Since U.S. President Donald Trump in May 2018 announced the Vienna nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA), which the five vetoes in the UN Security Council plus Germany had concluded with Tehran in the summer of 2015, the US Administration continues to escalate the conflict with Iran. Step by step, embargo measures have been reintroduced and tightened. At the beginning of May, it also abolished the last exceptions for countries particularly affected by this, including Turkey, China and India. With the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the country’s entire elite force was declared a “terrorist organization”. In the face of wilful accusations and open war threats, some observers already feel reminded of the period before the second Iraq War. Berlin and the other capitals of the EU put only lousy words against this.
While well-known neoconservative hawks are stirring the war drum louder and louder, the US president sends conflicting signals. In mid-May, the White House assured several times that Trump would never want a war with Iran. However, immediately after his favorite channel Fox News had speculated on the threat of the US Navy in the Gulf by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and on attacks by pro-Iranian militias on US facilities in Iraq, he threatened on 19. “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” A little later, Fox News Again published an Interview with him, on which he makes Iran responsible for all conflicts in the Middle East, but at the same time assured that he did not want to “fight”. He was not “someone who wants to go to war” because “war is damaging to the economy” and especially because “war kills people”. But there would be a military-industrial complex, the head of state complained a little helpless, and these people would love the war.
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
Indeed, the actual architects of confrontation, such as national security adviser John Bolton, who is widely regarded as the most dangerous man in the United States, and foreign minister Mike Pompeo, are among these. They seem to be hardly slowed down in the propagandist preparation of a new campaign. So they blew up the routine replacement of an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf at the beginning of a troop invasion and are likely to be behind the announcement, to send Washington plan 120,000 U.S. soldiers to the Middle East to be equipped against attacks of Iran on U.S. forces in the Region. They tirelessly emphasize that the US will strike in case of attacks by Iranian forces or allied militias on U.S. interests relentlessly back. When saudi Arabian oil tankers set fire to a port in the United Arab Emirates, experts warned against fabricated events that, like the “Tonkin incident” off the coast of North Vietnam in August 1964, could serve as a pretext for military strikes.
However, there is a great deal against the fact that a majority in Washington is already seeking a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic. Iran is currently far too well equipped and has effective means to defend itself. Last but not least, the extremely costly and unsuccessful Iraq War serves as a warning to many. Its surface area is also nearly four times and its population three times as large as that of Iraq in 2003, its army, air force and air defense much stronger. Iraq was weakened by the first US war in 1991 and the devastating Embargo as a ripe fruit, the Islamic Republic is better than in the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, and can count on a much stronger foreign support. Hardly any of the neighboring countries would provide its territory for an attack with ground troops ‒ not even the Turkey.
Of course, Washington always remains the possibility of air strikes and covert Operation. However, Tehran would not be forced into his knees to do so alone. The US would not only have to expect its own losses, but risked, among other things, that Iran would bring shipping through the Straits of Hormus, and thus over 25 percent of the world’s oil supply, to a halt and the situation for the US troops and facilities in Iraq would be extremely acute. The other US forces deployed in the Region, including Afghanistan, are also in the range of Iranian weapons.
Thinktanks, like Stratfor, therefore warn that the strategy of forcing Iran either to the negotiating table or to provoke an uprising against the Iranian government is not only subject to false assumptions, but also to undermine the position of the US in “escalating major power competition with China and Russia”. The prospect of another middle East war in which the USA was a win-win for Russia, which will find enough ways to use a U.S.-Iran conflict.
Turn off as regional power
John Bolton and conscripts who are closely associated with the Israeli leadership are willing to accept this. For Neocons like him who have already initiated the Iraq war, there was an attack on the Islamic Republic from the beginning of the program. Since, with the destruction of his strongest rival, and thus the previously promoted balance of power, Iran would inevitably rise to the strongest regional power, the war against him was always regarded as a logical next step. After the Iraq disaster, the Option was first off the table, now you see a new Chance.
In essence, however, Trumps ‘ goals are not significantly different from those of his Administration. He always points out that he is willing to make a “Deal” with Iranians and “just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons”. However, the twelve claims submitted as the basis for negotiations go far beyond the dispute over the Iranian nuclear energy programme. They include not only the permanent abandonment of uranium enrichment, but also the unrestricted access of inspectors to every building in Iran, the cessation of the development of rockets, the cessation of support for Hezbollah and Hamas, the dissolution of the Shiite militias in Iraq, the withdrawal of all Iranian-commanded military forces from Syria and the “cessation of threatening behaviour towards its neighbours”, in particular Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In other words, if Iran wants to be left alone, it should abandon its own foreign policy and no longer stand in the way of the US imperialism. Trump seems to be focusing solely on the effects of blockages, regular threats and his Nimbus of predictability in an effort to eliminate Iran as a regional power.
The population is taken hostage in the economic war
To this end, the siege ring caused by trade and financial blockades is to be drawn even closer this time than was the case with the USA and the EU imposed in 2012. He wants to strangle the country by completely shutting down the country’s oil exports to zero, thereby erasing its main currency source, which contributed EUR 45 billion a year. Meanwhile, all companies still importing Iranian oil are risking exclusion from the US financial market.
In addition to the entire oil, Gas and petrochemical industries as well as the other energy sectors, many other sectors are also affected. According to Washington’s will, it is also forbidden to trade in coal, graphite and metals such as Aluminium or steel; transactions with the Iranian automotive industry; transactions in Iranian currency and government bonds; the supply of spare parts for passenger aircraft; all financial transactions with the Iranian central bank and other Iranian banks as well as the conclusion of insurance and reinsurance
These are not ‘sanctions’ because the UN Security Council alone would be legitimised to impose sanctions. The comprehensive blockades are an act of war, an Aggression contrary to international law similar to that against Venezuela or Syria.
