Resistance report – US threats against Tehran will never break the Islamic Republic

May 18, 2019

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Resistance report – US threats against Tehran will never break the Islamic Republic

Tensions are reaching critical levels as Washington continues to threaten Iran while the madmen Bolton and Pompeo are growing bolder by the day. It seems as if the White House fool Trump has given up on foreign policy altogether and allowed Bolton and Pompeo to have free reigns on pushing Washington further into the abyss.

Bolton has reportedly requested 120 000 troops to be sent to the Middle East, about the same number of troops sent for the tragic Iraq war. This would in his mind show the Iranians who’s in charge, I guess. We’re talking about a country with a population of 80 million people, thrice the size of Iraq and a military that has been preparing for a war with the Zionist Empire for decades.

Who does Bolton think he’s scaring? I would say that Tehran’s reaction to these threats are met with a confidence that Washington is merely bluffing the whole thing. Earlier this week, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruled out the possibility of war between the United States and Iran, saying that it would not be in Washington’s interest to start such a war.
“The Iranian nation’s definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and in this confrontation, the US would be forced into a retreat,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “Neither we nor they, who know war will not be in their interest, are after war.”

Ayatollah Khamenei further explained that the confrontation between the two sides is “a clash of wills,” asserting that Iran would be the ultimate victor of this battle. It is an interesting way of seeing this situation, as Khamenei correctly asserts that this is truly about willpower. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign, beginning last year with Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, is aimed at bringing the Islamic Republic to its knees, getting Tehran to return to the negotiation table. Trump has made it no secret that he wishes to renegotiate the nuclear deal to include Iran’s ballistic missiles program. He and many other Zionists, including the Zionist chieftain in Tel Aviv criticized the JCPOA on the basis that Iran’s ballistic missiles were still deemed a threat to “global peace”. Why? Because they know fully well that these missiles can reach Tel Aviv at any time, and there’s not a damn thing that the so called “Iron dome” could do to stop them. Since Trump is a political illiterate and can’t distinguish between an Arab and an Iranian or a Turk, he believes that sanctions and threats will make Iranian politicians run to the negotiation table, as he so boldly himself claimed, he’s “waiting by the phone for Tehran to call”.

Bolton on the other hand, having been in the game for many years, knows that Iran won’t budge. He has seen Tehran withstand all kinds of attacks and threats before, he knows that Iran fully relies on its resistance economy, and he is very much aware that internal regime change won’t happen as the Islamic Republic enjoys a broad support inside Iran. Instead, he sees his chance to finally start a war with the Islamic Republic and ultimately hoping to destroy the threat posed to his masters in Tel Aviv. Bolton is counting on Trump’s weak ego, that instead of backing down, he will double down and start a war to save face.

It seems that much of the IRGC and conservative political leadership in Tehran are viewing the situations the same way as the Supreme Leader is, they simply don’t believe that Washington is willing to go to war as Washington is fully aware that the Islamic Republic is capable of causing a lot of damage on not only US forces, but the entire region. Only yesterday, the deputy head of the IRGC said with confidence that “even our short-range missiles can easily reach U.S warships in the Persian Gulf”. On the other hand, the same deputy head of the IRGC took a shot at President Rouhani’s allies who have been calling for a “pragmatic approach” to meet these threats, ”the Western-leaning tendencies of this country raises a war versus talks dilemma, and is trying to impose new nuclear deals on the country”. It is no secret that the failure of the JCPOA and the growing threats coming from Washington have weakened the Rouhani government and given the so called “hardliners” the upper hand as the “pragmatic approach” by the “Reformists” have proven to show Iran as weak in face of Zionist animosity. As many Iranians are feeling betrayed by Washington and the Rouhani government’s promises of eased sanctions, “hardliners” are feeling more emboldened to pressure the President to completely abandon the deal, this seems to have at least in part, affected the government’s recent decision to suspend the implementation of some parts of the JCPOA.

So what are the “hardliners” hoping for instead? As I mentioned before, they don’t believe that Washington actually wants war, not only do they understand that Washington knows the costs of such a war and is not willing to take it, but they are also aware of Trump’s hopes for a renegotiation of the deal. Trump’s recent denial of the proposed plan of sending 120 000 troops to the Middle East, and the recent reports that Trump has apparently said that he does not want a war has boosted the “hardliners” confidence that there might indeed be a wedge between Trump and Bolton. Rumour have reached Tehran that Trump has grown tired with Bolton’s insane approach. Yes, it is risky to rely on the unpredictable nature of the White House fool, but with Trump crippling the Iranian economy, Tehran faces growing domestic pressure, with the risk of a larger internal conflict erupting, so countering these US threats with threats of their own, seems to be the best way to get Trump to back off, as he did with North Korea. With any luck, Trump gets tired of Bolton’s hawkish approach and fires him, and if not, the Islamic Republic is and has been ready for decades for a US attack on Iran. Washington’s threats will never get the Islamic Republic to back down on its independence and self-respect.

Advertisements

Iran Squeezed Between Imperial Psychos and European Cowards

By Pepe Escobar – with permission and cross posted with Consortium News

What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about

The Trump administration unilaterally cheated on the 2015 multinational, UN-endorsed JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. It has imposed an illegal, worldwide financial and energy blockade on all forms of trade with Iran — from oil and gas to exports of iron, steel, aluminum and copper. For all practical purposes, and in any geopolitical scenario, this is a declaration of war.

Successive U.S. governments have ripped international law to shreds; ditching the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is only the latest instance. It doesn’t matter that Tehran has fulfilled all its commitments to the deal — according to UN inspectors. Once the leadership in Tehran concluded that the U.S. sanctions tsunami is fiercer than ever, it decided to begin partially withdrawing from the deal.

President Hassan Rouhani was adamant: Iran has not left the JCPOA — yet. Tehran’s measures are legal under the framework of articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA — and European officials were informed in advance. But it’s clear the EU3 (Germany, France, Britain), who have always insisted on their vocal support for the JCPOA, must work seriously to alleviate the U.S.-provoked economic disaster to Iran if Tehran has any incentive to continue to abide by the agreement.

Protests in front of former U.S. embassy in Tehran after U.S. decision to withdraw from JCPOA, May 8, 2018. (Hossein Mersadi via Wikimedia Commons)

Russia and China — the pillars of Eurasia integration, to which Iran adheres — support Tehran’s position. This was discussed extensively in Moscow by Sergey Lavrov and Iran’s Javad Zarif, perhaps the world’s top two foreign ministers.

At the same time, it’s politically naïve to believe the Europeans will suddenly grow a backbone.

