Trita Parsi Profile picture
21 Mar, 13 tweets, 3 min read
1. A crucial piece by @JessLee_DC on how anti-China rhetoric fuels violence against Asian-Americans.

In this thread, I add some of my own thoughts based on the Iranian-American experience.…
2. First of all, Jess is right in the sense that the heated anti-China not only doesn't advance US interest, it also pits Americans against each other here at home. It's a lose-lose.
3. Jess rightly argues that Biden’s condemnation of the murders in GA misses the mark because it fails to acknowledge that Washington’s over-the-top rhetoric on China fuels an atmosphere of fear and anxiety, which boomerangs in the form of violence against Asian Americans.
4. The reaction of many Asian American organizations will be to double-down on messaging how patriotic they are, the massive contributions they have made to America, and showcase their Asian American Hollywood stars to gain sympathy.
5. It's all very well-intended, but its impact will be marginal at best. The inescapable reality is that the well-being of most minorities in the US is directly related to the relations their ancestral countries have with America.
6. Once the relationship with Country Y deteriorates towards conflict, the minority in the US that descent from Y - and others that "look" like them - will face hard times. Discrimination will increase. As will violence.
7. No amount of "contributions to America" can reverse that because an atmosphere of fear against Y (and people from Y) will be created that, combined with over-heated anti-Y rhetoric from Washington, quickly will trump the contributions this minority has made to America.
8. In the atmosphere of fear, and later hatred, that will be created, logic has little relevance. Fighting that fear with logic will only get you so far.
9. This became very clear to us in the Iranian American community. Discrimination against Iranian-Americans closely tracked tensions in US-Iran relations, because the worse the tensions became, the worse the rhetoric got, and the worse the fearful and hateful atmosphere became.
10. Trump's #MuslimBan is a prime example. Trump truly wanted to ban ALL Muslims. But because of the US's relations w/ several Muslim states, including them would have caused a crisis. Trump certainly did not want to upset Saudi, though it produced 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists.
11. So he ended up with the ban geopolitics would ALLOW - meaning, it only included countries the US ALREADY had bad relations with. Had US-Iran relations been better, Iran would likely have been excluded. The contributions of Iranian-Americans to the US were of NO relevance...
12. @ellendwu's book The Color of Success provides further evidence of this, tracing the history of anti-Asian discrimination and its foreign policy roots.…
13. The conclusion for Asian-American organizations today should be clear:

The best way to fight anti-Asian discrimination is to promote RESPONSIBLE management of ties with Asian powers.

Tensions are at times inevitable. How we manage tensions, however, makes a big difference./

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More from @tparsi

28 Feb
/THREAD/ 1. Disturbing news that Iran has rejected the EU invitation for talks with the US re the JCPOA. This is a very negative and worrying development. It complicates matters further and risks jeopardizing the deal. But it is NOT surprising. Here’s why…
2. As I wrote yesterday in the @Guardian, the idea that Iran would talk directly with the US while the US continued implementing JCPOA-busting sanctions was tried by Trump for 3 years and didn’t work then, and it likely won’t work now.…
3. Don’t take my word for it. This is what Wendy Sherman - Trump’s Dep Secr. of State - said about it in 2019: I “would be shocked if Iran agreed to a meeting without some sanctions relief.” Sherman was right then and she is right now.>>
Read 18 tweets
28 Jan
So diplomacy on how to revive the #IranDeal seems to have hit a roadblock even before it began. Iran & the US are publically dueling about who has to take the first step.

But we have been here before though, so there are good reasons to remain calm.

Here’s why >>
Both the US and Iran have accepted a compliance-for-compliance mechanism. Both sides simply go back into the deal with no preconditions. Then, whatever needs to be renegotiated, will be addressed when both are in compliance.

But that doesn't resolve who should go first. >>
Without providing any particular argument, Biden and Secr of State Blinken have stated that the US will go into full compliance once the Iranians have done the same. That is, Iran has to take the first step. >>
Read 15 tweets
27 Nov 20
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, one of Iran's most important nuclear officials, has been assassinated in Tehran. This is what we know /THREAD/:

1. Israel has assassinated numerous Iranian nuclear scientists in the past but have never been able to get to the highly protected Fakhrizadeh.
2. Some Iranian reports claim it was a suicide attack, but the bullet holes in Fakhrizadeh’s car cast some doubt on that.

3. If it was a suicide bomb, then that reduces the likelihood of Israeli operatives carrying out the attack.
4. Israel has, however, used operatives from the Iranian terrorist organization the MEK in the past to conduct attacks in Iran. The MEK is the group that introduced suicide assassinations to Iran.…
Read 11 tweets
15 Sep 20
Hate to rain on Pompeo, Bibi and MBZ’s parade, but here’s why this “deal” will intensify tensions and give another lease on life for America’s counterproductive military presence in the Middle East. >>
2. Contrary to Pompeo's talking points, this will not create peace or make it easier to bring home US troops from the region. The focus on the “Iran threat” is designed to lock the US into a Cold/Hot War in the Middle East for decades to come. >>
3. We will be hearing endless arguments going forward - from many different sides - that now that the Israelis and the "Arabs" (though its only UAE and Bahrain) - have united, the US is obligated to support them against the “Iranian menace.” >>
Read 7 tweets
14 Aug 20
So Trump & Pompeo just massively embarrassed the US on the world stage with a humiliating loss at the UNSC. Passionately fighting losing battles has become the hallmark of Trump and Pompeo's Iran policy, but this takes it to an entirely new level. >>
Only two votes in favor, two against and 11 abstentions.

It would be a mistake to solely look at this as yet another example of Trump's diplomatic vandalism as it misses the real point: The structural stupidity of US Middle East policy that long predates Trump. >>
From embarrassing the U.S. at the Council, Trump and Pompeo will now move on to create an existential crisis for the Council. Even if the US manages to trigger snapback, other P5 states will challenge the legitimacy of the move and leave the Council in an unprecedented crisis.>>
Read 9 tweets
25 Aug 19

1. Zarif unexpectedly attending the G7 meeting may lead to a much-needed deescalation. If the reporting on Macron's proposal is correct, it would also be signal an abysmal failure of Bolton's maximum pressure strategy.
2. Macron reportedly proposes that Iran returns to full compliance to the JCPOA in return for Trump reissuing sanctions waivers and thus removing his illegal sanctions against purchasing Iranian oil.
3. This would bring the situation back to the status quo pre-May 2019. The US will continue to violate the deal and sanction Iran, Tehran will continue to adhere to the deal but will also sell its oil. It's a status quo no one is happy with, but one that is relatively stable.
Read 6 tweets

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