they accept — not what they ask for. Iran assumes peaceful negotiations and the legitimacy of voting. Not all of our negotiating partners have started by agreeing to so much. President Wilson never got to this point with his Fourteen Points proposal for the settlement of WWI.

Remember the previous times we’ve had this debate

Conservatives warn of horrific consequences if we sign an arms control treaty with Iran. Just as they predicted terrible results from the treaty Ronald Reagan signed with the Soviet Union (for which they condemned him in apocalyptic terms). Just as they condemned all arms control treaties back to the 1963 treaty banning atmospheric testing of nukes (perhaps the most important treaty of the post-WWII era). Fortunately, we ignored them in the past. Let’s hope we have the wisdom to do so again.

END THE WAR IN IRAN

Conclusions

This is information you’ll seldom hear from the US news media, who prefer to feed us a steady diet of jingoistic propaganda. Such as Iran will have the bomb in a few years (which we’ve heard since 1984). Or Netanyahu’s performance before Congress — 1st class fear-mongering!

These stories seldom mention how reasonable Iranians might see the situation. Looming large in their view are the attacks by the US and Israel on Iran (the Stuxnet “cyber Pearl Harbor” attack, Israel’s terrorist assassinations of their scientists) — and the steady theft of Palestinians’ land.

None of this means that Iran is a nation of angels, any more than we are. But we cannot see the world as adults so long as we credulously accept the propaganda fed us.

For years I’ve debunked the predictions that the US or Israel were about to attack Iran (like Jeffrey Goldberg’s famous one in 2010). I believe the odds of that in the foreseeable future are small. But we have an opportunity to move from our not-quite-war to peace with Iran. Obama’s agreement with Iran might mark a new phase of maturity for the American people if we see, understand, and support it. I suspect this will not happen. For Obama getting Iran’s “yes” was the easy part of the process; now he must deal with people having no interest in peace and who appeal to the irrational element in America (details here).

To govern ourselves we must learn to see the world more clearly. That we don’t justifies the 1%’s grasp of power — in their own minds, and perhaps in the scales of Nature (who cares only about effectiveness).

Iraq war becomes the Iran war

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about our war with Iran. Of special interest are these about the reasons for our conflict with Iran:

  1. The hidden objective of our alliance against Iran.
  2. Threats to attack Iran are smoke. Sanctions on Iran are our tool. Weakening Iran is our goal.
  3. Hegemon at work on Iran, doing what hegemonic powers do. No war needed – or likely.
  4. Our crusade slowly crushes Iran, and reveals much about us, 8 October 2012.

Also see these about Iran’s nuclear program:

  1. What do we know about Iran’s nuclear ambitions?, 6 January 2012 — US intelligence officials are clear:  not as much as the news media implies.
  2. What does the IAEA know about Iran’s nuclear program?, 9 January 2012 — Their reports bear little resemblance to reports in the news media.
  3. What happens when a nation gets nukes?  Sixty years of history suggests an answer.
  4. What happens if Iran gets nukes? Not what we’ve been told.

8 thoughts on “What is Iran’s 9-point plan to destroy Israel?

  1. Interesting analysis. Think misunderstanding negotiations has anything to do with America’s penchant for unconditional surrender?
    The first paragraph in your conclusion has a typo where you meant to write “bomb”

    1. Fabius Maximus,

      Well if you consider how the US presuded the end of WWII, you’ll see that the strategy of unconditional surrender was one we pursued somewhat reflexively.
      Part of it was due to the way we came into the war but another part seems to be the moral/strategic necessity of ending our enemies at the root.

      We did so successfully. Furthermore, conventional wisdom holds that we defeated the soviets by holding a hard line and not compromising or changing our stance, and we’ve seen a great deal of victory with a maximalist foreign policy strategy.

      Our past two victories came with such a strategy against much more powerful opponents.

      Think of a rich businessman who rightly got a deal from two very successful opponents but is now facing a muh poorer and weaker one. Why would he change his strategy? Aespecially when you consider that there’s a moral component about taking a stand and expecting others to meet your standard.

      PF Khans

  2. It seems like so many people in the US today lack even a basic curiosity about what their supposed enemies actually want out of each supposed conflict, and instead they seem to believe that entire nations, races, and religions are the moral equivalents of a cartoon antagonist motivated by nothing more than belligerence for its own sake.

    Sun Tzu said “If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.” In its recent conflicts, has the US even understood its own motivations, let alone those of its adversaries?

    1. “It seems like so many people in the US today lack even a basic curiosity about what their supposed enemies actually want out of each supposed conflict, and instead they seem to believe that entire nations, races, and religions are the moral equivalents of a cartoon antagonist motivated by nothing more than belligerence for its own sake.”

      Along with the deep institutional rot that it demonstrated, this was the single most dismaying aspect of our glorious adventure in Iraq. The Bush/Cheney gang ran their (really rather amateurish) Big Lie campaign at a time when it was never easier to consult a galaxy of informed commentary. Anybody with the dimmest ember of curiosity could see what, say, the Pakistani newspapers, or any university’s Middle Eastern Studies department had to say about today’s Big Lie. There was never anything close to a Ministry-of-Truth-style monopoly of loudspeakers and telescreens. Made no difference. Even when they were being fed blatant horseshit about cost-free war, a solid majority of Americans were Good Germans. Much as I’d love to believe that the 2004 election turned on vote-rigging, I’m afraid that the results were completely legit — more than half of our freedom-loving fellow citizens wanted more of the same.

      About “belligerence for its own sake”: In my lifetime, NO state has gone to war as often or as arbitrarily as the one I live in. There seem to be millions of Americans who have a positive psychological **need** for an enemy, any enemy. There’s an abundance of highly influential institutions always jostling to pump up “The Threat”, whatever it is this evening. Throw in our hypertrophied arsenal, and I don’t think there’s any doubt that the biggest threat to peace in the world now is America.

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