The new sanctions deny Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and his office access to key financial resources. As foolish as it may seem, in addition to eight military leaders, the US is also sanctioning Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The stated agenda is to ratchet up pressure on Tehran “until the regime abandons its dangerous activities including its nuclear ambitions.” Other goals include: to contain Iran’s influence in the region and curtail its ability to finance national development plans by blocking its access to international technology and market.
As is often the case, the Trump regime’s bullying is a deep part of American culture. This is especially true of the political and media establishments, who present themselves as being civil and savior, and anything but bullies. The inconvenient truth is that bullying is embedded in American culture, governing elites and most powerful institutions: the military, the corporation, and the state. They all live in a society that bullies the world through militarized capitalism. And they never bother to play by international rules and protocols.
Likewise, the war-party establishment embraces a global militarism that threatens and bullies all nations opposing US interests. Although Trump preaches many universal values with a pledge to “make Iran great again,” he is still explicit in his embrace of Iranophobia and economic terrorism.
In the prevailing environment, the international civil society and independent nations don’t have to abide by Washington’s self-serving rules and bullying tactics, including its addiction to sanctions. Sovereign nations don’t have to embrace the bullying code of the US military either. Quite the opposite, the world community should hold the US to account for its illegal move to impose new sanctions on Tehran.
Nonetheless, the 45th president of the United States faced a key Iran-related decision when he rose to power: To give diplomacy and multilateralism a chance or go beyond the bounds of international law, view the counterproductive sanctions as a tool of power and influence, and listen to Iran hawks whose stated agenda is to provoke Iran, alienate Washington’s NATO allies, and escalate tensions without any clear idea of the end. And everything shows that he has always been after the second line of policy.
Trump’s executive order has nothing to do with “containing Iran” and everything to do with power play and keeping a military footprint in the region. The perverse essence of this gambit is based on a cynical miscalculation meant to prolong the economic war and protect Washington’s illicit interests. It is no surprise, then, that this will only get much uglier.
The World Court has even hit the US for not ensuring that their sanctions aren’t blocking food and drugs into Iran. This too is a subject that has been a big deal in recent years, with US sanctions blocking even aid during recent the flooding in Iran. And you may not believe it but President Obama also did the same as he also never allowed supply of medicine to Iran through banking sanctions.
However, the signs are there that the US is still playing the victim card to save its hegemony. It is obvious that Trump doesn’t want to take responsibility (a classic sign of victim behavior) for the latest saga – a US drone shot down in the Strait of Hormuz. He has trouble accepting that the US Navy has played a role in this. Instead, he holds onto his grudges, points the finger at Iran, and ignores the US Navy’s undeniable role in perpetuating the problem.
Under current geopolitical environment, the Trumpsters should avoid thinking they are perfect and that they can prolong their unipolar moment, issue diktats to Iran, and dismiss the multipolar reality they live in. This arrogance and narcissism closes them off from having trustworthy and cooperative relationship even with their own NATO allies.
At any rate, Iran has long been in full compliance with the nuclear deal and diplomacy and this is the United States that is pushing the whole world into chaos and tension to appease Israel and warmongers in Washington and earn billions more through arms sales to the Saudis and some other dictatorial monarchies in the Arab world. Those who wish to deescalate the situation should pressure the US to show respect for its obligations under the nuclear agreement and act responsibly in the international environment rather than requesting Iran, the real victim, to unilaterally continue providing the United States and its western allies with not just merits of the nuclear deal, but even more concessions and surrender to the US bullying.