Gareth Porter

The US and Iran

[audio:http://awr.dissentradio.com/08_12_15porter.mp3]

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist, discusses his recent visit to Iran to determine the receptivity of government officials to U.S. diplomatic overtures, the divide in Iranian opinion over Obama, how U.S. interference abroad allows defiant nationalistic governments stay in power, Obama’s potential to learn from his foreign policy mistakes despite the influence of hawkish advisers and how Iran’s increased regional influence and friendly relations with Iraq make nuclear weapons less likely.

MP3 here. (44:17)

Dr. Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on U.S. national security policy. Porter is the author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. He has written regularly for Inter Press Service on U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran since 2005. His articles also appear on RawStory.com and the Huffington Post.

20 thoughts on “Gareth Porter”

  1. Obama said that Iran should be barred from importing gasoline. That doesn´t make sense because it´s a Declaration of War as Ron Paul pointed out. But maybe he only said that because of the campaign and he doesn´t really mean it ???

  2. Hey, Scott, this is Gareth Porter you are interviewing, remember. Stop interrupting him. You did it at least three times!

  3. Technically, Iran’s present arrangement is not a “defiant nationalistic government”, it is a ‘conniving theocratic government’. They are the first country to shell-game their way into an empire.

  4. Now that I’ve actually listened to this interview, a couple more points occured to me.

    First, what exactly makes Mahmoud Ahmedinejad a “right-winger” while Ayatollah Rafsanjani is characterized as a “reformer”. Maybe Ayatollah Khatami can get away with the reformer tag, but look at what Rafsanjani actually is; a banker, a friend of Marc Rich, a financier of deals in oil, weapons and heroin for decades that have made him one of the wealthiest men in the country. He is also, obviously now, a high ranking cleric, one of the original members of the reactionary clique around the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and a political manipulator and fixer ‘par excellence’. If you are both a plutocrat and a theocrat, and the real power behind the democratic facade of Iran’s government, how much more “right-wing” can you get?

    President Ahmedinejad is himself a tool of the same theocratic/plutocratic elite that filled the Shah’s shoes in 1979, but at least one can say in his defense that Mahmoud is not actually ultra-wealthy, not actually a member of the clegy or a permanent member of the elite class. And supposedly he owes his electoral appeal to the lower classes, so I’d say that he is what passes for a populist in the present context of Iran.

    Finally, your historical revisionism of the Iran-Iraq War may need some revising. The bulk of that war was fought in Iraq, not in Iran. Invasions of Iraq wre launched from every sector of the Iranian border, and Basra faced at least one major Iranian offensive against it nearly every year of that long struggle. The “thousands” of Iranians killed by Iraqi chemical weapons during that conflict were overwhelmingly Iranian soldiers killed inside of Iraq. Incidentally, Iran also used chemical weapons during the war, and was cited and condemned by the UN for it. The aforemenetioned Rafsanjani boasted to Andrew Cordesman about the relative effectivenesss of Iran’s chemical weapons, compared to Iraq’s.

    Khomeini could have ended the fighting on terms favorable to Iran in 1982, or at any point thereafter. If the arms embargo on Iran had worked the war would have ended much earlier, but mysteriously, Iran’s huge fleet of American made warplanes somehow kept finding American made ordinance and spare parts to keep themselves 70% operational. How many billions of dollars does it cost to keep the largest non-American American-made combat fleet in combat operations for eight years? I don’t know, but enough to make Marc Rich a multi-billionaire.

  5. The Cold War ended in 1991. Proof of Israel’s policy of eliminating regional opponents before this date exists in the order of the Iran Contra affair.

    Was this just a basic error?

  6. Not to mention Israel’s policy named “Alliance of the Periphery”, dealt with in detail by Avi Shlaim in his book the Iron Wall. Shlaim more than adequately proves the existence of such a policy dating back to independence.

  7. Is Obama too far under the heel of the Zionist lobby is the question.
    Well look at his senate record. Not once did he challenge the lobby. He supported Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, called Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists organizations and threw Iran’s RNG in that group as well, etc.
    If any questions are left look at his cabinet with its super Zionist like Rahm Israel Emanuel, Dennis Ross, and so on. Further more Obama is a Zionist himself.

    The best thing Iran can do is involve as many European companies as possible to help build their nuclear energy. The more you share the pie the more safe you are.

    Everyone also needs to remember the president of Iran has about has much power as the queen does in England. He is a figure head. The Ayatollah has the real power.

    Iran has spent billions they are not going to stop enrichment. The US economy is imploding and the military is spread thin. Iran only has to wait. The US will take care of itself.

  8. According to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge-www.plrc.org-the Pentagon´s strategy for Nuclear War is a co-ordinated First Strike attack on Russian and chinese submarines and missile silos, command centres, bomber bases, etc. According to Bob Aldridge the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously. Please see the article by Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, “The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy”, in the 2006 March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. According to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge the US aims to achieve a disarming, unanswerable first-strike capability. The Russians may have no choice but Launch On Warning.

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