Skip to comments.James Baker Works to Establish Direct USA - Iran Diplomatic Ties
Posted on 01/30/2007 12:07:06 AM PST by FARS
MUST READ - James Baker Works to Establish Direct Diplomatic USA - Iran Ties
Former US Secretary of State Baker Attempts to Bypass Bush White House on Iran
Defense & Foreign Affairs
Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS.
Former US Secretary of State James Baker, who co-chaired the recent US Iraq Study Group the main recommendations of which were rejected by the George W. Bush Administration is working indirectly and behind the scenes to bring about direct diplomatic ties between the US and Iran.
This is in defiance of Bush White House policy which essentially has said that encouraging direct negotiations with the Iranian clerical leaders would legitimize and strengthen the power of the Iranian mullahs, making it more difficult for Irans secular opposition to bring about democratic change in the country.
The visit on January 25-26, 2007, to Tehran by the Secretary-General of the Saudi National Security Council, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, for talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani on the critical situation in Lebanon was, in fact, to scope out a more broadly-based resolution to the Iran-US impasse along the lines of the so-called Baker Plan devised by the Iraq Study Group.
The Iraq Study Group recommendations had already been discounted and discarded by the George W. Bush White House, but the Bandar maneuver with Ali Larijani is an attempt to sidestep that in order to resume the process of US recognition of the clerical leadership in Iran.
The move highlights not only the ongoing Baker-Bandar link which has been close on a financial and personal basis for decades but also the growing power of Prince Bandar, the former Saudi Ambassador to the US and son of the Saudi Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz al Saud.
Prince Bandar in December 2006 caused to have removed his successor as Saudi Ambassador to the United States, former Director General of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID) Prince Turki al-Faisal, who he apparently saw as a rival.
Although Prince Bandars father is in line to succeed to the Throne, there have been recent suggestions that his father could with the passing of King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz al Saud (should Sultan outlive him; they are both of similar ages) step aside and push Bandar as the candidate to be the next King.
Moreover, Prince Bandars power in the Saudi structure is now such that suggestions that he replace Prince Saud al-Faisal bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud as Foreign Minister are privately being sneered at as being beneath Prince Bandars power level.
The Bandar-Larijani talks, then, should be seen in the light of Bandars power and ambition, and in light of Bandars close personal connection with James Baker.
The talks between Bandar and Larijani, thus, gave Larijani, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), and the Iranian clerical leadership considerable optimism that they could circumvent the public position of US Pres. George W. Bush by working with Baker through Bandar and with the Democratic Party leadership in the US Congress.
It seemed equally clear following initial talks between Bandar and Larijani that the Iranian official felt himself to be confident of his knowledge as to strategic approaches by the Bush White House with regard to Iran.
Although the January 26, 2007, talks in Tehran were ostensibly primarily related to the developing crisis in Lebanon, it was apparent that talks on the US-Iranian framework both incorporated and transcended the Lebanon issue. But it was the crisis in Beirut which provided the ostensible cause for the developing round of talks between Bandar and Larijani.
Larinjani had delivered a message to Saudi King Abdallah on January 14, 2007, precipitating the visit by Bandar to Tehran where he met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei on January 25, 2007, before meeting at length next day with Larijani.
It was clear that Bandars contacts in Tehran excluded Pres. Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad, who is now in open dispute with the Supreme Leader. [Saudi-Iranian links also took place in late January 2007 at the level of foreign ministers, between Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.]
Indeed, as an aside, the growing Baker/Bandar/Sultan links with the Khamenei/Larijani links gives an implied boost to the position currently informal of former Iranian Pres. Ali Hashemi-Rafsanjani, now being projected as a moderate cleric, as opposed to the radical position of Ahmadi-Nejad.
Iranian secular opposition and military figures believe that this characterization suits the Baker approach in the US, but disguises the fact that Rafsanjani is, in reality, no moderate, but is being portrayed in that light in comparison with the current President.