The comfortable assumption in Berlin, Paris and London was that Tehran could not afford to leave the JCPOA even if it was not receiving any of the economic rewards promised in 2015. Yet now the EU3 are facing the hour of truth.

It’s hard to expect anything meaningful coming from an enfeebled Chancellor Angela Merkel, with Berlin already targeted by Washington’s trade ire; a Brexit-paralyzed Britain; and a massively unpopular President Emmanuel Macron in France already threatening to impose his own sanctions if Tehran does not agree to limit its ballistic missile program. Tehran will never allow inspections over its thriving missile industry – and this was never part of the JCPOA to begin with.

As it stands, the EU3 are not buying Iranian oil. They are meekly abiding by the U.S. banking and oil/gas sanctions — which are now extended to manufacturing sectors — and doing nothing to protect Iran from its nasty effects. The implementation of INSTEX, the SWIFT alternative for trade with Iran, is languishing. Besides expressing lame “regrets” about the U.S. sanctions, the EU3 are de facto playing the game on the side of U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates; and by extension against Russia, China and Iran.

Rise of the Imperial Psychos

As Tehran de facto kicked the ball to the European court, both EU3 options are dire. To meaningfully defend the JCPOA will invite a ballistic reaction from the Trump administration. To behave like poodles — the most probable course of action — means emboldening even more the psychopaths doubling as imperial functionaries bent on a hot war against Iran at all costs; Koch brothers Big Oil asset and enraptured evangelist, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and paid Mujahideen-e Khalq asset and notorious intel manipulator, National Security Advisor John Bolton.

The Pompeo-Bolton gangster maneuver is hardly Bismarck’s Realpolitik. It consists of relentlessly pushing Tehran to make a mistake, any mistake, in terms of “violating” its obligations under the JCPOA, so that this may be sold to gullible American public opinion as the proverbial “threat” to the “rules-based order” doubling as a casus belli.

There’s one thing the no-holds-barred U.S. economic war against Iran has managed to achieve: internal unity in the Islamic Republic. Team Rouhani’s initial aim for the JCPOA was to open up to Western trade (trade with Asia was always on) and somewhat curtail the power of the IRGC, or Revolutionary Guards, which control vast sectors of the Iranian economy.

Washington’s economic war proved instead the IRGC was right all along, echoing the finely-tuned geopolitical sentiment of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who always emphasized the Americans cannot be trusted, ever.

And as much as Washington has branded the IRGC a “terrorist organization,” Tehran replied in kind, branding CENTCOM the same.

Independent Persian Gulf oil traders dismiss the notion that the kleptocrat House of Saud — de facto run by Jared “of Arabia” Kushner’s Whatsapp pal Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), the Saudi  crown prince – holds up to 2.5 million barrels of oil a day in spare capacity capable of replacing Iran’s 2 million barrels of exports (out of 3.45 million of total daily production). The House of Saud seems more interested in hiking oil prices for Asian customers.

London protests at Saudi bombing of Yemen. March 2018. (Alisdare Hickson via Flickr)

Faulty Blockade

Washington’s energy trade blockade of Iran is bound to fail.

China will continue to buy its 650,000 barrels a day – and may even buy more. Multiple Chinese companies trade technology and industrial services for Iranian oil.

Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey — all bordering Iran — will continue to buy Iranian high-quality light crude by every method of payment (including gold) and transportation available, formal or informal. Baghdad’s trade relationship with Tehran will continue to thrive.

As economic suffocation won’t suffice, Plan B is — what else — the threat of a hot war.

It’s by now established that the info, in fact rumors, about alleged Iranian maneuvers to attack U.S. interests in the Gulf was relayed to Bolton by the Mossad, at the White House, with Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat personally briefing Bolton.

Everyone is aware of the corollary: a “reposition of assets” (in Pentagonese) — from the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group deployment to four B-52 bombers landing in Al Udeid Air base in Qatar, all part of a “warning” to Iran.

A pre-war roaring crescendo now engulfs the Lebanese front as well as the Iranian front.

Reasons for Psychotic Rage

Iran’s GDP is similar to Thailand’s, and its military budget is similar to Singapore’s. Bullying Iran is a geopolitical and geo-economic absurdity. Iran may be an emerging Global South actor — it could easily be a member of the G20 — but can never be construed as a “threat” to the U.S.

Yet Iran provokes psychopathic imperial functionaries to a paroxysm of rage for three serious reasons. Neocons never mind that trying to destroy Iraq cost over $6 trillion — and it was a major war crime, a political disaster, and an economic abyss all rolled into one. Trying to destroy Iran will cost untold trillions more.

The most glaring reason for the irrational hatred is the fact the Islamic Republic is one of the very few nations on the planet consistently defying the hegemon — for four decades now.

The second reason is that Iran, just like Venezuela — and this is a combined war front — have committed the supreme anathema; trading on energy bypassing the petrodollar, the foundation stone of U.S. hegemony.

The third (invisible) reason is that to attack Iran is to disable emerging Eurasia integration, just like using NSA spying to ultimately put Brazil in the bag was an attack on Latin American integration.

The non-stop hysteria over whether President Donald Trump is being maneuvered into war on Iran by his pet psychopaths – well, he actually directed Iran to “Call me” — eludes the Big Picture. As shown before, a possible shut down of the Strait of Hormuz, whatever the reasons, would be like a major meteor impact on the global economy. And that would inevitably translate as no Trump reelection in 2020.

The Strait of Hormuz would never need to be blocked if all the oil Iran is able to export is bought by China, other Asian clients and even Russia — which could relabel it. But Tehran wouldn’t blink on blocking Hormuz if faced with total economic strangulation.

According to a dissident U.S. intel expert, “the United States is at a clear disadvantage in that if the Strait of Hormuz is shut the U.S. collapses. But if the U.S. can divert Russia from defending Iran, then Iran can be attacked and Russia will have accomplished nothing, as the neocons do not want detente with Russia and China. Trump does want detente but the Deep State does not intend to permit it.”

Assuming this scenario is correct, the usual suspects in the United States government are trying to divert Putin from the Strait of Hormuz question while keeping Trump weakened, as the neocons proceed 24/7 on the business of strangling Iran. It’s hard to see Putin falling for this not exactly elaborate trap.

Not Bluffing

So what happens next? Professor Mohammad Marandi at the Faculty of World Studies of the University of Tehran offers quite a sobering perspective: “After 60 days Iran will push things even further. I don’t think the Iranians are bluffing. They will also be pushing back at the Saudis and the Emiratis by different means.”

