Moon of Alabama
Who is to blame for the Trump administration's revocation of the nuclear deal with Iran? Who is to blame for the sanctions the Trump administration is unilaterally imposing on Iran, parts of which go into effect today?
According to Jason Rezaian, it is the Iranian government.
Jason Rezaian was the Washington Post bureau chief in Tehran. In July 2014 he was arrested in Tehran for espionage and sentenced to prison. In a side deal to the nuclear agreement he was released in 2016 in exchange for Iranians held in the United States.
Rezaian now writes a Global Opinion column for the Post. His latest is headlined: I lived in an Iran under sanctions. Here’s what it’s like.
I lived in Tehran then and reported extensively on the impact the sanctions had.
If that experience is a predictor of what is about to hit the people of Iran, here’s a preview of what ordinary Iranians can expect in the weeks and months ahead.
He lists a number of issues that sanctions will cause: the rial will fall further, some medicines will be difficult to get, there will be other shortages, black markets will reappear, a few will profit from them:
That small but not inconsequential segment of the population will see its wealth balloon as it did in 2012 and 2013. There will be a disproportionate number of the most expensive luxury cars on Earth sitting in Tehran's perpetual traffic.
Sounds like London or New York to me. Indeed, as one commentator to that op-ed remarks:
A lot in this article sounds like daily life for large numbers of Americans, as if there were sanctions on a large portion of the US population. Iran may see the lifting of those sanctions one day but those Americans most likely will not, partly because so many keep voting for their oppressors.
Soon enough, well-connected officials and their families with access to the black markets will begin importing and selling goods at exorbitant prices, callously taking advantage of the misfortune that their cronies in government helped create.
How, please, have the "cronies" in Iran's government "helped create" the new sanctions? Iran was fulfilling all is duties under the JCPOA agreement. It was solely Donald Trump who abrogated the UN endorsed deal despite the protests of all other signatories.
While Rezaian pretends to be concerned about the Iranian people, he continues to put the blame on the wrong party:
Maybe the regime in Tehran will quietly crumble tomorrow — wouldn’t that be nice? — but more likely it will press forward, doing little to address the very legitimate concerns of its people just to defy Washington…
Just as Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela and many other anti-U.S. regimes manage to limp along for years, Iran’s ruling class is similarly stubborn…
The general malaise of a society living under the perpetual darkness caused by being marked a pariah nation will only worsen.
It is hard to discern on what planet Jason Rezaian lives. It must be the one where all nations and people bow to the unreasonable whims of some loudmouth in Washington DC. That is not planet Earth. Iran is not "stubborn". It demands its rights under the JCPOA. Iran is not a "pariah nation", the United States are. It was the U.S. that unilaterally abrogated the nuclear deal.
Russia, Turkey, India, China and many others will not abide to unilateral U.S. sanctions on Iran. They will not bow to secondary sanctions if the U.S. tries to impose those.
Trump "cronies" visited Asia and demanded that China and India, two of Iran's biggest oil customers, stop buying Iranian oil. Both countries said no. The Trump cronies then begged China and India to not increase their imports when, in November, those sanctions bite, when some of Iran's customers stop buying and when more Iranian oil comes to the market.
Those talks happened some months ago and both countries asked for more time to think about the problem. China has now in principle agreed to the Trump request – but only after it made the necessary preparations:
The U.S. has been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports, according to two officials familiar with the negotiations …
Beijing has, however, agreed not to ramp up purchases of Iranian crude, according to the officials, …
China – the world’s top crude buyer and Iran’s No. 1 customer — has said previously that it opposed unilateral sanctions and lifted monthly oil imports from the country by 26 percent in July. It accounted for 35 percent the Iranian exports last month, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.
India seems to have had the same idea:
India’s monthly oil imports from Iran surged by about 30 percent to a record 768,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July, as state refiners’ intake surged ahead of U.S. sanctions in November, preliminary tanker arrival data obtained by Reuters showed…
July volumes were about 85 percent higher than year ago shipments of about 415,000 bpd, the data showed.
When in November the hard oil sanction against buyers of Iranian oil go into effect India and China will insist to keep their current volume flowing. Both have already increased their buys from Iran. They can now promise to Trump that they will not increase their imports from Iran because they already upped those by a very large amount. Iran exports between 2.2 to 2.8 million barrels per day. At least half of that will continue to flow to its two biggest customers. By that measure the sanctions already failed.
Trump can not even use the jurisdiction over the U.S. dollar to stop these trades. The deals with India and China are made under bilateral contracts in local currencies and futures contracts than can now be bought and sold in Shanghai where they are denominated in yuan.
In addition to the sanctions the Trump regime has launched a number of shady to outright brutal initiatives against Iran. It sent people to Europe to claim that Iran is behind some terror plots in Europe, and that this is enough reason to end the deal. But: "European officials, some skeptical that Iran is behind the plots, say the nuclear deal benefits the region." Still, some European leaders have no backbone and submit to U.S. pressure.
A large shipment of weapons incl anti-aircraft guns, 7000 cannon projectiles, 73mm antitank cannons, other ammo found in east of #Iran. Kerman prosecutor gen. says they belonged to anti-government groups.
Iran will not fold under pressure, it never folded. It was the Obama administration that wanted and needed the nuclear deal. It used Oman's good office to negotiated with Tehran. Trump may try to do the same (or may indeed already talk with Iran). But his administration made unreasonable demands that Iran can not and will not fulfill.
Trump's offer of unconditional talks are not welcome:
Every Iranian official I spoke to said “there is no trust in this US establishment” and that “Iran needs practical proof before initiating any dialogue.” “The U.S. tried to isolate Iran from Russia and China when signing the JCPOA, in the hope that Tehran would accept to stand by the U.S. This was a wrong approach because Russia and China are well established and reliable partners and we certainly can’t say the same for the U.S. Trump wants to sit down with us without conditions. We don’t want to sit down with him unless he backs off. His style of pressure is not the way to attract Iran; on the contrary, it is the best way to push us far away. One thing is clear: we shall not negotiate away our missile production and capabilities and the support we offer our allies in the Middle East. If this is what he wants, he can stay where he is.”
It is Trump who will have to climb down and reinstate the JCPOA deal. Unless he does so Iran will not be willing to deal with him. The problem now is that the Zionists behind Trump will not allow him to do that. They will insist on pushing the issue towards a military conflict. It will be another one of those that the U.S. continues to lose.