Iranian sources said that offering up Rafsanjani as a leadership alternative to Ahmadi-Nejad could be portrayed in the West as a dampening down of Iranian anti-US strategic ambitions, although this was not the case: Rafsanjani has traditionally been one of the principal supporters of the use of terrorists as a proxy weapon against the West, and of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, much of which he pioneered.
The Iranians, for their part, made little or no pretence on January 26, 2007, that the Tehran talks were about Lebanon, citing almost exclusively the common areas of agreement on regional security with Saudi Arabia.
Not that Lebanon was excluded from the agenda. On the contrary, Iran used the consensus that the Bush Administration was incapable of stopping Tehrans strategic momentum in order to bring Saudi Arabia at least the Sultan-Bandar camp into Irans fold by offering it more access, for example, to the Syrian leadership.
Moreover, Larijanis visit to Beirut in late January 2006 gave evidence that he felt that Iran had absolutely succeeded in its strategies to dominate Lebanese politics and to assure the veto capability of its surrogate, HezbAllah, in Lebanese affairs.
Subsequently, Larijani also made it clear that he felt that the US could not through the United Nations stop Iranian plans for nuclear enrichment as part of Irans indigenous nuclear weapons program.
But it was Larijanis belief that he had insight into US strategies toward Iran which highlighted the strong probability that Bandar reflected conversations which he had earlier had with James Baker, in which Baker clearly alluded to White House positions.
Larijani denigrated the US position against Iran as being merely psychological warfare, and dismissed the likelihood of a military threat from the two US Navy carrier battle groups in the region.
Larijanis comments made it clear that he was aware that the White House favored a campaign of psychological operations against the Iranian clerics over the use of actual military force, the threat of which was ideally intended to be more symbolic.
Tehran was certainly proceeding with its power projection into Iraq and Lebanon based on this assumption, and was disregarding both the US and the United Nations accordingly.
However, although former Secretary of State Baker may have conveyed what he felt was the position of the Bush White House based on his privileged position as a close friend of the current Presidents father (former Pres. George H. W. Bush) and a colleague of the new US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, quite apart from his ongoing contacts in the State Dept. it is clear that both Pres. Bush and Vice-Pres. Richard Cheney are, in fact, losing patience with Baker for advocating Iraq and Iran policies so at odds with those of the White House.
Moreover, the moves by Pres. Bush to authorize attacks in Iraq on Iranian personnel essentially reversing a policy in place until a week or so earlier showed that the US Executive Branch could still maneuver in ways to surprise Baker, Bandar, and the Iranian clerics.
Is James Baker repeating Carter's stupidity with Khomeini?
Appears that way.
I wonder what/how the Saudi link will turn up to be?
Thanks for the ping.
Get a freakin' life, James Baker.
Hope springs eternal in your breast - and Iran's.
There is absolutely no point talking to someone who does not want to give up what they want. Nukes! With which to dominate the region and blackmail the world.
And if push comes to shove, use one or two of the half dozen they have already to "delete" Israel.
They want more because the six they have is like having six bullets in a revolver and then taking on a gang (the world community). You will take a half dozen down with you but then you are toast.
Also - to whom do you talk? There are suddenly (great!) several at odds schisms in the top clergy, each singing their own tune and refusing to hear any other.
Meanwhile there is the Hojatieh faction of Ahmadi-Nejad and ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who believe only death and destruction on a global scale will suffice to bring back their 12th Imam "Redeemer".
Want to talk to them? About what? They are hell bent on total destruction - Armageddon and Apocalypse.
Intended as tongue in cheek. Sorry.
Certainly looks that way.
Ahmadinejad ain't interested in talking with the west. The west wants to divert a crisis in the Middle East, and Ahmadinejad wants to build his nukes.
It can't get any plainer than that.
Baker is operating in direct conflict with and therefore seriously undermining US foreign policy.
That's simply not acceptable.
Baker is an idiot.
Baker is a moron just like Carter
That is what I want to know. Why aren't some of these people told to stand down or be denied entry back into the USA?
These 'shadow government' pretenders have to be stopped...
Talk about your global dictator.