Marandi, ominously, sees “further escalation” ahead:

“Iranians have been preparing for war with the Unites States ever since the Iraq invasion in 2003. After what they’ve seen in Libya, in Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, they know that the Americans and Europeans are utterly brutal. The whole shore of the Persian Gulf on the Iranian side and the Gulf of Oman is full of tunnels and underground high-tech missiles. The Persian Gulf is full of ships equipped with highly developed sea-to-sea missiles. If there is real war, all the oil and gas facilities in the region will be destroyed, all the tankers will be destroyed.”

And if that show comes to pass, Marandi regards the Strait of Hormuz as the “sideshow”:

“The Americans will be driven out of Iraq. Iraq exports 4 million barrels of oil a day; that would probably come to an end, through strikes and other means. It would be catastrophic for the Americans. It would be catastrophic for the world – and for Iran as well. But the Americans would simply not win.”

So as Marandi explains it — and Iranian public opinion now largely agrees — the Islamic Republic has leverage because they know “the Americans can’t afford to go to war. Crazies like Pompeo and Bolton may want it, but many in the establishment don’t.”

Tehran may have developed a modified MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) framework as leverage, mostly to push Trump ally MbS to cool down. “Assuming,” adds Marandi, “the madmen don’t get the upper hand, and if they do, then it’s war. But for the time being, I thinks that’s highly unlikely.”

Guided-missile destroyer USS Porter transits Strait of Hormuz, May 2012. (U.S. Navy/Alex R. Forster)

All Options on the Table?

In Cold War 2.0 terms, from Central Asia to the Eastern Mediterranean and from the Indian Ocean to the Caspian Sea, Tehran is able to count on quite a set of formal and informal alliances. That not only centers on the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad-Tehran-Herat axis, but also includes Turkey and Qatar. And most important of all, the top actors on the Eurasian integration chessboard: the Russia and China in strategic partnership.

When Zarif met Lavrov last week in Moscow, they discussed virtually everything: Syria (they negotiate together in the Astana, now Nur-Sultan process), the Caspian, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (of which Iran will become a member), the JCPOA and Venezuela.

The Trump administration was dragged kicking and screaming to meet Kim Jong-Un at the same table because of the DPRK’s intercontinental ballistic missile tests. And then Kim ordered extra missile tests because, in his own words, as quoted by KCNA, “genuine peace and security of the country are guaranteed only by the strong physical force capable of defending its sovereignty.”

Global South Watching

The overwhelming majority of Global South nations are watching the U.S. neocon offensive to ultimately strangle “the Iranian people”, aware more than ever that Iran may be bullied to extinction because it does not posses a nuclear deterrent. The IRGC has reached the same conclusion.

That would mean the death of the JCPOA – and the Return of the Living Dead of “all options on the table.”

But then, there’ll be twists and turns in the Art of the (Demented) Deal. So what if, and it’s a major “if”, Donald Trump is being held hostage by his pet psychopaths?

Let The Dealer speak:

“We hope we don’t have to do anything with regard to the use of military force…We can make a deal, a fair deal. … We just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons. Not too much to ask. And we would help put them back into great shape. They’re in bad shape right now. I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We’re not looking to hurt Iran. I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy… We have no secrets. And they can be very, very strong, financially. They have great potential.”

Then again, Ayatollah Khamenei said: the Americans cannot be trusted, ever.

Resistance report: Syrian Army kicks off long overdue Idlib offensive and Washington intensifies Iran threats

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Resistance report: Syrian Army kicks off long overdue Idlib offensive and Washington intensifies Iran threats

On May 6, the Syrian Army finally kicked off the long awaited Idlib offensive to expel the US-backed Jihadists from the Idlib demilitarized zone. Having postponed the offensive for months due to Ankara’s reluctance to allow the Syrian Army to reclaim the area, Moscow and Damascus finally lost their patience after the latest Jihadist missile attack on Hmaimeem airport last week and decided to punish these terrorists once and for all. This is the first offensive that the Syrian Army and its allies are launching this year, and despite some claims that the Syrian Army offensive will target the entire Idlib Governorate, the operation will rather be limited to the so called demilitarized zone that stretches from the Al-Ghaab Plain to the Abu Dhuhour Crossing. The offensive is primarily lead by the Syrian Army in coordination with allied militias, with the Russian Air Force covering the skies, however Iranian forces will also be present to offer logistical support. Since launching the offensive, the Syrian Army has quickly managed to steamroll the terrorists in northwestern Hama, moving to capture the imperative town of Kafr Naboudeh, as they are marching towards the Al-Ghaab plain. To the west, Syrian Forces are moving to attack the remaining Jihadist-held towns in northeastern Latakia, especially targeting the imperative town of Kabbani. The Syrian Army will be successful if they can neutralize the Jihadist threat to the government held towns in the Hama and Idlib provinces, thus denying the terrorists to launch raids on these towns.

What remains to be seen now is how Ankara will react as they are deeply entrenched with the Jihadist forces across this area, having previously set up 12 “observation posts” stretching between Latakia and Aleppo provinces. It is also interesting to speculate what this offensive will mean for Ankara and its proxies, if the Syrian Army is successful. As the Jihadists lose more ground, Ankara loses influence over northwestern Syria while the SDF consolidates its hold over the land east of the Euphrates. One theory as to why Ankara has agreed to this territory could be that Moscow and Damascus have temporarily agreed to allow Ankara to launch an offensive on the SDF held territory to the east, as a way to replace the territorial losses sustained on the Idlib front. Indeed Damascus has vowed to retake every inch of Syria, but given the amount of players involved in this war and given the numerous obstacles standing in Damascus’ way, it seems that a pragmatic approach is the best way to go here. It would be preferable if eastern Syria was occupied by Ankara and its proxies rather than by Washington and its proxies due to the fact that Ankara is more likely to cooperate and strike deals with Moscow and Damascus than the insane people over in Washington.

