Political Observation - The Sanctions and the Reality of the US-Iranian Rift

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - The Sanctions and the Reality of the US-Iranian Rift

Now that America has withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran and as the deadline of 4 November 2018 for the economic sanctions to take full effect approaches, it seems that America has decided to carry out a strategic overhaul in the function of the Mullahs’ system that had served her interests on several occasions such as the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and the fragmentation of Syria and Yemen. The Iranian regime was not content with those services and provided America with all the pretexts to plunder the riches of the Gulf region and establish numerous military bases there. 

Why should the rulers of Tehran not offer such strategic services to America who helped them accede to power on the ruins of the Shah’s dynasty and the through the so-called “Islamic Revolution” led by Ayatollah Khomeini who landed in Tehran under the protection of US intelligence after he had concluded a deal with America and flown from Paris aboard an Air France jet in 1979.

These profuse services the rulers of Iran have been offering America for four decades did not interceded for them with the new ruler of the White House, Donald Trump. At the behest of the deep state, namely the intelligences agencies, the Pentagon and the Federal Reserve, Trump decided that the time was ripe to entangle Iran into chaos with the help of America’s agents inside and outside Iran.

America’s agents in Saudi and the UAE are ready to bankroll her plans inside Iran by backing Kurdish and Arab opposition parties among others; and under the guise of the right to self-determination, America’s collaborators from among the Kurdish Stalinist parties and the Arab parties in al-Ahwaz complied by raising the banner of the right for Kurds and Arabs to rule themselves and eradicate the injustice perpetrated against them by the ruling Persian nationalists in Tehran. Hence, the nation states issue in Iran could easily be exploited with the presence of armed opposition groups among the Kurds, Arabs and Baluch. It was in this context that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shelled Kurdish villages in Iraq which soon after was followed by the attack on the military parade in al-Ahwaz and by the killing of three Iranian border guards near the Pakistani border. Iranian press agency, Fars, announced that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had targeted the armed Kurdish groups headquartered in Koy Sanjaq in the Iraqi Kurdistan province on Saturday 8 September 2018. The shelling resulted in the killing of 11 operatives of the Iranian Kurdish Democratic Party. Fars mentioned in a press release that “the Revolutionary Guard fired seven missiles and destroyed the venue of a meeting held by leaders of one of the terrorist groups hostile towards the Islamic Iranian Republic in the Kurdistan Province.” The Revolutionary Guard communiqué added: “an increase in the evildoings of terrorist groups linked to forces of international arrogance has been noticed in the past few months near the borders between the Islamic Iranian Republic and Kurdistan, in addition to lawlessness and acts of sabotage in the governorates of West Azerbaijan and Kermanshah.” The shelling of the Iranian Kurdish Democratic Party’s positions was followed on Saturday 22 September 2018 by an armed assault that targeted a military parade in al-Ahwaz resulting in the killing of 25 and injuring no less than 60 military and civilian persons. The spokesperson of the National Liberation Movement of Ahwaz, an Arab group opposed to the Iranian government, told Reuters that the National Ahwaz Resistance Organisation comprising a number of armed groups was responsible for the attack on the military parade in al-Ahwaz, southwest Iran. A week later, three Iranian border guards were killed in an attack near the Pakistani border executed by an armed group belonging most probably to the Baluch minority who have been seeking independence not only from Iran but also from Pakistan.

One of the aims America is endeavouring to achieve from the escalating pressure exerted on the Iranian Regime is to weaken the regime from within through an economic blockade and the sanctions expected to be imposed following America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. And this is where America is seeking to incite the Iranians to take to the streets in protest. She is also hoping to win over the influential figures from among the ruling elite who oppose the authority of Khamenei and his clique. America believes that the system of Wilayatul Faqih has passed its shelf life and it is time Iran adopted a republican system without the religious custodianship of the Shia clerics. This is what US National Security advisor John Bolton expressed during a speech he delivered in New York before an anti-Iran conference. Bolton told the annual summit of United Against Nuclear Iran “So, I might imagine they would take me seriously when I assure them today: If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay” adding “the murderous regime and its supporters will face significant consequences if they do not change their behaviour. Let my message today be clear: We are watching, and we will come after you.” Although the Tehran government has been attempting to convince the masses that the economic crises the country has been experiencing are due to the US sanctions against Iran, the slogans the masses are hoisting point the finger at the economic and regional policies of the regime; they even hold the leaders of the regime responsible for the wretched living conditions the masses have been enduring while billions of dollars are being spent on the militias affiliated to the regime in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

The debacle of who would succeed the spiritual guide Ali Khamenei has started to gather momentum and added to the woes of the Iranian regime. Khamenei is 78 and undergoing cancer treatment. The jostling for his succession between the army’s top brass and political elites has been intensifying since the uprising of 2017.

