When and why did the United States policy of containment of Iran come about? How did it evolve? Where is it going?
Much has been said about the US policy of dual containment, particularly as it pertains to Iraq. However, there has been little in-depth analysis of this policy when it comes to Iran.
Sasan Fayazmanesh explores this often neglected subject by analyzing the history of this policy. The analysis includes the role that the Carter and Reagan Administrations played in the Iran-Iraq war, the numerous sanctions imposed on Iran by the Clinton Administration and the aggressive and confrontational policy toward Iran adopted by the George W. Bush Administration after the events of September 11, 2001.
This topical read synthesises a range of primary sources, including firsthand reports, newspaper articles and electronic media, and presents a coherent analysis of the ebbs and flows in the US thinking on Iran and Iraq.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. On the Origins of the Dual Containment Policy 2.1 The freeze of 1979 2.2. US giving the green light to Saddam Hussein to invade Iran 2.3 Overthrowing the Iranian Government and warming up to Saddam Hussein 2.4 Linking the threat of war to the hostages 2.5 Pox on both houses: The beginning of the dual containment policy 3. The Dual Containment Policy in the 1980s 3.1 Saddam Hussein’s "new, powerful secret weapon" 3.2 The Rumsfeld affair 3.3 The events of the early 1980s viewed in the early 2000s 3.4 The undeclared American war to save Saddam 3.5 USS Vincennes affair 3.6 Iran accepts the UN ceasefire 3.7 Playing both sides: pox on both houses 3.8 Moving against Saddam Hussein 4. Israel and the Dual Containment Policy 4.1 The Revolution of 1979: When the party is over 4.2 Israel, the Iran-Iraq war and Iran-Contra affair 4.3 A different game for Iran: Martin Indyk and the Washington Institute 4.4 AIPAC and the three "misbehaviors" of Iran 5. The Clinton Years and the Dual Containment Policy 5.1 Sanctions and more sanctions: Who is more loyal to Israel and hostile to Iran? 5.2 Strange bedfellows: MEK, US, Israel and Saddam Hussein 5.3 Enters the corporate lobby 5.4 The Corporate wind blows faster: the second half of the Clinton years 6. The "Neoconservatives," Dual Rollback and Israel 6.1 9/11 & the containment of Iraq 6.2 The new administration, AIPAC and renewal of ILSA 6.3 9/11, the courtship dance and the spoiler 6.4 The puzzling Karine-A affair 6.5 The "axis of evil" speech 6.6 Israel, "neoconservatives" and Iran 7. Pushing Iran to the Top of the "To Do" List 7.1 The MEK, its "revelation" and the Israeli connection 7.2 On the origin of Iran’s nuclear program 7.3 Earliest reports of the Iranian bomb 7.4 The guessing game and more "revelations" 7.5 More guessing game and the "revelation" 8. Paving the Road to the UN Security Council 8.1 The need for a smoking gun 8.2 Psychological warfare 8.3 Additional Protocol, EU 3, the war drum and the call for UN sanctions 8.4 The source of contamination, IAEA report and the smoking gun 8.5 The MEK, "neoconservatives" and Iran’s complicity in Iraq insurgency 8.6 Existential threat to Israel and the IAEA 8.7 Pressure mounts for referring Iran to the Security Council 8.8 The spy network 8.9 The case of Lavisan-Shian: A smoking gun? 8.10 The case of Parchin: Another smoking gun? 8.11 The Paris Agreement 8.12 Another IAEA resolution, Parchin and the attempt to remove ElBaradei 9. Iran is Referred to the Security Council 9.1 The "carrot and stick" policy 9.2 Another AIPAC policy conference focusing on Iran 9.3 Iran’s reaction to "carrot and stick" policy and the Iranian Presidential election 9.4 The end of the Paris Agreement 9.5 More forecasts about the Iranian nuclear bomb 9.6 Another IAEA report, Parchin and the Resolution of September 2005 9.7 Ahmadinejad and "wiping Israel off the map" 9.8 Parchin again and the mysterious laptop 9.9. The Russian "compromise" and its opponents 9.10 The final push for UN sanctions 9.11 The IAEA "update" and the full report 9.12 Iran’s referral to the Security Council 10. On the Road to UN Sanctions 10.1 Bringing democracy to Iran and the US public opinion 10.2 Another "largest ever" AIPAC conference 10.3 Rejection of another comprise solution and the first Security Council draft 10.4 The push for Chapter 7 resolution and threat of war 10.5 Another IAEA report, the alleged hidden program and ElBaradie’s plea 10.6 Iran, Nazi Germany and the yellow insignia 10.7 A new US strategy, the "carrot-and-stick" package 10.8 More sticks than carrots: Financial sanctions 10.9 Iran’s response to the "carrot and Stick" package and the August 22 deadline 10.10 UN Security Council Resolution 1696 10.11 Iran’s August 22 response to the "carrot and stick" package 10.12 US response: more sticks 11. Success at Last, UN Sanctions Imposed on Iran 11.1 No compromise, only sanctions 11.2 On the Israeli front 11.3 Almost there: Draft of UN Sanctions circulates 11.4 War drums beating before the UN resolution 11.5 Resolution 1737, the crown jewel of Iran containment 11.6 US’s proactive acts post Resolution 1737 11.7 Thinking beyond Bush and the 2007 Herzliya Conference 11.8 War or no war? 11.9 Another IAEA report, fabricated US intelligence and the laptop story 11.10 The US pushing for a second set of UN sanctions 11.11 Israel, another AIPAC conference and the second set of UN sanctions 11.12 Success again, UN Resolution 1747 12. Conclusion
Sasan Fayazmanesh is Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Middle East Studies Project at California State University, Fresno, USA. His current areas of research include the political economy of the Middle East and monetary history and theory.
'Fayazmanesh has done an admirable job of examining the origin of the US policy dual containment. Recommended. All readership levels.' - K.M.Zaarour, Shaw University, Choice, June 2009