Washington intensifies animosity towards Tehran

Another week, another threat. Washington’s threats against Iran have become a weekly ritual now as idiots Pompeo and Bolton issued new threats towards as part of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran. Tehran had earlier warned that if Iran cannot use the strait of Hormuz, then the IRGC would close it for everyone. This prompted Washington to ramp up its threats as they sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the region, in what was described as a “clear and unmistakable message to Iran” by Bolton. He added that the decision was “in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” Really? In this situation Iran is the aggressive one who is escalating things? The Persian Gulf is Iran’s lifeline, and Washington is looking to cut that lifeline, situated some 10 000 kilometres away from America’s eastern coastlines, yet Iran is the one that must argue for why it is not seeking war with the most aggressive evil regime the world has ever seen. On top of that the White House fool Trump issued an executive order on Wednesday, imposing new sanctions on Iran’s metal and mining sectors, with Trump even taking to Twitter to threaten anyone doing business with Iran to have their assets illegally seized by Washington. At the same time, the White House fool added that he is “looking forward to someday meeting with the leaders of Iran in order to work out an agreement and, very importantly, taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves,”

What kind of a sick statement is this? Washington truly has no limit as to how low it can sink. Do they actually believe that Tehran will capitulate and agree to humiliation? I have a hard time believing even the idiots in Washington are this stupid. They can’t seriously believe that Tehran is going to be enticed to come back to the table with these threats and sanctions imposed. As a matter of fact things in Iran is looking really bad for the proponents of the JCPOA and further negotiations with Washington and its vassals as the conservative bloc, known as “hardliners” in the West were actually proven right in their arguments that it is completely pointless to negotiate anything with the West. President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have been facing a lot of scrutiny in Iran lately for their naïve belief that this deal would thaw relations with the West, and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has vocally criticized the deal in several speeches this year. As conservatives gain more ground in Iran, a fact I suspect Washington fully understands, Tehran is eyeing the only option remaining now: confrontation. It is either that or lying down and accepting death and defeat. The only conclusion I can draw from this mess is that Washington is actively looking for war. They want to provoke Tehran into a first strike so that they can start a larger regional war not only against Iran but also Tehran’s allies in Hezbollah and the Iraqi militias in a bid to destroy the entire resistance to the Zionist empire altogether.

This week also saw Iran informing the five remaining signatories to the JCPOA of its decision to suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the multinational agreement, exactly one year after Washington unilaterally abandoned the agreement. I am amazed over the amount of self-restraint and patience exercised by Tehran since Washington’s exit from the deal last year, as Tehran has given the remaining signatories almost 12 months’ time to compensate for Washington’s withdrawal and guarantee the survival of the deal. Nevertheless, no measures to blunt the impact of economic sanctions re-imposed on Tehran have been taken by the remaining signatories. Not only is the Islamic Republic entitled to suspend the implementation of the deal, but it also has the right to withdraw from it altogether, what is the point of remaining in the deal when the main reason for entering it is now all but gone?

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has also given the remaining signatories 60 days to meet their commitments, and if they fail to address Tehran’s concerns, Tehran will suspend the implementation of two more commitments under the JCPOA. Unsurprisingly, the EU immediately rejected the ultimatum and expressed “great concern” about Iran’s decision. In a statement issued on May 9, top EU diplomats said “We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). In this respect, we recall the key role of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) monitoring and verification of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments.”

In the statement, the Europeans further expressed regret about the re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran and said they would stay fully committed to “the preservation and full implementation” of the JCPOA, which they described as “a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in the security interest of all.”

What a pathetic statement. When Washington withdrew from the deal, no one dared to even say a word, but when Tehran seeks to suspend some of its implementation after having been betrayed, the EU wants to “assess Iran’s compliance?” The EU has had a year to come up with a plan to continue the deal despite Washington’s withdrawal, but do not have the guts to stand up to Washington’s criminal behaviour of unilateral sanctions and threats. Instead all they have done is to talk nonsense and issue poor statements about their so called “commitments”. Washington has threatened to sanction anyone doing business with Iran, this includes its European vassals, why should Iran believe that the EU would dare to stand up to Washington and risk being slapped with sanctions themselves for the sake of Tehran? Ayatollah Khamenei previously warned that he does not trust the Europeans and has no faith in their promises, he is absolutely right as he fully understands that the EU has no will of its own and are a bunch of cowards who let Washington dictate their interests.

Tehran has nothing more to lose than it already has here, why remain in a deal that leaves Tehran without the deterrence of nuclear weapons and still be sanctioned? This situation is even worse than the one before the JCPOA deal. I usually don’t agree with the conservative bloc on foreign policy matters, but I see no other choice here for Tehran to guarantee its own survival in the face of Washington’s relentless aggression and criminal behaviour.

FM Zarif rules out US-Iran war, but says ‘accidents’ possible

Source

Fri May 3, 2019 02:40PM

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Asia Society organization in New York on April 24, 2019.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Asia Society organization in New York on April 24, 2019.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismisses the likelihood of a war between Iran and the United States but says certain “accidents” might ignite a military confrontation.

In a recent interview with the British online newspaper Independent at Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, Zarif said although he did not think a war between Iran and the US was imminent, “accidents can happen” that then spiral into a “military conflict.”

In response to a question about the nature of such accidents, Zarif gave the example of a recent move by US President Donald Trump to put Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on its blacklist of foreign “terrorist” organizations.

A lack of “vital communication” between the IRGC forces and ships going through the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway where most of the world’s oil exporters pass through, can easily lead to conflict.

The United States in April officially registered the IRGC as a “foreign terrorist organization,” according to a notice published on the website of the US Federal Register.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) slammed the US government as “supporter of terrorism,” designating American forces in West Asia, known as the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), as a “terrorist organization.”

In a statement, the Iranian top security council said the designation came as a “reciprocal measure” against US President Trump’s “illegal and unwise” move to blacklist the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.

In a meeting with IRGC personnel and their family members in the capital Tehran, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the recent US decision is rooted in America’s “rancor” against the force, which has been in the forefront of the fight against enemies.

“The IRGC is the vanguard both on the field confronting the enemy on [Iranian] borders and even several thousand kilometers away [in Syria] as well as on the political battleground against the enemy,” the Leader said, adding that Americans hold a grudge against the force for that reason.

Read more:

Also in his interview, the top Iranian diplomat mentioned an incident happened in the Persian Gulf in January 2016 when the IRGC naval forces arrested 10 US sailors after their patrol boats entered Iran’s territorial waters.

Zarif said that “a direct line of communication” between him and his US counterpart at the time John Kerry let the two top diplomats control the situation and secure the quick release of American sailors, adding that no such communication channel exists today.

“So a similar incident in the Persian Gulf could quickly get out of hand,” he said.

On January 13, 2016, the IRGC announced that ten US Marines, who had drifted into the country’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf and had been taken into Iranian custody, had been released after Americans apologized for the incident.

Read more:

When asked about Zarif’s interview with Fox News, the Iranian foreign minister said he wanted to reach out to Trump’s base in American mainstream “because it is important to speak to the other side sometimes”.

However, he noted that it was not his first interview with Fox and that he had talked to the channel years ago when he was Iran’s ambassador at the United Nations in New York.

