With the US withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or Iran nuclear deal) a new round of sanctions have been placed on the Islamic Republic. The US is doing its best to harm the country which has dared to resists imperialist attempts to destroy their country and stand in solidarity with those who wish the same. The actions by the US can be summed up as impractical and immoral.
The entire basis for the sanctions is wholly dishonest. Iran entered the agreement in good faith. They have lived up to their end of the bargain by not developing nuclear weapons. They have repeatedly lied in claiming they have. Phony evidence was cooked up by Israel to claim that there was a secret nuclear program. The European signatories to the agreement have balked at the claim and have rejected the allegation. The International Atomic Energy Association has more than 14 times certified that Iran is in full compliance with the agreement. The accusations by the US are patently false. They have withdrawn from the agreement illegally and with malice. However, their tactics may yet prove futile.
On a practical level…
The US would be quite happy to completely remove all Iranian oil from the world market. This simply will not work. Right now Iran produces about 2.5 million barrels of oil a day for export. There simply is no viable source to make up for those barrels should they suddenly disappear from global demand. No one can make up this shortfall. Previously, Saudi Arabia claimed that they had increased production to meet that demand, but experts disagree. They simply do not have the productive capacity to increase their exports to that level. Iran’s exports have already dropped to 1.5 million bpd (barrels per day), however, the OPEC reference basket has increased the price to $76 per barrel. Some speculate that the price of oil could reach $100. This would offset any losses that Iran have already suffered.
Due to the US trade war with practically everyone, some of the major consumers of Iranian oil have simply refused to go along with US sanctions. Russia and China are already fed up with US economic war. They have no intention of going along with any economic onslaught against Iran. The European Union already sees these extraterritorial sanctions as a threat to their national sovereignty. The US decided to punish any EU companies that continue to do business in Iran. EU rejection of US banking systems has already lead to the creation of an alternative for the EU and Iran to continue doing business.
Along with that financial line, there has been a movement to undermine US hegemonic control over the world economy. Not only has an alternative banking system been put in place, but there is now a global movement away from the US dollar as the world’s trading currency. The side effect of the US withdraw from the JCPOA has been to incentivize Russia, China, India, and Turkey to begin trading in a collection of their own currencies, which the US has no control over. The value of the US dollar may be in serious jeopardy as well. China is selling US debt for gold, Russia is doing the same. People are tired of having to deal with US extraterritorial sanctions, and thus are seeking alternatives.
On a moral level…
The US is simply a cold-blooded murderous monster. These sanctions against Iran deliberately target the Iranian people to make them suffer. Despite claims by the US that this is about the government and not about the people, the sanctions very much do place the lives of Iranians in jeopardy. If we are to believe the US, then why are essential parts for civilian aircraft being blocked? How would that hurt the government and not regular people? All it does is place regular people’s lives in danger. Primarily the sanctions target 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels. To make matters worse, patients in Iran are reporting shortages in life-saving medicine. To deny medical supplies is nothing less than an act of inhumanity. This is a direct threat to the lives of ordinary Iranians.
Now, to make it clear as day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that it is in Iran’s best interests to toe the line and listen to Washington or else its people will pay the price. Unfortunately for the US, there’s no sign thus far that Iran is willing to return to the negotiation table. However, Pompeo has made US intentions clear:
“The leadership has to make a decision that they want their people to eat. They have to make a decision that they want to use their wealth to import medicine and not use their wealth to fund [Iran’s Quds Force commander] Qasem Soleimani’s travels around the Middle East, with causing death and destruction.”
“That’s the Iranian government’s choice on how to use Iranian wealth. If they choose to squander, if the Iranian leadership chooses to spoil it, if they choose to use it in a way that doesn’t benefit the Iranian people. I’m very confident the Iranian people will take a response that tries to fix that themselves as well,” Pompeo said.
What kind of attack on “the government” is this? This is clearly an assault on the Iranian people themselves. They’ve declared their intention to make the people STARVE. Nothing could show the true face of the American imperialist empire than this statement. Why? The US strategy is quite clear here: they want to create as much social unrest as possible in the hopes of destabilizing Iranian society. If there is enough of a crisis in the country, the US is banking on the Iranian people to demand change and eventually blame their own government for the actions of the US. In fairness, this tactic has worked many times in the past for the Americans. Plenty of legitimate governments have been toppled as a result. Even Venezuela is reaching a crisis point due to US actions.
It seems unlikely that the Iranian people will fold under such conditions. Even the sanctions themselves are being undermined by the EU, Russia, India, and China. Longstanding US allies, like South Korea, are asking to be exempt from the oil sanctions. The bottom line is that Iran is working their way around this attack on their economy. It’s high time that the people of the world stand up to this inhumanity that is being perpetrated by the US.