What’s Behind US Sanctions on Iran?

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What’s Behind US Sanctions on Iran?

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

They’ve been imposed on the country since its 1979 revolution, sovereign Iranian independence replacing a lost generation of US-installed fascist tyranny Washington wants reimposed for control it lost decades earlier.

What’s going on reflects longstanding US political, economic, financial, and propaganda war on the Islamic Republic.

Washington’s agenda has nothing to do with any threats Iran poses. It favors cooperative relations with all other nations, threatening none. Nor does the country seek nuclear weapons it abhors, wanting them all eliminated.

US policy has everything to do with Iranian sovereign independence, refusing to become a US vassal state, opposing its imperial wars and support for regional terrorist groups Tehran is involved in combatting.

Washington’s agenda is also about serving Israeli interests, wanting governments rivaling its aim for unchallenged regional dominance eliminated.

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for redrawing the Middle East map, replacing independent governments with pro-Western puppet regimes, balkanizing Iraq, Syria, Iran, and other regional countries for easier control, looting their resources, and exploiting their people.

The scheme involves endless wars of aggression and regional turmoil, the human toll of no consequence.

The US, Israel, the Saudis, and partnered Arab regimes are allied against sovereign independent Iran, Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Palestinian liberation from repressive Jewish state occupation.

The plot to reinstitute US-controlled tyranny in Iran failed – despite nearly 40 years of trying. Trump regime efforts are unlikely to be more successful than earlier attempts to topple Iran’s government. 

If full-scale US war on the country is launched to try achieving its objective, all bets are off. Russia could intervene as it did in Syria, its own security interests at stake if Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic become US/Israeli vassal states.

Effective post-midnight Sunday, the Trump regime will reimpose all nuclear-related sanctions lifted by the JCPOA – mainly targeting Iranian energy and related products, along with its central bank and other financial transactions.

Sanctions impose economic hardships, largely harming ordinary people, failing to topple targeted governments or change their policies.

They haven’t worked for over half a century against Cuba and North Korea, not for nearly 40 years against Iran, or shorter periods against other countries.

Hoped for carrots, not longstanding US sticks, got DPRK leader Kim Jong-un to meet for summit talks with Trump last June.

It was and remains all about wanting a state of war on the Korean peninsula ended, the country’s security guaranteed, and normalization of relations with the West it deserves, including the lifting of unacceptable sanctions that never should have been imposed in the first place – solely for political reasons, unrelated to regional security.

DPRK nuclearization and ballistic missiles are and remain all about self-defense, not offense, because of the threat posed by Washington. If normalization replaces decades of hostility, its powerful military deterrent is no longer needed.

US policy consistently features sticks, wanting other nations submissive to its interests, doing whatever it takes to enforce its will on other countries, naked aggression its favored strategy – along with weaponized sanctions, never working as intended.

The world community largely opposes Trump regime hostility toward Iran, including unlawful reimposition of harsh sanctions.

On Friday, DLT roared, tweeting: “Sanctions are coming November 5.” Unacceptable regime policies to isolate targeted countries are counterproductive, failing to achieve their objectives, making more enemies than friends.

Russia, China, European countries, and most others oppose Trump’s sanctions war on Iran, its failure likely ahead.

Russia intends continuing normal political, economic, financial, and trade relations with Iran. On Saturday, its Foreign Ministry said the following:

“A new round of anti-Iran sanctions announced by Washington is aimed at undermining the consistent efforts by the parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to preserve that deal,” adding: 

“Washington’s policy aimed at scrapping international legal nuclear nonproliferation and arms control tools triggers profound disappointment and growing concern.” 

“The US is dealing another mighty blow to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, arguing hypocritically that it is essential to strengthen it, but, in actual fact, gearing up for its collapse.”

“If Washington, as it claims, is indeed interested in negotiations with Tehran, the policy of sanctions pressure aimed at diminishing Iran’s economic and defense potential as well as undermining the internal political situation there must be revised immediately.”

Moscow rejects sanctions by any nations on others, bypassing the Security Council, its members alone authorized to take this action, not individual countries unilaterally.

Tass said “Moscow will do everything it can to preserve and expand international trade, economic and financial cooperation with Iran despite the US sanctions.”

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said “(m)ost countries…oppos(e) US behavior, particularly over the re-imposition of unilateral sanctions” – a key reason why they’ll likely fail like earlier ones imposed.

They flagrantly violate unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution 2231, endorsing the JCPOA, making its provisions binding international law.

Trump regime actions pose “a serious danger to global order,” Zarif stressed.

An EU statement vowed to protect European companies doing business with Iran – a largely meaningless policy. Many EU companies fear losing access to the US market by defying Trump. It’s unclear how many may try.

According to TankerTrackers.com, Iranian ships switched off their geolocation devices. The company’s co-founder Samir Madani said “(i)t’s the first time I’ve seen a blanket blackout. It’s very unique.”

Iranian vessels can only be monitored by satellite imagery. They’re moving around “back and forth between ports to create confusion,” making it hard to estimate the country’s export volume.

Sputnik News said “(b)etween 2010 and 2015, when Iran was hit with international sanctions, it found another way to maintain oil deliveries, which was to keep oil on large tankers off the Gulf coast.”

Iranian tankers can be used as “floating storage containers,” facilitating rapid deliveries to nations buying its oil.

In late October, Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said around 2.5 million barrels of oil have been exported daily for the past few months, China the largest buyer, adding:

“Today, US officials are lying to the world that Saudi Arabia and other countries should replace Iranian oil so that the price of oil doesn’t rise. If Americans could halt Iran’s oil exports, its price would hit $100 per barrel.”

It’ll be weeks or months to tell how new US sanctions affect its exports – lost sales most likely to be marginal, not severe.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.