Making good on his promise to withdraw America from foreign wars and cease engaging in activity that would cause future wars, President Trump announced recently that the USA is reinstate economic sanctions on Iran and may potentially move towards military action at a future date:
The Trump administration on Monday reimposed harsh sanctions against Iran that had been lifted under the Obama-era nuclear deal that President Trump yanked, calling it the “worst deal ever negotiated.”
“To this day, Iran threatens the United States and our allies, undermines the international financial system, and supports terrorism and militant proxies around the world. By exiting the [nuke deal], the United States is able to protect its national security by applying maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime,” President Trump said in a statement.
“As we continue applying maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime, I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime’s malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism. The United States welcomes the partnership of like-minded nations in these efforts.”
The US will restore the sanctions in two phases, with the first set hitting the Islamic theocracy at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
Administration officials said the sanctions would limit Iran’s ability to purchase US dollar banknotes, impede its ability to trade gold and other precious metals and prohibit Iran from selling or transferring Iranian graphite, aluminum, steel, coal and some industrial software.
The sanctions would also limit certain transactions related to the Iranian rial, the country’s currency, and would impact Iran’s automotive and food sectors as well as prohibit sales of commercial passenger aircraft to the country.
After a 180-day wind-down period, a final round of snapback sanctions would be put in place, which would hit Iran’s oil exports and energy sector, as well as port operators and shipbuilders.
Other countries aren’t bound by the US sanctions — but many large European companies could comply to avoid being targeted by Trump themselves.
Trump officials pointed to the current unrest in the country and hoped that the protests, coupled with these new sanctions, would pressure the Iranian regime to change its repressive and destabilizing policies.
“I think as we see the Iranian protests continue now in some number of days we hope that the Iranian regime will think seriously about the consequence their behavior is having on their own people,” a top administration official told reporters.
The Iran accord had put the brakes on Iran’s nuclear program, and had been deemed successful by international nuclear watchdogs and the other countries that negotiated the agreement, including Germany, France, the UK, Russia and China.
Iran responded angrily, and European leaders opposed Trump’s moves.
Iran said the US was “isolated” in its hostility to the Islamic republic as it braced for the return of sanctions against the backdrop of political unrest inside the country.
“Of course, American bullying and political pressures may cause some disruption, but the fact is that in the current world, America is isolated,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.
European foreign ministers said they “deeply regret” the reimposition of US sanctions.
A statement Monday by European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK insisted that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was “ working and delivering on its goal” of limiting Iran’s nuclear program.
The Europeans said the Iran deal was “crucial for the security of Europe, the region and the entire world” and that “we are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran.”
Despite the support, however, many large European firms are leaving Iran for fear of US penalties.
Renewed US hostility has already sparked a run on Iran’s currency, which has lost around half its value since Trump’s announcement.
Iran has seen days of protests and strikes in multiple towns and cities over water shortages, high prices and wider anger at the political system.
Severe reporting restrictions have made it impossible to verify the swirl of claims coming through social media.
But journalists did confirm a heavy buildup of riot police Sunday night in the town of Karaj, just west of Tehran, that has been a focal point of unrest, and said mobile internet had been cut in the area.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani eased foreign exchange rules Sunday, allowing unlimited tax-free currency and gold imports, and reopening exchange bureaus after a disastrous attempt to fix the value of the rial in April led to widespread black-market corruption.
With senior religious authorities calling for a crackdown on graft, the judiciary said Sunday it had arrested the vice governor of the central bank in charge of foreign exchange, Ahmad Araghchi, along with a government clerk and four currency brokers.
Two countries that have welcomed increased pressure on Iran are its key regional rivals, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman described the renewed sanctions as “a courageous decision which will be remembered for generations.”
After months of fierce rhetoric, Trump surprised observers last week when he offered to meet with Rouhani without preconditions.
But Zarif suggested it was hard to imagine negotiating with the man who tore up an agreement on which Iran and world powers had spent the “longest hours in negotiating history.”
“Do you think this person (Trump) is a good and suitable person to negotiate with? Or is he just showing off?” he said.
Over the weekend, Trump once again floated the idea of meeting, tweeting, “I will meet, or not meet, it doesn’t matter — it is up to them!”
But that came less than two weeks after a bellicose exchange between the two presidents, with Rouhani warning of the “mother of all wars” and Trump responding with a Twitter tirade.
“To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” he wrote. (source)
A serious question: What national security threat does Iran pose to the USA?
This is Iran circa 500 BC under the reign of King Darius, which as the Bible states is the ruler of Persia which granted freedom to the Jews in captivity. This was the furthest extent of Persian influence in its history, which penetrated to central Greece and the southernmost points of Ukraine.
Iranian influence has never gone further than these points. It has always been limited to its region, and by how far its armies could march.
