London, 14 August – The Trump administration is keen to put an end to the Iran threat. Before even becoming president, Trump had criticised the weak Iran nuclear deal and said that he would scrap it. Although it took a while to do, Trump finally announced in May that the United States was exiting the one-sided deal. And since then the administration has been putting the Iranian regime under intense pressure.
It has been two years since the sanctions were lifted and now they have been re-applied. Iran had a real chance to get back into the global arena and Western companies certainly took the opportunity to make some money in Iran.
Instead of seeing the sanctions relief as a great chance to put the country back together again, in other words, start improving the social conditions and services for the people, it wasted the opportunity. The regime plundered vast sums of money on terrorism, fuelling wars abroad, funding proxy groups and militias across the region, and so on.
The first batch of sanctions have now been re-applied and the Trump administration had given foreign companies a three-month grace period to wind down their dealings with Iran. The European Union, on the other hand, scrambled to reverse the negative effect of the U.S. sanctions and tried to compel multinational enterprises to remain in Iran. Not surprisingly, major businesses did not want to take the risk of getting caught up in the sanctions and jeopardising their relationship with the U.S.
In November, the second batch of sanctions affecting Iran’s oil trade will take effect. The U.S. State Department announced that it expects all foreign countries to reduce their imports of Iranian oil to zero. When it realised the impact this would have on oil prices, it admitted that some waivers would be granted to certain allies. Many countries are taking the request seriously and have already started to reduce imports. In less than three months, it is expected that most will have complied with the United States’ deadline.
Trump has also made it clear that historic ties will make no difference when trade tariffs are applied.
The people of Iran are in a desperate situation. They are suffering from the effects of the sanctions but they are also suffering from the effects of clerical rule that has suffocated and supressed them for decades. They have made the regime know that it will no longer be tolerated.
No matter what happens in Iran – whether the people continue with the uprising until a revolution results in the fall of the regime or whether Iran continues to fuel wars and meddle in the internal affairs of other nations – the road to recovery is going to be long and difficult. It is unlikely that the Iranian regime is going to take President Trump up on his offer to meet and negotiate. It would involve some serious changes that will never happen under the current regime. Let’s face it – the regime is based on despotic rule and the Trump administration will not accept it.