In the interview with “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”, the top Iranian diplomat said all measures adopted by the administration of President Trump in dealing with Iran conveyed a message that “the United States is not reliable.”

 

طهران في مواجهة القرصان

أبريل 30, 2019

د. عدنان منصور

منذ وصوله إلى الرئاسة الأميركية، لم يتوقف هيجان الرئيس ترامب عن اتخاذ قراراته التعسفية ضد دول وحركات وشخصيات وطنية، ترفض الهيمنة الأميركية وإملاءاتها بكل أشكالها، وتحرص على سيادتها واستقلالية قرارها ونهجها الحر. فمن روسيا وإيران والصين وكوريا الشمالية مروراً بسورية وفنزويلا وكوبا ونيكاراغوا، وصولاً إلى حركات المقاومة ومناضليها في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق واليمن، يصرّ «الكاوبوي الأميركي» على تطويق الدول والحركات، ومعاقبة المقاومين للهيمنة والاحتلال، لأنهم يشكلون له ولعلمائه تحدياً مباشراً، يحبطون سياساته المتهورة، التي أفقدت الولايات المتحدة صدقيتها ونزاهتها، لعدم التزامها بالاتفاقيات الموقّعة من جانبها، وبالقوانين الدولية، وعدم الاكتراث بالأحكام وبميثاق الأمم المتحدة وهي تتعاطى مع دول العالم. إجراءات وقرارات وعقوبات وحصار يصبّ في كل الاتجاهات، يتخذها ترامب بكل عنجهية واستبداد، ضد هذه الدول، ظناً منه، أنه يستطيع لوي ذراعها، وحملها بالقوة على الإذعان لإرادته وسياساته. وما إيران إلا واحدة من هذه الدول، التي تجد نفسها، منذ قيام ثورتها عام 1979، أمام مواجهة شرسة ومتواصلة مع الجبروت الأميركي، الذي لم يتوقف يوماً، عن محاولاته في زعزعة النظام الإيراني، والانقضاض على الثورة، وإطاحتها. والتي تشكل له ولحلفائه في المنطقة، تحدياً متواصلاً، وخصماً عنيداً وشرساً، وهو يتصدى لمشاريعه ومؤامراته، ويعمل على إفشال خططه الرامية إلى احتواء المنطقة كلها، وجعلها داخل دائرة نفوذه، يحقق له المزيد من الهيمنة عليها، واستغلاله بشكل كامل لثرواتها وخيراتها، دون أي معارضة أو مقاومة، وهو الذي تعوّد أن يتعاطى مع نماذج من «حكام» في المنطقة والعالم، يأمرهم ويطيعون، يحاسبهم ويدفعون، يحميهم وينوخون، ويذلهم وهم قانعون.

هي حال إيران الثورة اليوم، وهي في مواجهة القرصان الأميركي الذي يستعد يوم 2 أيار المقبل، لفرض المزيد من العقوبات الأميركية الظالمة الأحادية الجانب عليها، التي لم تتوقف منذ أربعين عاماً، وتأتي بعد انسحاب الولايات المتحدة من الاتفاق النووي، غير مكترثة بالمجتمع الدولي ولا بالدول الموقّعة عليه، ولا بقرار مجلس الأمن ذات الصلة القاضي برفع العقوبات عن إيران. انسحاب يعرّي أخلاق سياسة ترامب، ويكشف زيف صدقيتها ونزاهتها، ومدى احترامها للمبادئ والقيم التي رفعتها الثورة الأميركية.

بعد ان تقدمت إيران بشكوى ضد الولايات المتحدة أمام محكمة العدل الدولية في 16 تموز 2018، احتجاجاً على إعادة فرض عقوبات اقتصادية ومالية عليها، وذلك بعد خروجها، أصدرت المحكمة الدولية حكمها في 3 تشرين الأول 2018، ألزمت بموجبه الولايات المتحدة، برفع العقوبات التي تطال السلع «ذات الغايات الإنسانية» عن إيران، على أن لا تؤثر هذه العقوبات على المساعدات الإنسانية، وسلامة الطيران المدني الإيراني. ورغم ذلك لم تكترث واشنطن بقرار المحكمة الدولية، بل ذهبت بعيداً لكي تفرض عقوبات أكثر شدة في 5 تشرين الأول 2018، تشمل صادرات النفط، والشحن، والمعادن، وكل القطاعات الأساسية في الاقتصاد الإيراني.. عقوبات رأى فيها ترامب، أنها الأشد على الإطلاق. وأن الولايات المتحدة سوف تستهدف بحزم أي شركة أو كيان يتحايل على العقوبات.

واشنطن تريد من دول العالم تحت التهديد، وقف العمل مع طهران، والالتزام الكامل بالعقوبات الأميركية الأحادية الجانب المفروضة عليها، وذلك من أجل تحقيق أهداف عدة:

1 – وقف تدفق النفط الإيراني إلى دول العالم، وتصفير صادراته إليها مما سبّب حتى الآن، في انسحاب أكثر من 100 شركة عالمية ضخمة من إيران، ووضع 700 كيان وفرد على اللائحة السوداء.

2 – قطع أنظمة السويفت جمعية الاتصالات المالية العالمية بين البنوك تعاملها مع البنوك الإيرانية، لعزل إيران عن النظام المالي الدولي.

3 – خنق الاقتصاد الإيراني دولياً، من خلال التهديد الأميركي بفرض العقوبات على كل جهة تخرق العقوبات الأميركية، ولا تتقيّد بها نصاً وروحاً.

4 – الضغط على الداخل الإيراني، لحمل الشعب على التحرك والانتفاضة ضد النظام، وتحميله المسؤولية، وتحريضه على العصيان، وإيجاد الشرخ بين النظام والشعب الإيراني، وحضّه على الثورة وتغيير النظام.

5 – تدهور العملة الإيرانية وتراجع قوتها الشرائية وارتفاع معدل التضخم.

6 – التأثير السلبي للعقوبات على الوضع الاقتصادي والاجتماعي والمعيشي، والارتفاع العشوائي لأسعار السلع الاستراتيجية.

7 – تدهور الاقتصاد الإيراني وإعاقة التطور للبلاد، والحد من النمو للإنتاج القومي، وارتفاع البطالة، وضمور خطط التنمية الخمسية.

وللعودة عن هذه العقوبات، تشترط واشنطن على إيران أن تستجيب لاثني عشر مطلباً أبرزها:

أ – وقف تخصيب اليورانيوم وإغلاق المفاعل العامل على الماء الثقيل. وهذا يعني عملياً وقف البرنامج النووي السلمي الإيراني بالكامل.

