US Punishing Iran for Closer Ties with Qatar

United States hostilities against Iran have ramped up in the last few weeks owing partly to a White House shift in attention away from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to other areas of interest. The Middle East has been a bit of a powder keg the last month or so since the US allied countries have placed great pressure on Qatar to bow to local interests.

Since the hacking attack against the Qatari state media website, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt have been focusing efforts to pressure the country. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allege that Qatar is carrying out support for terrorist groups in the region while providing little to no evidence of the claim. The effort is led by Saudi Arabia who has been hostile to Doha since it broke away from its influence.

The US has its interest in the matter too. Right now the US is trying to carry out arms deals around the world that are looking to reach record highs. Just recently $110 billion was sold to Saudi Arabia and $1.4 billion to Taiwan. Qatar is not so enthusiastic to spend such money and receive such weapons.

Since the diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbors, Doha has suffered from an economic blockade. The Saudis have been able to do this because they control the only land connection Qatar has. As it is, Qatar imports 80% of the food it consumes. 40% of that comes across the land border with the Saudis. Qatar was also importing $5 billion worth of goods from the blockading countries Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain.

In the absence of these goods, alternative sources of milk, eggs, and cheese have been offered by other countries. Most notably, Turkey and Iran. The US currently wishes Qatar, who has been a long-standing ally, to bow to the pressures of the region. They would also like Qatar to purchase weapons from them.

This recent move by Iran to provide necessary food to Qatar has angered the already hostile imperialist country. In retaliation, the US seized an office building belonging to a nonprofit organization which they claim to be in violation of US sanctions against Iran. Acting US Attorney Joon H. Kim claims that the Alavi Foundation is minority owned by Assa Crop which they claim is a front company for the Iranian government.

Acting US Attorney Kim said, “for over a decade, hiding in plain sight, this 36-story Manhattan office tower secretly served as a front for the Iranian government and as a gateway for millions of dollars to be funneled to Iran in clear violation of US sanctions laws. In this trial, 650 Fifth Avenue’s secret was laid bare for all to see, and today’s jury verdict affirms what we have been alleging since 2008: that through all the efforts to sanction and isolate Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, the owners of 650 Fifth Avenue gave the Iranian government a critical foothold in the very heart of Manhattan through which Iran successfully circumvented US economic sanctions.”

In addition, the US has once again begun claiming that Iran is not living up to its end of the nuclear deal signed in January. Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, claims that Iran has violated the agreement by testing new ballistic missiles. She also alleged the purchase of missile-related technology, accuses Teheran of weapons smuggling, and supporting terrorism in the region. It should be noted that no evidence of these accusations has been presented.

Other parties in the UN security council disagreed with the American’s claims. The head of the European Union delegation to the UN, Joao Vale de Almeida, stated that the agreement – “is being properly implemented and is delivering on its objectives.”

Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said: “Today’s meeting of the Security Council on the implementation of resolution 2231 is taking place against a backdrop of steady implementation, cooperation and progress.”

It seems quite clear that the recent claims of wrong doing on the part of Iran by the US are fabrications sought to harm the country for aiding Qatar in its diplomatic row with its neighbours. Already the two countries have a strong relationship, even sharing a large natural gas field. It should be noted that these hostilities and hacking attack against Doha come as Qatar recently restarted development of the North Field back in April.

Qatari and Iranian cooperation is now growing much deeper than a shared natural gas field as a result of US hostilities. The newly strengthened relationship runs counter to US imperialist interests in the region. Both Iran and Qatar are meant to be brought wholly under US domain. While Iran has been much more successful in this regard, the recent aggressive actions by the GCC have forced Qatar to seek stronger ties with the anti-US imperialist Iran.

Meanwhile, the US has chosen to side with Saudi Arabia, the country which is carrying out the horrible slaughter of Yemenis. The same country that is blockading desperately needed food to the same suffering country. The US and Saudi Arabia are on no moral high ground to make any accusations against Iran while they fund and control Daesh (ISIS) as they slaughter Iraq and Syria. Both are guilty of interfering in Syria attempting to overthrow the legitimate government of Bashar Al-Assad and killing the Syrian people.

US imperialism has no place in a free and democratic Middle East that can exercise its own right to self-determination.

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