Belmont Club

Dig Amigo

Although the recent draft nuclear pact is often called the P5+1 agreement with Iran, it is to a large extent  an agreement between the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany, and the European Union)  themselves.   It sets out what the sanctions enforcers will not do, contingent on certain behavior by Iran.   If this were a movie the scene would would involve the Man with No Name and Tuco:


Man with No Name: Drop your gun and I’ll tell where the hundred billion dollars is buried. Then you can buy what you want from Vlad and Xi there, and mebbee from me. The only catch is you’re not allowed to buy the same kind of gun that you dropped.

Tuco: Tell me amigo, why are you doing this?

Man with No Name: ‘Cause you’re the only guy who can legally spend it.  And me and my partners here, let’s say that we think we can do business.

Tuco: Once I get the hundred billion in gold, then you don’t own me no more. With that kind of money, I will own you!!

Man with No Name: I never thought of that before.

Tuco: Too late amigo, I dropped my gun. You should have thought faster. Now you gotta let me go. You promised. And remember.  A gringo’s promise is a promise.

Once he drops the gun, the P5+1 group is bound by the agreement more strongly than Tuco.  And those bonds will grow even stronger once the bandido starts buying supplies from members of the coalition with the gold.  The frozen assets were a piggy bank just waiting to be busted open, as Defense News notes:

ABU DHABI — Arabian Gulf countries are closely watching Iran’s anticipated re-integration into the international community as it may develop into a Russian-Chinese-Western battleground for arms sales, regional experts said.

Since the announcement of the Lausanne agreement, Russia has lifted its weapons exports ban to Iran and announced it will supply the S-300 missile system purchased in 2010.

And on April 5, the head of the Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce, Asadollah Asgaroladi, announced that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Iran in the “near future,” according to the Fars press agency.


Then it won’t be “Tuco” anymore, but Señor Tuco. And it won’t simply just be Christmas in July for the arms manufacturer either. The Associated Press writes, “After nuke deal, Iran may splurge on new Boeing planes”.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s president has pointed to another possible windfall from the nuclear deal with world powers – his country may soon be able to buy badly needed new planes for its aging fleet, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran’s Transportation Minister Abbas Akhoundi has said there have been talks with Boeing and Airbus and that initial agreements will likely come in a few months’ time.

“We will provide new aircraft for Iran,” Akhoundi said.

Last month at the Paris Air Show, Akhoundi said Iran was prepared to spend about $20 billion to purchase about 400 new planes over the next decade.

There’ll be a lot riding on that agreement, a lot of money that is when Iran walks away after “dropping” its weapon to dig up the gold, The Man with No Name won’t shoot — and Congress can’t make him either, not if any of the Congressmen’s supporters want a share of the loot. The Christian Science Monitor reports that Saudi Arabia is reaching for leather before Iran can get out of range.

Nuclear deal: Saudis signal they’ll act before Iran gets the money. The prospect of a big payday for its regional rival, Iran, is spurring Saudi Arabia to a quicker plan of action on Yemen and Syria, officials and analysts say. …

The nuclear deal that will lift tough sanctions on Iran is mobilizing Saudi Arabia to turn the tide against its regional rival in Yemen and Syria before it makes an economic recovery, military officials and analysts say.

According to the sources, the military component of the Saudi offensive will include the use of special forces on the ground in Yemen, and a potentially widened use of Saudi and allied Sunni air power in Syria.


The bandido is rapidly opening the range. Why should the Saudis be worried? After all “sanctions relief would be gradual, Mr Obama said, with an arms embargo remaining in place for five years and an embargo on missiles for eight years.” But two powerful members of the P5+1, China and Russia, are already talking about arms sales to Iran under UN supervision.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, after a deal was reached on curbing Iran’s nuclear programme, that arms deliveries to Tehran will be possible if approved by the United Nations Security Council.

He also said Russia was counting on the United States carrying out a promise, which he said it had made in 2009, not to deploy missile defence systems in Europe once a nuclear deal was reached with Iran.

Saying arms deliveries would be possible to Iran under certain conditions even before an arms embargo expires, he said in comments broadcast from Vienna by Russian television: “In the next five years deliveries of arms to Iran will be possible, under the conditions of the relevant procedures, notification and verification by the U.N. Security Council.”

The pixels aren’t even dry on the display and they’re nibbling away at the edges already. “UN Superivision” — there’s a word —  is like law enforcement by the Keystone Cops.  Everybody knows what that means.


If this were a movie, Vlad and Xi would already be taking off after Tuco crying, “wait, I’ll help you dig up the gold.”  Even Angela Eyes looks as if might join them in the Ecstasy of Gold but hesitates, looking at the Man with No Name, wondering if he will shoot.  But then Tuco yells,

Tuco: Don’t worry about the gringo firing his pistola, guapa. He ain’t fired that pistola since he was elected.  It ain’t even loaded. Listen, if he didn’t shoot me, he won’t shoot you either. Besides, he needs your approval to reimpose the “snapback sanctions”, your OK to pull the trigger. You planning to stop yourself?

Man with No Name: I’ll ask Congress to cancel the deal.

Tuco: Congress. Who needs your stinking Congress?  It’s the UN that does the deciding. You said so yourself.

Man with No Name: Why you …I’ll …

Tuco: Too bad gringo. Dig. We’ll be back later to bury you after we have a drink at the cantina. You see in this world there are two kinds of people.  The guys who spend the gold and those who are waiting for some of it to dribble their way. Adios, amigo.

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