Originally published at Truthout
Last week, Brazilian President Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Erdogan announced a breakthrough agreement on the Iranian nuclear impasse that they claimed would make further sanctions on Iran "unnecessary." The agreement, accepted by Iran, was immediately rejected by the US and its European allies, who chose instead to continue the three-decade long US effort to strangle and isolate Iran by all means available. In what Graham Fuller, a top-ranking former intel official, called "a stunningly insulting response," Hillary Clinton proudly announced consensus for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran days later, which she called "as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken in Iran in the past few days as any we could provide."
With multiple aircraft carrier battlegroups right off Iran's coast and threats of attack emanating from Washington and Tel Aviv on a regular basis, the US is literally demanding at gunpoint that Iran surrender a large portion of its enriched uranium in exchange for delivery of nuclear fuel for its reactors to be supplied by Europe or Russia and cease all enrichment activities at once. Meanwhile, Iran has insisted that it cannot trust the West after decades of aggressive and hostile US policies - including the overthrow of Iran's democratically-elected government in 1953 - and that, consequently, the uranium should be exchanged on Iranian territory and only after it receives the nuclear fuel. Under the Lula-Erdogan agreement, the swap would take place on Turkish soil under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).