ب – منح مفتشي الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، حق الوصول إلى كل المواقع العسكرية في البلاد. والغاية الأميركية من ذلك، كشف المواقع العسكرية الإيرانية كلها للعدو وللعالم، وبالتالي تعريض الأمن القومي الإيراني للخطر.

ج – وقف نشر الصواريخ البالستية والتطوير اللاحق للصواريخ القادرة على حمل الأسلحة النووية. بهذا تريد الولايات المتحدة حرمان إيران من أي قوة ردع صاروخية مهمتها الدفاع عن أرضها وحماية أجوائها.

د – تنسحب كامل القوات التي تخضع للقيادة الإيرانية من سورية. والهدف هو تجريد سورية من دعم حلفائها وتركها فريسة لواشنطن وقوى الإرهاب المدعومة من الخارج، التي تعمل على إطاحة النظام والإتيان بنظام عميل يتماشى مع سياسات واشنطن وحلفائها في المنطقة.

هـ – فك ارتباط إيران مع دول الجوار، لا سيما العراق الذي يشكل لها بوابة رئيسة تطل منه على المنطقة، نظراً لما يشكله هذا الارتباط من تعزيز العلاقات الثنائية المشتركة للبلدين، وحضورهما الفاعل على الساحة المشرقية.

و – التوقف عن تقديم الدعم «للمنظمات الإرهابية». وهو وصف تطلقه واشنطن والعدو الإسرائيلي على حركات المقاومة في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق واليمن وغيرها، حتى تتمكّن من القضاء عليها، وبسط نفوذها، واستئثارها بالمنطقة ومن ثم إدخالها في صفقة العصر.

ز – وقف دعم المقاومة، أي «الإرهاب» – بمفهوم واشنطن – من قِبَل فيلق القدس التابع للحرس الثوري الإيراني.

مطالب واشنطن التعجيزيّة، يريد منها ترامب تحجيم وتقزيم الدور الإيراني وشلّ قدراته، والنيل من سيادة إيران، وقرارها المستقل، والالتفاف على الثورة وجعلها أسداً من دون أنياب، أمام هجمة أميركية شرسة لن تتوقف ضدها، تهدف أولاً وأخيراً إلى تصفية حساب واشنطن مع النظام والثورة، وإطاحتها بكل الوسائل، لإعادة إيران من جديد، إلى بيت الطاعة الأميركي، بكل ما يحويه هذا البيت من تسلط وهيمنة وابتزاز، واستبداد وتوحش واستغلال.

بعد أربعين عاماً من الثورة، وما رافقها من سياسات أميركية وصهيونية – عربية وقحة تجاه طهران، ورغم مروحة العقوبات الواسعة والظالمة المفروضة عليها، التي آذت دون شك إيران وشعبها، وأعاقت طموح الإيرانيين في تنمية البلاد وتحقيق إنجازات أكبر من الإنجازات الكثيرة الباهرة التي حققوها على الصعد كافة، فإن هذه العقوبات لم تستطع أن تلوي ذراع الثورة الإيرانية وقيادتها، ولا أن تحبط من عزيمة الإيرانيين وعنفوانهم وإصرارهم، بل أعطت إيران زخماً وحافزاً قوياً للاعتماد على الذات، ونقل إيران إلى مواقع متقدمة على الصعيد العلمي والصناعي والعسكري والبحثي والتكنولوجي والاستراتيجي.

تصفير صادرات النفط الإيرانية لن ينجح وسيُمنى بالفشل. فإيران لديها الوسائل العديدة، والخبرة الكافية لإفشال العقوبات في هذا المجال، كسبتها على مدى عقود وهي تتعامل مع سياسات الولايات المتحدة المستبدة حيالها، وحيال شعبها وثورتها.

مشكلة الرئيس ترامب تكمن في أنه لا يعرف بعد، مدى صلابة الشعب الإيراني، ولم يختبر عن قرب معدنه وعقيدته. شعب خبِر جيداً سلوك الولايات المتحدة، وما سببت له من ويلات، عانى منها الأمرّين على مدى عقود، جراء سياساتها المستبدة، ودعمها المتواصل لقوى الشر والإرهاب التي فتكت بدول المنطقة، وحمايتها لطغاة العالم، من أجل الحفاظ على مصالحها واستغلالها لثروات الشعوب المستضعفة ونهب خيراتها.

لم يدرك ترامب بعد، أن الشعب الإيراني الملتف حول قيادته، وحول جيشه وحرسه الثوري، والمتمسك بحقه وكرامته دون هوادة، قادر على أن يتحمل المزيد من العقوبات الشرسة وإحباطها دون التفريط بمبادئه وحقوقه وعقيدته وانتمائه ومواقفه الثابتة، في الدفاع عن وطنه وقيمه، ومواجهة قوى الاستبداد السياسي، والإرهاب الاقتصادي، بكل أشكالهما مهما كلّف ذلك من ثمن.

أمام العقوبات المنتظرة، ليس من خيار لإيران إلا الصمود. فهذا قدرها… صمود وإن طال الزمن، فسينتصر في نهاية الأمر، لأنه يعبّر بكل قوة، عن إرادة شعب في الحياة الحرّة الكريمة، ويعبّر أيضاً عن ثورة ارتضاها لنفسه، يحصّنها ويحميها، وإن تربّص بها طغاة العالم، يرعاهم ويقودهم قرصان هائج.

وزير خارجية سابق.

$0 in Iran oil sales? Anything to stop Muslim democracy… but they won’t stop it

April 27, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

If 7,000 Greeks can stop the Persian empire at the narrow pass at Thermopylae, I think it’s absurd to think Iran can’t stop 20-30% of global oil traffic at the 3 kilometer-wide shipping lane in the Strait of Hormuz. That would, of course provoke a global crisis and economic disaster.

That’s the “nuclear option” for Iran. It is reportedly part of a military plan called “Ghadir”, which evokes the alpha letter of modern Iranian Islamic history – Ghadir Khumm is the location where Prophet Mohammad anointed Imam Ali his successor, but (those who came to be called) Sunnis amazingly rejected the Prophet’s wishes. Shia – which means “partisans of Ali” – did not.

The US has severely overestimated their military capability to defend this attempt to politicise oil and get Iranian oil exports to zero. Mining the strait, mini-subs, kamikaze speedboats – all of these will be hugely effective against anything the US Navy has. For all the US drones and satellites and aircraft carriers, there is no way they can protect the Straits of Hormuz long-term, not any more than they could hold any of a thousand Afghan mountain passes long-term. Should we trust history or the sales pitches of corrupt Pentagon contractors?