If the author's conclusions are accurate- this is breathtaking. James Baker is deliberately underminging the authority of the president..
Why shouldnt James Baker undermine the President??
Everyone else is.
Kerry, Kennedy ,Pelosi, Murtha, Biden,Bill Clinton , Hillary, Jesse Jackson, Cindy Sheehan, many more ,have been to see foreign agents without US permission.
It seems they all think they know more about Foreign relations than the President.
He and our Justice Department do nothing about it , so others like baker may as well take a shot too,.
Gimme another spike - I need my oil fix.
James Baker has been the chief fixer and consigliere of the Bush family for years. If he's doing this without direct instruction from the president, I'll eat my hat... without salt.
Somebody has to be prepared to ask for their surrender AFTER THEY'RE NUKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Â§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
The Logan Act is THE definitive law on how American citizens are to conduct themselves when in contact with any foreign government.
Unfortunately, it is seldom if EVER enforced.
It could have been cited as a reason to arrest and convict one John F'in Kerry in 1971 after his illegal negotiations with the Communists in Paris, negotiations made with the full knowledge that they were not authorized by, nor were they condoned by, the United States Government.
As for our latter day Arabist James Baker, using the logic I've seen thus far in this thread, there seems to be the idea that it "never hurts" to talk to our enemies.
That is true under normal conditions.
The global jihad we are facing, supported, encouraged, and in many cases underwritten by the regime in Iran, does NOT constitute normal conditions.
The leadership in Tehran is in the grip of an ideology that is far more extreme than anything that we might have faced in the dictatorial regimes of the past like Nazi Germany, militarist Japan, or the Soviet Union. The jihadist mindset is one which believes in, and will accept, only ONE outcome which is the wholesale conversion of all infidels (that's you and me folks) to Islam, or the killing of all who will not bow to 'allah'.
Unlike the Shah of Iran who was a strong U.S. ally, the little runt running Iran now (Ahmanutjob) has threatened to exterminate Israel AND the United States, they are hell bent on obtaining a nuclear capability and only an utter fool and/or knave (like the aforementioned John F'in Traitor) believes otherwise.
Baker is either as naive a fool as Jimmy Carter, or he's been bought and paid for with Arab money. His illustrious Iraq Surrender Group was a total waste of time and effort, the bottom line of that empty-cranium-storming (because there was no 'brain' to storm) is that the United States should basically get the F outta Dodge (Iraq), leave the Iraqi people to their own devices, and watch the chaos from a safe distance.(you know, basically what Bush #41 did by not supporting Kurdish rebels and other groups who wanted to overthrow Saddam at the end of the Gulf War).
If Baker is acting on the authorization of the President of the United States, shame on both him AND George Walker Bush.
If Baker is NOT acting with authorization from our Government, he should be arrested and tried under the Logan Act.
But that would require much more in the way of gravitas that I suspect exists right now in Washington D.C.
Good article and comments, FARS. Baker is no fool, and IMHO, is solidly in the Bush camp. He knows that the Iranian clergy are skillfull liars, and therefore knows that little or nothing will be gained by 'talking' with them.
But the act or appearance of dialogue with them shows the world that at least we're trying.
It takes time to build all the necessary 'Underground-Testing-Nukes' that we'll need to really finish-off their deep-bunker facilities. Maybe another month or so.
Stay well ........... FRegards
As recently as two years ago Bush I has touted the Madrid/Oslo process as one of the great accomplishments of his Presidency. The man who resurrected Arafat from exile in Libya to lead the palestinian people doesn't need to emulate Carters stupidity, he's got plenty of his own.
As I note on occasion, James Baker has no business anywhere near US foreign relations, other than as a Saudi lobbyist perhaps, while still a managing partner of Baker-Botts, his law firm with extensive interests in the region.
People change, Zero, people change.
The way I see it; this will only accelerate the need to bomb Iran sooner than later.
Regionally, Iran will NEVER quit supporting:
1- Hezbollah and Syria overthrowing the Lebanese government,
2- Hamas take over in Gaza and linking up with Hezbollah
3- Sadr's Mahdi army and swallowing Iraq whole
Internationally, Iran will carry on supporting the fight against the West protected by a nuclear umbrella.
