The US Congress has approved new unilateral sanctions on Iran hours before P5+1 talks are to be held to affect the ability of the White House to build cooperation in talks.
Press TV has interviewed Mark Glen from the Crescent and Cross Solidarity movement, Idaho, about the unbalanced influence Israel has over the US Congress that has spearheaded the recent increase in illegal sanctions against Iran. What follows is a rough transcript of the interview.
Speaking about the move that has been made by the US Senate just hours before the talks are to start in Baghdad between Iran and the P5+1 group. What do you think this move showing sanctions being approved - another round of unilateral US sanctions… Is this meant to affect the atmosphere of the talks?
Well, of course it is. But we also have to keep in mind that we have various diverse interests involved in this.
The Congress in the US is Israeli-controlled territory; there is no question about that. If Congress had its way we would have been at war with Iran and at least a dozen other Islamic countries already.
The White House on the other hand obviously given the fact that they are participating in negotiations and they are not as keen to go to war as the US Congress is… really what it indicates to me is that… The principal sponsor of this legislation is of course Mark Kirk who is firmly in the back pocket of Israel… and what this is meant to do is to undermine the Obama administration's ability to work out some type of agreement with the Iranians short of going to war.
So I think this is the realistic approach that we have to take in understanding what has taken place. As I've said, you have Congress, which is firmly held on a leash by Israel and then you have the Obama administration that at least has some recalcitrant and some independent thought.
What is concerning here in Iran and has been voiced by officials is whether the US is actually serious in reaching any kind of conclusion or agreement with Iran by participating in these talks.
For instance, we saw earlier on, and Iranians are bringing that issue a lot here, that when the Tehran declaration for instance was agreed upon by Iran Turkey and Brazil, the US effectively torpedoed that effort and was totally against it - that was about of course, sending uranium to a third country to be enriched, but against the US voted against that move and effectively made it not happen.
So, how serious do you think the US is in reaching a deal or agreement with Tehran?
I think that the most important thing for the US right now is to avoid going to war and when I say the United States, obviously there are other players who would like to see the US at war with Iran, certainly the neo-cons and certainly a good portion of the US Congress, but I think the Obama's administration obviously is not interested in going to war against Iran.
I think Obama and the people who are behind him would rather see Iran fall into the kind of chaos and disarray that we have seen taking place in the last year in these various Arab countries; certainly with what is taking place in Syria now.
It’s just too expensive right now for the US both in terms of money and man power and world opinion. We have suffered a terrible blow to our image around the world as a result of allowing this little dictator …[entity] known as Israel to push us into going to war against Iraq and Afghanistan.
So I think at this point the Obama administration, its first priority is to avoid going to war with Iran for the various reasons I just mentioned.
As far as these negotiations that are taking place and whether or not the US is serious about them, I think the other factor that we have to put into this is that the US is being pulled in several different directions.
The president has got these organized Jewish groups breathing down his neck and screaming in his face for war with Iran; they're threatening him during an election year that he's not going to be reelected if he doesn't play ball with them; at the same time he understands that launching any kind of military adventures against Iran would be disastrous for the country.
So he is being pulled in several different directions here, so if his administration appears to be taking on policies that appear to be contradictory to each other I think that this is the best explanation for it.
I think that they don't know exactly what to do at this point other than to do whatever is necessary to avoid widening an already disastrous military conflagration that we’re already in.