No military can stop endless kamikazes. But who wants to be a kamikaze? What could produce the desire to be a kamikaze?

$0 in oil sales may do it.

There is undoubtedly a part of the Iranian psyche which now wants a final showdown. The years of talking, talking, talking about the JCPOA pact on Iran’s nuclear energy program… and then its failure, thanks to US unilateralism and spineless European hypocrisy, has created a lot of existential angst for Iranians. How can Iranian diplomacy work when the opponents refuse diplomacy and honor?

That is an existential and philosophical question, but there is also a lot of undeniable frustration since the inhumanly effective 2012 Triple Sanctions (US, UN, EU). Iranian society has been forced to become perceptibly more desperate, more coarse, less warm, less Iranian – it is difficult to admit this.

Iran cannot be forced into starvation indefinitely. That is why blocking the Strait of Hormuz – if it ever happens – will certainly be accompanied with an ultimatum: the West must end Iran’s isolation and finally accept the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979. The world must live with us, finally, because it cannot live without us in the 21st century.

Unfortunately, due to Islamophobia, even more so than 40 years of media-led Iranophobia, nobody in the West is going to burn a draft card for Iran. The opposition to the obviously immoral war on Iraq produced just a day of street protests in the US – hardly worth the effort. Neither is Iran in the position of the USSR, meaning it has no chance to save the West from racist fascists – after all, the West supports the racist fascists (Taliban in the 1980s, ISIL today, et al).

Because nobody in the West will put any pressure on the governments to stop the oppression of Iran, perhaps Iran has to force the issue by closing the Strait of Hormuz? Is Iran backed into a corner?

I say no, because Iran is not going to sell $0 in oil in month of May.

Firstly, should Iran be worried? Answer: no. The world needs Iranian oil (and revolutionary culture)

When is the last time the US policy worked out in the Middle East? Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen – all have had their growth retarded, but are not destroyed… just like Iran.

As Pepe Escobar pointed out, it’s much easier to retard the Colombian dream of Eurasian integration by attacking its weakest major point – Iran, as opposed to China and Russia.

The bottom line is: can the US do what it claims – reduce Iranian oil sales to $0. No, they cannot.

It certainly seems like the US is foolishly believing self-aggrandising and duplicitous claims from Gulf princes, who are overestimating their oil production abilities.

However, we must first remember that Saudi hatred for Iran is not based on religion – even though “Saudis are not Muslims – they are Wahhabis,” as the regional saying goes – it is based on politics: they hate Iran for proving that all monarchies are immoral, ineffective, undemocratic and a hindrance to the type of democracy Muslims want (Islamic socialist). Their animosity is based on Iran’s ability to make Muslims aware of their modern Islamic socialist rights, and to show how acquiring these rights does not – as the West insists – require the exclusion of their culture, history and religion. Iran, in the manner of all true revolutionaries, insists on constantly couching it in these drastic but honest terms, thus continually flouting their rebellion and their success in the face of the horrific Gulf monarchs.

But the Gulf monarchs, shockingly, are liars: They will NOT be able to give China and India enough replacement oil.

Saudi production peaked at 11 million bpd (barrels per day) last November, which was the system’s maximum stress level, but is now down below 10 million. Offsetting Iranian production – getting up to at least 12 million bpd – thus seems impossible: “A 2-million-bpd Saudi production increase would move the Kingdom’s oil production into unchartered territory and would wipe out completely the kingdom’s spare capacity,” according to Gary Ross, head of global oil analytics at S&P global, via Reuters.

Anyway, Saudi Arabia is not going to increase oil production in May despite the sanctions – they want higher prices to continue bankrupting shale oil / fracking. Because the Saudi state full of disorganised and egotistical princes, they are also full of conflicting agendas.

As far as the UAE, they produce only 3 million bpd, so they aren’t capable of tipping the output scales drastically.

Furthermore, OPEC is at its lowest production since 2015, and Venezuela and Libya show no signs of regaining former glories anytime soon. Even if slow increases from the Saudis and UAE arrive, there are other drains on oil inventories to offset even before cutting off Iran.

So why should Iran feel like we aren’t needed anymore?

Only an administration as filled with incompetents as the Trump administration is could take such lies and mixed signals seriously. But the US is about Israel first, corporations second and everyone else last, therefore any attempt to foment regional stability and higher oil prices makes their constituents happy. Of course, it also advances capitalism-imperialism.

Iran – still no retreat, no surrender… still no big deal

Even just moderately-intelligent Westerners know that “Iran sanctions aren’t a realistic path to peace”, because the sanctions are not designed for peace, but for fomenting internal civil war and to support regional US imperialism.

There is another way Iran could decisively end Western antagonism: simply accede to Western demands, as encapsulated by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s totally-absurd 12 demands. All Iran has to do is – just like the North Vietnamese, North Koreans, Cubans and Chinese – is renounce their revolution entirely, like Egypt, post-Sankara Burkina Faso and now, to a lesser extent, Julian Assange-betraying Ecuador.

I examined what steps Iran would have to actually take in order to get the Cold War called off in this article, Iran detente after Trump’s JCPOA pull out? We can wait 2 more years, or 6, or…., which caps my upcoming book on Iran.

Beyond Pompeo’s fatheaded nonsense, it all comes down solely to capitalist-imperialist logic: Iran must sell off a controlling chunk of the nation into Western hands. There is no way Iran will do that – there are just too many people who are too committed to upholding the 1979 Revolution, the Constitution and Iranian sovereignty.

It’s not as if Iran’s politicians are as out-of-touch, arrogant and stupid as a Persian Gulf prince: the current budget is based on only exporting just 1.5 billion barrels per day with a price of only $54 per barrel (or $83 million per day) because we all knew back in early 2016 that a Trump presidency would hit Iran, Cuba and Palestine the hardest. The price is already around $70. If we assume that things really progress badly, we must also assume the price of oil will rise – a price of $80 means Iran needs to sell just 1 million barrels per day ($80 million per day) to stay under budget. Last month, with some countries already instituting cutbacks, Iran sold 1 million barrels.

The reality is that it is all about China and India for Iran – they sell 3 times more oil to them than even Iran’s #3 customer. Reports are conflicting, negotiations are ongoing – we can’t truly say with 100% confidence what will happen in Beijing and New Delhi.

But… India is the more compliant nation, and they are reportedly going to reduce sales to 100,000 bpd using a rupee payment system. The links are going to remain open, and that is all that matters – the numbers will certainly be fudged. Long-term, Iran is quite happy to sell oil in non-dollar denominations and be the pioneer in that move away from the petrodollar.