This is the Ottoman Empire in 1683, at its respective height. The Ottoman Empire’s controlled territory all throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East, and was in the active process of taking over Europe.
But this map is not all complete. The Ottomans had a sophisticated navy that was until the end of the 16th century the best in the world, leading military expeditions throughout the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and to as far away as Indonesia and Malacca. Turkish mercenary contractors through the Barbary Pirates raided all European coastlines as far away as Scotland and Iceland, and Turkish influence penetrated deep into sub-saharan Africa, the Hindu Subcontinent, and into southeast Asia and endured for centuries. She also retained ties and a military presence into Central Asia and Siberia through her constant struggles with the Russians.
Turkey has been imperial since her early days and has successfully established world empires. Even today, she has the 8th strongest military in the world and it continues to grow in strength as her economy, based off of the German manufacture-and-export model, becomes more and more powerful.
Which nation is more powerful- Turkey or Iran?
It’s Turkey. And Turkey is not going to attack the USA, not only because in spite of her great strength she would be completely annihilated, but also because it does not make logistical sense to hit American targets.
Even the Russians and the Chinese, who are the second and third strongest armies on earth, together are not, have not, and likely would not attempt to make any direct military actions against the USA because the USA would annihilate them. The popular outcry by the American public for revenge would bring about a nuclear holocaust of those two nations. If America would use nuclear weapons against Japan in the Second World War, there is no question they would use them against either Russia or China.
What makes one think that Iran, who is ranked the 13th strongest military in the world, would act in a way that the 8th, 3rd, and 2nd strongest militaries refuse to?
Since September 11th, 2001- the day that marks the beginning of American excursions into the Middle East in mass -how many nations has Iran invaded?
Was it Iran that created the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1980s? No.
Was it Iran that invaded Afghanistan and has been there for the last 17 years? No.
Did Iran invade Iraq, wipe out the Christian people, and allow for the rise of Islamic terrorism? No.
Did Iran overthrow the governments of Libya and Tunisia, opening the way for a massive migration of persons from all across the Middle East and Africa using Libya as a port-of-crossing to Europe? No.
Was it Iran that was smuggling ISIS terrorists in a pay-for-oil money laundering operation? No.
The violence, chaos, and crises that have occurred throughout the Middle East since 2001 can be attributed in a large part to the military intervention of the USA with Israel following close, advising and assisting her in the process.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Iran really does have ambitions of world domination and wants to destroy American interests and by extension, the state of Israel in the worst possible way.
Does one actually believe that Iran, assuming she has and wants to use nuclear weapons, or even conventional ones, against Israel to start a war, knowing the militarism of the USA and the destruction she has brought to the Middle East, would actually use them?
If she used them outright, the USA would nuke her.
If she used them through a covert group, the USA would spend as many resources as necessary to find the links for how the plan was executed to tie it to Iran. If she could not, she would forge evidence in order to tie it to Iran, such as with Colin Powell’s famous “yellowcake uranium” lie that he presented before the entire world to justify the American invasion of Iraq.
I don’t want to give the impression that Iran is simply “innocent” and is a nonexistent threat. She is a great nation with a long history, and she certainly wants to play to her interests, and there is much which she can be criticized for. That said, I want to emphasize that either way, Iran is going to be toast if she attempts any sort of “attack,” and so out of simple self-interest, there is no point in attempting to start a fight that is suicidal.
The smartest thing that Iran could do in terms of practical work is verbal harassment. No matter what she says or does she is going to be viewed negatively, and since she cannot actually win, she can make fun of her enemies on a world stage to make them look like fools.
Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran was presented as being the “antichrist” and a plethora of other incendiary terms. In response, Ahmadinejad smiled and mocked the USA before the world, and there was nothing she could do about it.
Ahmadinejad, far from being the “antichrist,” was the world’s biggest troll. If there is any nation who deserves to be associated with the antichrist, it would be one who has participated in or facilitated the extermination of Christians, put the advancement of the self and ones power over the dignity of one’s fellow man, lied to the world about her intentions versus her actions, and tried to bully other people into accepting morally unacceptable lifestyles and ideas in the name of righteousness.
But don’t put it past Trump. Remember, this is the president who ran on an anti-war in Syria platform, after which as soon as he became president, he attacked Syria. Just look at the last US tweet to Iran I highlighted at the end of the story. THAT is the internal thought process of the USA and those who advise her to go to war. Iran knows this. They are not going to commit suicide by their actions, but they can say things the USA doesn’t like, and at this point, ridicule is their most potent weapon.
If the USA and her allies attack Iran, there will be no way to legitimize it. Iraq was difficult enough to legitimize. This would be impossible. Likewise, there is also the possibility that the USA would be dragged into another Vietnam-style, or in a modern sense, Afghanistan-style conflict, with no real “enemy” to target that becomes a drain on resources, time, and national spirit, being more destructive for the USA in the long term.