Date :Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 | Time : 14:04 |ID: 76681 | Print

Maximum pressure on Iran would harm long-term U.S interests

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SHAFAQNA- Despite Saudi Arabia’s admission that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi earlier this month was premeditated, the Trump administration appears determined to maintain the U.S partnership with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel to put unprecedented pressure on Iran. The next step in this master plan will be the Nov. 5 full reimposition of sanctions on Iran.

The Trump administration on Friday announced the reimposition of all U.S. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Ramping up economic pressure on the Islamic Republic as President Donald Trump completed the unraveling of what had been one of his predecessor’s signature foreign policy achievements.

The final round of penalties target more than 700 businesses, individuals

The final round of penalties target more than 700 businesses, individuals and other entities involved in Iran’s oil, banking, shipping, shipbuilding and insurance sectors.

The penalties were promised in May, when President Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 deal with world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

It is the second lot of sanctions imposed since May

It is the second lot of sanctions imposed since May, after the US targeted Iran’s financial transactions involving US dollars, automotive sector and the purchase of commercial airplanes and metals, including gold.

“On November 5th, the United States will reimpose sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal on Iran’s energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and banking sectors,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, CNN reported.

Trump repeatedly denounced the agreement as the “worst ever” negotiated by the United States and vowed to withdraw from it during the 2016 presidential campaign.

It is exempting eight countries from bruising sanctions

The Trump administration announced on Friday it is exempting eight countries from bruising sanctions that the United States is reimposing against Iran, undercutting its economic punishment for what officials called Tehran’s destabilizing activity in the Middle East.

The announcement came on the eve of a long-announced Nov. 5 deadline for nations to cease importing Iranian goods or face the financial penalties. It highlighted the Trump administration’s hard-nosed foreign policy that is popular with Republicans, days before crucial midterm elections.

US claimed that the penalties seek to force Tehran to end  its activities in the Middle East

US claimed that the penalties seek to force Tehran to end what the United States views as Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East, including its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The sanctions are “aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues it uses to spread death and destruction around the world,” Pompeo said. He added that he hoped to force changes that give “the Iranian people the opportunity to have the government not only they want but that they deserve, nytimes told.

Trump posted on Twitter a poster of himself with the words Sanctions Are Coming

Shortly after the new penalties against Iran — and the waivers — were announced Trump posted on Twitter a poster of himself with the words “Sanctions Are Coming,” using the recognizable font from the popular HBO show, Game of Thrones noticed.

The words are a play on the show’s well-known phrase, “winter is coming,” which refers to a coming deep freeze when an army of the magical warriors descend from the north to wipe out all kingdoms.

Iran government was working on ways to evade the new sanctions

It is not the first, United States has a long history of sanctions against Iran.

It was not troubled over the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, Iran said , reuters reported.

In recent weeks, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had tried to reassure the public, saying the worst has already come to pass and that the Government was working on ways to evade the new sanctions, abc told.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi also told state TV on Friday that the Government was not concerned with the new sanctions.

“America will not be able to carry out any measure against our great and brave nation … We have the knowledge and the capability to manage the country’s economic affairs,” he said.

In an effort to circumvent the sanctions

In an effort to circumvent the sanctions, Iran began selling some of its oil in an energy stock exchange on Sunday.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said 280,000 barrels were sold on the IRENEX exchange as of Wednesday and that 720,000 barrels will be provided later.

Schweizer’s 1994 book Victory not a reliable guide on how to deal with Tehran

According to recent reports, Peter Schweizer’s 1994 book Victory has helped inspire the U.S. approach to dealing with Iran, including the sanctions campaign to force the country to capitulate to U.S. demands. Their reliance on Schweizer’s account reveals the pitfalls of policymakers looking to the past to make policy for the future, Foreignpolicy told.

The book’s boosters contend that the strategy of “maximum pressure”—unrelenting economic, ideological, and covert-action measures short of war against the Soviet Union—that allegedly brought down the Cold War nemesis can have a similar effect today on Iran. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even echoed this theme in a recent article. The only problem is that Schweizer’s narrative of U.S. policy and the Soviet collapse in the 1980s is flawed; it is not a reliable guide on how to deal with Tehran. In fact, the application of maximum pressure based on this triumphalist history may be counterproductive.

In this regard, Foreign Policy noticed that a Victory-style strategy of maximum pressure on Iran could set off a cascade of unintended consequences that would harm long-term U.S. interests. A policy of maximum pressure today is likely to force Iran’s elites to unite around the goal of regime survival.

There are at least five reasons why Trump’s strategy will fail

Analysts believe that there are at least five reasons why Trump’s strategy will fail.

First, while the United States seeks to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero, it has become clear that this is impractical; there is no viable replacement for Iran’s 2.5 million barrels per day in oil exports.

Second, Trump’s trade war with China and the U.S. imposition of economic sanctions against Russia make Beijing and Moscow less likely to work with Washington on Iran.

Third, U.S. sanctions have laid the groundwork for a historic change in the global financial system. For many decades, the U.S. dollar has dominated the international financial markets.

Fourth, the remaining signatories to the JCPOA view the nuclear deal as a means to counter American unilateralism. This is due to the fact that the JCPOA is a multilateral agreement backed by UN Security Council resolution 2231, which the Trump administration exited unilaterally and is now trying to punish other nations for implementing.

Fifth, powerful U.S. allies such as the EU and Japan continue to support the JCPOA. Only a handful of regional allies – namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel – supported Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal while other major regional players such as Turkey, Oman and Iraq continue to support the accord.

Consequently, it seems that, the next round of U.S. sanctions against Iran is likely to increase Middle East tensions – and unlikely to bring Washington closer to achieving its goals on Iran.

 

Read more from Shafaqna:

U.S. Adds several other institutes to Its List of Sanctions against Iran

International counseling to replace dollar by euro for trading with Iran

Iran oil exports can never be reduced to zero

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