Additional US Sanctions on Iran
The Trump administration wants Iran politically and economically isolated, part of its regime change strategy along with Israel – either by color revolution or naked aggression.
Along with reimposing pre-JCPOA nuclear-related sanctions straightaway after Trump’s pullout, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Tuesday “imposed sanctions on the governor and a senior official of the Central Bank of Iran, an Iraq-based bank and its chairman, and a key Hezbollah official, all of whom have moved millions of dollars on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to Hezbollah,” a statement said.
More sanctions are likely to follow. Russia and China intend ignoring them, continuing normal relations with the Islamic Republic.
Sergey Lavrov said Washington forfeited all rights under the JCPOA by pulling out. Yet it’s applying heavy pressure on EU and other countries to sever trade ties with Iran.
Rhetorically, “(a)ll other parties to the (JCPOA) reaffirmed their commitment to obligations so far,” said Lavrov.
It’s not good enough. No EU or other key nations publicly rejected US sanctions, explicitly saying they won’t honor them, Russia and China the exceptions.
The Trump administration is applying heavy pressure on Britain, France and Germany, ultimatums issued to halt trade with Iran, including oil purchases – given 60 to 90 days to wind down current relations.
According to Lavrov, “our European counterparts tell us they are getting ready to become independent from the US in relation to their trade and economic ties with Iran,” adding:
“We are interested in discussing the issue with all countries remaining within the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.”
“We will see how resilient the Europeans will be this time, for in the past there were times when they eventually gave in to Washington, damaging their own legitimate interests.”
It’s highly likely they’ll act the same way this time, killing the JCPOA if they yield to Washington’s will.
On Tuesday, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Ali Akbar Salehi said “(i)f the Europeans do not give assurances, we are ready to return to much more advanced conditions than before” the JCPOA’s implementation – hoping things won’t come to this.
Given Europe’s history of bending to Washington’s will even when harming its own interests, chances are it’ll do it again – hoping Britain, France and Germany surprise this time, doing the right thing, defying Trump.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."