The American administration’s aim from inciting ethnic groups in Iran to open armed fronts is apparently designed to divert the regime’s attention away from regional issues and confine its efforts to preventing the Kurdish, Arab and Baluch minorities from pursuing their aspirations to gain independence. America has imposed further economic sanctions and exerted further political pressure to generate a catalogue of stifling crises that Iran has not experienced since 1979, thus encouraging the efforts of Iran’s minorities to achieve secession. Iran’s financial and economic conditions have generated a host of social disturbances and syndicalist dynamisms which the nationalist minorities have exploited to unify their ranks and strengthen their political and military clout. The issue of nationalist, ethnic and sectarian diversity is a source of distress for Iranian national security because most of those minorities reside in border areas and are in contact with their brethren in neighbouring countries. This makes it easy for America and other Western powers to stoke chauvinism in Iran from outside. This is why the Iranian regime resorted to anchoring a robust central authority coupled with an iron-fist approach to maintain its territorial integrity.

One of the other aims America is seeking from exerting pressure on Iran is generating all the pretexts to maintain a military presence in Syria once the saga of Daesh concocted by senator John McCain has ended. This was explicitly expressed by General Joseph Votel, Commander of United States Central Command, who was quoted as saying "I don't think we're seeking to go to war with Iran, and I don't think that's what we're focused on." For his part, President Donald Trump's national security advisor, John Bolton, said "We're not going to leave (Syria) as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders…that includes Iranian proxies and militias." General Joseph Votel also stated "The principle way that we are approaching that right now is through diplomatic and economic pressure. And I support that, I don't see that necessarily as being on the road to war with Iran." This also proves that the American pressure on Iran will not escalate in to an armed conflict as was the case with Saddam Hussein since Washington and Tehran agreed over the appointment of the new Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

As for America’s insistence on linking its presence in Syria to that of the Iranian forces, it is merely a manoeuvre to justify a permanent deployment of its troops and military bases and to provide protection to "Israel.” This was corroborated by Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who stated on 5 October 2018 that “all the fears of "Israel" in the Golan Heights have been removed; and Russia has fulfilled what it had promised” in reference to its deployment of its military police near the Golan having expelled the opposition groups and reaching an agreement on moving the Iranian militias more than 100 kilometres away from the Golan as per the "Israeli" and American request.

It is also worth noting that one of America’s aims is to coerce Iran into signing a new deal on its nuclear and missile capabilities irrespective of the reality of the regime in power. Donald Trump has been assiduously and persistently stressing this point to Iran and the European powers that took part in the nuclear deal. During a press conference held in New York on 26 September 2018, Donald Trump stated: “Iran's going to come back to me and they're going to make a good deal, I think. Maybe not. Deals — you never know. But they're suffering greatly.”
“I am with the people of Iran. But here's the thing: They have rampant inflation. Their money is worthless. Everything is going wrong. They have riots in the street. You can't buy bread. You can't do anything. It's a disaster. At some point, I think they're going to want to come back, and they're going to say, "Hey, can we do something?" And I'm very simple; I just don't want them to have nuclear weapons. That's all. Is that too much to ask? I don't want them to have nuclear weapons.”

Finally, the pressures exerted on Iran, especially the forthcoming sanctions, will be exploited to continue the depleting of the Gulf States’ riches, especially Saudi. The US announced the establishment of a new alliance with a host of Arab states to resist the “Iranian and the terrorist groups’ threats” in the region. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said on Friday 28 September 2018 that Washington would establish a new alliance with the Gulf States, Egypt and Jordan on the basis of a security, economic and political agreement. He stressed the need to “stop Iran’s malicious activity” in the region and to defeat Daesh and other terrorist groups. And in tandem with this initiative, Donald Trump announced on 4 October 2018 his new strategy in confronting Iran and fighting terror while reiterating his demands for Saudi to pay more in exchange for what he described as a “protection the US offers the kingdom against the Iranian and other threats”. During a Minnesota rally on 5 October 2018, Trump said that he had asked the Saudi monarch: "Excuse me, King Salman" -- he's my friend -- "do you mind paying for the military?" "Do you mind? Hey." They're paying for 30 percent. I said, "Do you mind paying?" "But nobody has asked me." I said, "But I'm asking you, King." Despite Mohammed bin Salman’s allegation that he would not pay more money to America for protection, Saudi has in reality fallen into the American trap since the war on Yemen. The trap became even tighter after the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. The kingdom is facing bankruptcy and may be forced to borrow from abroad. It is even facing the threat of fragmentation now that America has succeeded in turning Iran into the hobgoblin terrifying the crown prince who is currently paying the Jizyah like never before to Donald Trump in order to accede to the throne and replace his senile father.

Hence, the circus of the US-Iranian struggle has turned out to be nothing but one of America’s styles aimed at achieving the interests of her foreign policy and military plans under the guise of confronting the Iranian threat or fighting Daesh. It is true that America is exerting tremendous pressure on the Iranian regime but the secret agreements between them, which have been in force since the accession of Khomeini to power and the Tehran rulers’ functional role in serving the American initiatives, have always exposed Iran’s lies and the falsehood of the slogans and statements she has been trumpeting against the “Great Satan”. This proves that no regime serving America and other colonial powers would be safe if its existence clashed with their interests.

“O You who have believed do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, Allah does not guide such evildoers.” [5-51]

21 Safar 1440h
30 October 2018