How can Baker think that he can "negotiate" with a man who talks to a well? Is Baker attempting to bring in the well and expand it to three-way talks?
Iran is playing for time, a short time, and that can't be tolerated, especially with the RATs controlling Congress and threatening to take the Presidency in '08.
President Bush and the US can't afford for Baker's gambit.
can't afford for Baker's gambit.
can't afford to wait for Baker's gambit.
Interesting. It sounds like a plan to camouflage what's coming, hopefully.
My guess is that it is related to this snippet of an article that I read earlier tonight:
The Anti-War Movement
The United States has a growing antiwar movement. If one looks under the covers we find that that this movement had its origins in the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance following the Gulf War of 2003.
Today, U.S. military deserters are going to Canada where a small group is growing. Once across the border, a network of Vietnam War-era draft evaders meets them, Quakers and anti-war activists, who are waiting with lawyers, free housing, job offers and organic groceries.
A described in Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist-Islamist Alliance, on December 13 and 14, 2003, activist delegates from the West and the Middle East joined at a conference in Cairo to exchange ideas and debate plans for actions. The second Cairo Conference against Capitalist Globalization and U.S. Hegemony brought together anti-war activists from across the world. The conference discussed how best to support the Iraqi and Palestinian resistance movements and how to challenge the United States drive for power. (The third Cairo Conference took place March 24 to 27, 2005, sponsored by the Stop-the-War Coalition.)
As the news of Saddam Husseins capture spread, delegates reaffirmed their support for the Iraqi resistance to continue against the U.S. occupation. Hamdeen Sabahy, an Egyptian M.P., said, The resistance in Iraq is not based on Saddam Hussein. It will continue after Saddam Hussein. It is there because there is an occupation. As long as there is an American occupation, there will be resistance.
This was much bigger than the 2002 conference, attended by four hundred people. Left-wing groups, Arab nationalist groups, and the Muslim Brotherhood organized the conference. It was supported by a number of trade unions.
In the opening session, John Rees from the Stop-the-War Coalition in Britain received loud applause when he said: We stopped George Bush from launching his re-election campaign in London last month. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people poured onto the streets. People have come from Britain in solidarity with you. This is not merely because we sympathize with your struggle, and that of Iraq and Palestine. We come because your struggle is our struggle; your enemy is our enemy. In the last year we have created an international mass movement. We will not let the rule of profit and arms destroy our world. Only ordinary people can stop the political elites.
The chemistry between the conferences left wing and Islamic currents was a revelation to many. Making a rare appearance in such a socialist-oriented gathering, Mamoun El- Hodeibi, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhoods supreme guide, spoke at the opening session. Slamming the authoritative imperialist and aggressive capitalist systems, Hodeibi hailed the new [anti-globalization] global movement.
Since this conference the Muslim Brotherhood achieved significant victories in Egypt through the election process.
Stop-the-Wars Yakoub described the anti-war movement as a bridge between East and West. From Cairo to Birmingham, Muslim and Jew, we have more in common than we have differences, and its unity that gives us the potential to be the other superpower. British M.P., George Galloway called the conference itself a bridge between East and West. Across the bridge, in two-way traffic, should come experience and support. We learn from here and here will learn from us.
Sona Allh Ibrahim, a famous Egyptian writer who turned down a major award recently in protest at the Egyptian government, also addressed the conference. Other speakers included former Labour M.P. Tony Benn, former United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Denis Halliday, Salma Yaqoob from Britain and Ramsey Clark, former U.S. attorney general. The Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance was in full attendance.
The conference released the second Cairo declaration, calling for opposition to capitalist globalization and U.S. power. It also urged support for the Iraqi resistance and the Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation.
