Iran Frees Americans as Sanctions Are Lifted, Frustrating Warmongers Around the World

Iran has freed four dual-nationality prisoners, including an American/Iranian pastor and an American/Iranian Washington Post reporter who had been accused of working for the U.S. to foment regime change in Iran. The release was part of a prisoner swap, in which seven Iranians imprisoned in the U.S. over sanction violations were also freed. A fifthAmerican was freed by Iran outside of the swap.

Within hours of the release, devastating international sanctions on Iran were lifted after international inspectors verified its compliance with the terms of last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers.

Taken together, the prisoner swap, Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-deal commitments, and the sanction relief mark what may be a historic thaw in relations between the U.S. and Iran. This, however, should not be exaggerated, as the U.S. continues many belligerent policies directed at Iran, especially in the realm of proxy warfare (see below).

The developments at least mark a short term political triumph for the chief negotiators of the nuclear deal: the administrations of U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani was elected on the basis of his campaign promise to negotiate detente with the U.S. and to accomplish economic relief from sanctions for the Iranian people. Parliamentary elections in Iran will be held late next month, making the lifting of the sanctions exceedingly well-timed for Rouhani’s political party.

Conversely, the thaw is a supreme setback to Rouhani’s political rivals, the hardliners in Iran who have strenuously opposed the nuclear deal.

The hardliners in the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia are certainly furious as well.

Israel strained to stop the nuclear deal, and has long pressed for escalation between the West and Iran, largely because of Iranian support for the militia Hezbollah, which has for decades successfully resisted Israeli incursions into Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia, which also opposed the deal, has, with American support, been waging a long sectarian proxy war against Shia Iran and what the extremist Sunni Saudis perceive as an “axis” of Iran-allied Shia powers. This war has included Saudi support for jihadis fighting in the U.S.-sponsored insurgency to overthrow the Iran-allied regime in Syria, and a U.S.-supported Saudi air war and starvation blockade of the desperately poor country of Yemen.

The hardliners in Washington, Tehran, Tel Aviv, and Riyadh must be especially frustrated, since just days ago they momentarily had what they thought was a surefire excuse to scupper the nuclear deal and escalate toward war. American military sailors had been detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard after they had, for some unknown reason, entered Iranian territorial waters. It is conceivable that military hardliners on both sides had engineered the encounter to sabotage the developing detente. But for all the efforts of neocons and the American corporate media to blow it up into a new “hostage crisis,” the incident dissolved into nothing as quickly as it appeared. The Obama administration quickly apologized for the encroachment and the Rouhani administration quickly released the sailors unharmed.

Then came the prisoner swap, followed by the implementation of the nuclear deal. Once lifted, sanctions will be much harder for hawks to reimpose than they were to maintain. And as Iran continues to free potentially belligerent Americans engaged in suspicious conduct within Iranian territory, it is becoming increasingly difficult for anti-Iran warmongers to paint its regime as an implacable serial aggressor, especially as compared to the extremely militant recent policies of the U.S.Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

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10 thoughts on “Iran Frees Americans as Sanctions Are Lifted, Frustrating Warmongers Around the World”

  1. Imagine an alternate reality where the Persian Empire has risen again.
    The US does not have nuclear weapons, Persia does.
    The US has been under economic sanctions for years now.
    Persia invaded Mexico and Cuba over a decade ago and still has a large military presence there.
    Persia conducts drone strikes in Canada from bases all over Canada and the Arctic.
    Persia regularly conducts large scale military exercises in the region, simulating the invasion of a "Large North American Country". Most of central and south America support their viewpoint thanks entirely to Persian largesse.
    The American diplomats and government have been hard at work trying to secure a deal which would see the economic sanctions lifted. It is hailed as a massive victory for the US, while Persian and Russian hardliners scream, vocalizing the desire to turn America into a failed state under the direction of a bunch of drunk Indians, rather than keep dealing with a bunch of religious fanatics in Cowboy Boots, etc, etc.

    Now imagine if two Persian military shallow water craft of Swedish manufacture were to end up being captured near Trumbo Point, FL, claiming they had mechanical issues or somehow got lost going from Cuba to Mexico.

    Would this have played out any different with the shoes on the other feet?
    I think some perspective would be nice for a change.

  2. Frustrated Warmongers. This is a rare and sweet moment in history where good triumphs against pure evil…for a change.

  3. I just love listening to these warmongers squeal like hungry pigs. Undoubtedly they’ll come up with some new talking points condemning Obama for apologizing to Iran. I hope not, but I do wonder if some military officers who oppose Obama were freelancing by sending those ships into Iranian waters, hoping for an international incident.

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