The so ‒called “secondary sanctions”, which, by analogy with the Blockade against Cuba, also ‒ under threat of the exclusion of transactions in the United States-prohibit third countries from trade with Iran, give rise to their special resistance. The strongest pressure here is possible blockages of transactions in dollars. This will naturally extend the blockages to areas that are not explicitly listed by Washington. For example, the payment traffic organization SWIFT has already blocked Iranian banks access to its data exchange System. The move was regrettable, but in the interests of the stability and integrity of the global financial system, Swift reported. However, the aim remains to remain a global neutral provider.
The Iranian leadership assumes, it seems, that the US will not risk war and is confident to keep the effects of the embargo under control. The country has, according to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, “a doctorate in circumvention of sanctions”. We have the legitimate hope that not all countries will be fully subject to the Embargo. China, its largest crude oil client, has already announced this and will probably continue to import oil from Iran, although perhaps not to the extent so far. The Iranian leadership also wants to sell several hundred thousand bpd over the “grey market”. Turkey, which is also vehemently opposed to the Blockade, could play an important role here.
Nevertheless, the impact will be massive and the living conditions of the population will deteriorate dramatically, after all, revenues from the Export of oil and Gas have so far contributed more than forty percent to the Budget. Before the First blockades against his oil export from 2012, he had exported about 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) (1 Barrel = 159 liters). After the entry into force of the” Vienna agreement”, the level was almost reached again. By April, however, it had already dropped below one Million bpd.
The current budget was calculated under the assumption of an average export of 1.54 million barrels a day. By eliminating a significant portion, drastic restrictions are inevitable. There have already been substantial price increases for essential goods.
However, Tehran will not surrender, most experts agree. According to us Thinktanks, as Stratfor is more likely to express in a patriotic mood, the wrath of sanctions-related shortages is likely to trigger national unrest.
Berlin and EU-other way but similar goals
The German government and the other two European signatories, France and Great Britain, want to save the nuclear agreement. However, they are not very determined to act against Washington’s policy. Although EU companies are in themselves prohibited from complying with third-party coercive measures against trading partners, European governments have failed to provide sufficient support for a refusal.
Faced with the choice of abandoning either the business with Iran or the business with the United States, all have added small, many even in advance obedience beyond the required level. The only thing the Trio and the rest of the EU have to offer to Iranians so far is the introduction of the INSTEX Clearing System (“Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges”), which is designed to facilitate trade transactions by circumventing the Blockade of financial transactions. According to INSTEX, Brussels is supposed to” support the legitimate trade with Iran”, but at the same time” initially “ restrict itself to medicines, medical devices and food ‒ goods that are not under Embargo anyway. The most important question is how, in view of the oil embargo, Iran is to pay for imports in these areas in the longer term, leaves the EU Open.
The question remains as to whether, in the event of a closed refusal by European companies to subject themselves to coercive measures against Iran by their governments, Washington could actually have enforced “secondary sanctions” against them.
For example, there is an urgent suspicion that the prosperous relationship with the United States is also more important for the governments of Berlin, London and Paris than the defence of the agreement, the well-being of the Iranian population or international law. In fact, there is no fundamental difference between you and Trump in relation to the objective vis-à-vis Iran. Berlin, too, is not primarily scourging Washington for the intensification of the conflict, but is demanding more from Tehran. “We want Iran to abandon its destructive role in the Region, in Syria, in Yemen or in Lebanon,” Nato Troll Heiko Maas recently sounded in the Bundestag. “And we want Iran to stop its ballistic missile program and its threats against Israel.”
The EU also stated that it shared” the concerns “of the US government for the Iranian missile program, for secret Iranian ambitions on nuclear weapons and for the” destabilising role of Iran in the Region”. As a prerequisite for putting INSTEX into operation, the EU requires Tehran to adopt rules for “detecting and preventing money laundering” and “financial support for terrorist organisations”. One does not need much imagination to suspect that this is aimed at Iranian support for the Syrian government, for Lebanese Hezbollah, and Shia militias in Iraq.
If, on the one hand, Berlin and the rest of the EU want to hold on to the Vienna Agreement and, on the other hand, support demands against Iran, we must not forget that the agreement is already based on criminal blackmail. In the past, Iran’s nuclear industry has been dominated by nuclear weapons, and its closest allies have forced Iran to impose restrictions on its civilian nuclear industry by claiming that it can safely exclude its nuclear weapons ‒ without being able to provide reliable evidence that Tehran is striving to do so at all. If we compare the rigid approach against the Islamic Republic with that against other states, such as Germany, because of their developed nuclear industry, which are only a few steps away from nuclear weapons, or even with the nuclear power of Israel, the double Standards show that here it was not primarily a question of preventing nuclear weapons, but of holding down an industrially rapidly developing regional power.
Although a war against Iran is probably not yet on the agenda in Washington, the Situation is dangerous. Clashes between pro-Iranian and US forces in Syria, real or fake attacks on US facilities- there is always the real danger that the U.S. will respond with military strikes “” ‒ for example, on Iranian positions in Syria, the establishment of the Iranian revolutionary guards in Iran, or allies forces, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah or Shiite militias in Iraq. This would always be accompanied by the danger of further escalation to the surface fire in the entire Region ‒ exacerbated by other aggressive actors such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Nevertheless, we must not focus solely on the possible military escalation. For regardless of whether and when there are military clashes, the blockades against Iran are already reality and work. And as the example of Iraq shows, even an economic war, for a large number of people can be fatal.