Ashraf El Bayoumi was one of the organizers. He is a campaigner based in Egypt who was arrested recently for joining an anti-war protest. He spoke to Socialist Workers about the importance of the event. The conference came from the belief that imperialist globalization must be met with peoples mobilization. The people who attended the conference in 2002, especially those who were invited to speak, gave an anti-imperialist flavor to the conference. There were some professors and academics who were irritated by the injustice in Iraq and Palestine, such as Thomas Nagy, a professor at George Washington University.
The Al-Ahram Weekly gave a picture of the events of the third international Cairo Anti-War Conference held March 24-27, 2005.
Perhaps it was not totally ironic that the third international Cairo Anti-War Conference ended on the same day that dozens of members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood were arrested for organizing a peaceful protest calling for constitutional reforms and the lifting of Egypt's 24-year-old state of emergency. For four days, almost 1,000 Egyptian, Arab and international activists representing anti-war and anti- globalization movements, had been arguing that the liberation of Palestine and Iraq should start with changing undemocratic regimes in the Arab world.
Activists from Islamist, secular, communist and socialist currents from across the globe sat together sharing their views, and absorbed in friendly conversation.
According to comparative literature professor, Abdel-Wahab El-Missiri, the author of many works on Zionism and Jewish thought, globalization is no more than a U.S. dynamic for hegemony. Globalization reduces people into consumptive beings with no identity or history, El-Missiri told the Weekly. It is no wonder that the proponents of globalization are also those who invaded Pakistan and Iraq, and blindly support the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
That rhetoric provided a new dimension to resistance in Iraq and Palestine as the front-line of fighting against imperialism and globalization.
According to John Rose, author of Myths of Zionism, the Palestinian flag has come to symbolize the dispossession of the poor peoples of the world.
The flag adorns the great anti-globalization and anti-war mass demonstrations on every continent, Rose said.
The general mood of the conference was one of defiance, where passionate speeches inspired a general spirit of hope and enthusiasm. John Rees, from the U.K.-based Stop-the-War Coalition, boasted of the fact that the global anti-war movement had forced many countries, including Holland, Poland, Hungary and Spainand perhaps now Italyto withdraw their troops from Iraq.
But there was also general consensus that resistance was the only way to liberate Palestine and Iraq. Most delegates seemed to share Galloways opinion that U.S. troops in Iraq would be destroyed between the hammer of the anti-war movement and the anvil of resistance.
Sheikh Hassan al-Zorqani, of the Sadri Shia resistance movement in Iraq, told the Weekly that the Iraqi resistance still has a long way to go before it liberates Iraq. He expressed enthusiasm, however, that the conference gives him a platform to clear misconceptions about resistance.
The conference again demonstrated the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance.
Take up the dumb-ass burden
And join with the
They'll show them oil
And leave them soiled
Defiled by their greed
Take up the dumb-ass burden
And join with the
They'll show them oil
And leave them soiled
Defiled by their greed
And where was Khomeini hiding? France, see the connection?
Thanks for the ping!
I wish it would happen today!!
Baker loves anyone who hates the Jooooos.
Two-tracks, hard cop/soft cop; all with an eye on the 2008 election.
I bet he's making a whole lot more money by being a moron than (even) Carter has/is/wlll.
Baker's shilling for the Saudis'
More like hard cop/corrupt cop in Baker's case.
Azerbaijan has formal involvement with James Baker as he serves on the Honorary Council of Advisers for the U.S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce
Caspian oil also is central to the Clinton administration's internal debate over U.S. relations with Tehran. Some American oil companies view Iran as the cheapest, fastest exit route for Caspian oil; that's counter to other interests and Clinton administration policy favoring continued U.S. government efforts to isolate the Islamic state.
Baker, Iran's best PR man.
James Baker is an a..
"visit by Bandar to Tehran where he met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei on January 25, 2007, before meeting at length next day with Larijani."
I thought you said Khameinie was dead?
Did Pakistan perfect nuclear technology while the west was fawning over their 'progressive' female led government of the time? Does the re-elevation of Rafshani ring any bells. Were we sent Ahmadinejad to make us all relieved when the good cop showed up? This is a set up, a cover for buying time, nothing more, nothing less.