Regarding China: Some reports say China will actually increase imports from Iran up to 1 million bpd, totally sabotaging the US. I would hold out absolute certainty until the US and China signs their trade deal next month. However, I highly doubt China is going to sabotage the key node – and the absolutely key energy node – in their Belt and Road Project. China might sell out Iran for a couple years, perhaps during the Trump administration, but long-term? No way. China is not an island, and Iran is the only country which has proven to be revolutionary enough for Red China to trust, which is why they have such serious multi-decade plans already signed. Hard to predict the future, but there’s always both short- and long-term considerations, and long-term China and Iran are united, firmly.

Beyond the two big customers, Turkey says they will flout sanctions, but Turkey also talks a much better game than they punch.

Regardless, Iran will still sell oil “illegally”. Iran, as Foreign Minister Javad Zarif recently joked, has a “PhD in that area” of sanctions-busting. Iran was the first modern nation to barter oil for something other than US dollars, and they will be the first nation (I predict) to successfully implement a national crypto-currency.

Iran will obviously send oil to places like Turkey (and India, as Iraq is a top-3 supplier for them) through friendly Iraq. Will Iran lose some profit as a result? Yes, but it’s not like Iranian oil is going to be sold for pennies on the dollar to Iraqis – we are talking minor losses of 10-20%, I’d guess. Over decades that’s significant, but if we are talking about enduring 2 or 6 years more of Trump, then it’s certainly not enough to bankrupt Iran, which is the goal of the illegal US tactic. Crucially, it is certainly fair to assume that now-higher oil costs will offset this new surcharge for sanctions-busting via Iraq.

Regarding bankruptcy: It’s hard to say exactly how much hard currency reserves Iran has, but the IMF said $100 billion in 2017. What reduced oil sales really means – again, $0 won’t happen – is a cutback in new projects.

What does that mean? It means cutting out future infrastructure projects, as well as savings into the National Development Fund. Just as Cuba prioritises their far, far fewer pesos for health, education and food, so will Iran – neither country will starve, neither country will relent… and Iran will still make billions selling oil, unlike Cuba. The years of worsened sanctions has meant things like: Iran have to postpone record breaking projects, like Niayesh Tunnel, the 2nd-largest urban tunnel in the world, finished in 2013, or the Sadr double-decker Expressway, also finished in 2013… but only for a few years. It has meant things like: Iran will get all the global infrastructure in place and start broadcasting PTV Français, and even tap yours truly as its Paris correspondant, but a lack of money means that all the journalism is done solely in Tehran for now. But someday I’ll be reporting in French, Inshallah.

Of course, sanctions do more than retard Iranian growth – the existential angst leads to unnecessary inflation, reluctance for private domestic investment in the “real economy”, and major cutbacks in quality of life for the average Iranian. But, as I’ll point out later – Iran is not Yemen, which is what the US mistakenly thinks they can achieve.

People on the left and the right in Iran actually welcome each new tough sanction with a Persian carpet rollout – it necessarily fuels the “Resistance Economy” championed by Leader Ali Khamenei and others. There is no doubt that a sanctioned people do not just throw up their arms and quit – domestic capacities, initiatives and genius must be honed and further created. In 1995 Iran produced almost no cars – by 2010 they were 14th in the world and the undisputed Middle East leader. These are the types of things I am talking about, but which are not possible without socialist-inspired central planning and central control over industries.

Iran also has recent experience instituting a true War Economy, with rations and coupons to enforce economic egalitarianism, and that is another counterpunch to the US. It also creates countless future economic and cultural benefits.

The Iranian government are not Yemeni rebels, who have no factories, no bureaucracy, no refineries – and thus they are starving, sadly. The Iranian government is the stable status quo, and the status quo always has a million levers to pull before things get hairy… but because they are socialist-inspired, Iran’s government has three million levers. As I have repeatedly demonstrated over the years, the Iranian government controls essentially 100% of the non-Black Market and non-carpet economy. So, far beyond oil, the government actually has the power to completely mobilise the economy in favor of the People, which is something that Eurozone nations no longer have.

The end for US unipolar dominance will arrive swiftly. Iran’s reversal of isolation will also be swift, just as – all of a sudden – the US made detente with China in 1971 after decades of the same sanctions and exclusion Iran deals with. But detente certainly cannot happen during Trump’s first term, given how the US Deep State has so effectively mobilised against him to neuter his once-diplomatic foreign policy plans.

There is no long-term game plan for ending the phobia of Islamic democracy – in 2019, only Iran’s continued determination and success is the answer. Giving up in order to sell oil “legally” is not an answer, nor necessary. Iran has domestic levers to pull for years, and the experience to pull the right ones.

Maybe someday Iran will finally strike back and play their “now the talk really starts” exterior lever – closing the Straits of Hormuz? Iran is all about “neither East nor West but the Iranian Republic”, but I still don’t think that will happen until China feels secure enough to give the signal that they back Iran to the hilt, and that won’t come until the Belt and Road Initiative is further along.

As far as “more sanctions” – certainly disagreeable, but never terminal for Iran.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

Leader: Iran to export as much oil as it needs; US cannot block sales

Press TV

Wed Apr 24, 2019 08:45AM

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets with a group of workers in Tehran, Iran, April 24, 2019. (Photo by khamenei.ir)

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets with a group of workers in Tehran, Iran, April 24, 2019. (Photo by khamenei.ir)

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the US administration’s hostile attempts to block Iran’s oil sales will lead nowhere, and that the country will export “as much crude as it needs and wishes” in defiance of American sanctions.

Speaking at a meeting with a large group of Iranian workers on Wednesday, Leader played down Washington’s recent decision to end exemptions from sanctions for countries buying oil from Tehran.

“In the first place, such attempts will lead nowhere, and we are capable of exporting as much oil as we need and want,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader warned that “this act of hostility will not go unanswered,” emphasizing that the Iranian nation “will not sit idly by” in the face of its enemies.

Ayatollah Khamenei further said the enemies have recurrently failed in their attempts to bring the Iranian nation to its knees.

They are now resorting to economic pressure to achieve that end, but will once again fail to do so, the Leader added.

“They (enemies) imagine they’ve blocked [our] way, but our vigorous nation and vigilant authorities will overcome the dead-ends if they put their efforts into this,” the Leader added.

Ayatollah Khamenei, however, called for collective efforts to reduce domestic dependence on oil.

(This item is being updated.)

Related News

%d bloggers like this: