In order to increase pressure on Iran and squeeze their economy even more US President Donald Trump has imposed new sanctions targeting the top officials of Iran including their Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
With the downing of an allegedly spying US drone, amid mercurial tensions, Trump has retaliated with even more sanctions, aiming to corner top officials and supreme leader Khamenei, ending all scope for a diplomatic solution with Iran.
This move came after his announcement on Saturday of imposing traffic on Iran and not allowing them to become a nuclear armed nation ever. These sanctions are stated as the aftermath of recent military aggression shown by Iran by shooting down the American drone.
“Symbolic politics at its worst,” said Robert Malley, the president and chief executive of the International Crisis Group and a former senior Obama administration official on the Middle East. “At every level it is illogical, counterproductive or useless.”
Iran officials now barred to use International Financial System
This time the US government has aimed at freezing the assets of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office and several Iranian military commanders and include plans to target Foreign Minister Javad Zarif later this week.
These sanctions will prevent Iran’s top officials and commanders from using international banking system or any financial vehicles set up by European nations or other countries. This includes following major personas in Iran military along with commanders of five naval districts–
- Ali Reza Tansgiri, the commander of the IRGC’s navy, which the US accused of attack on oil tankers.
- Amirali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC aerospace force, for downing a US drone last week
- Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the IRGC’s ground forces, for the leading deployment of forces to Syria to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
After these sanctions, they will be banned to travel into the US and any US assets belonging to them will be blocked. The U.S. Treasury also warned anyone doing business with them is at risk of sanctions.
Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his top nuclear deal negotiators will also be added in this list this week. By this move, the US will target the man who represents Iran, which will directly impact the way he conducts diplomacy by complicating his travel.
US closed path to diplomacy – Iran
Iran gave an aggressive response to US sanctions, with their Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi calling it the “permanent closure of the path of diplomacy”.
Abbas tweeted “Imposing useless sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the commander of Iran’s diplomacy (Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif) is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy,”. He also said, “Trump’s desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security.”
In a statement at the United Nations, Iranian Ambassador Majid Ravanchi called the sanctions “yet another indication that the U.S. has no respect for international law and order as well as the views of the overwhelming majority of the international community.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took a jab at Washington and said the White House is “suffering from mental disability” and behaving as “no sane person.”
Will the sanctions force Iran to the negotiation table
Donald Trump is emphasizing on the fact that the US doesn’t want a war with Iran. However, the US has intentionally crumbled the economy of the middle eastern country by cutting its oil exports to zero. The inflation rate in Iran has risen to almost 50 per cent, the citizens of Iran blame the US government for this economic crisis.
These sanctions will have minimal effect on Iran’s economy since the top officials don’t have many assets in international banks. But the real damage will be served by other entities who do business with Iran government since everyone knows the importance of the US market for their business.
The US wants Iran to give up the nuclear weapon dream, Iran, on the other hand, is denying any current or future nuclear missions. Iran is strong in its stand that it will not succumb to the pressure created by the US and can retaliate with another military action or even a cyber-attack. Donald Trump has also conveyed his aggressive stance over a series of tweets saying, “I never called the strike against Iran “BACK,” as people are incorrectly reporting, I just stopped it from going forward at this time!” The tension is likely to rise furthermore with both the nations not showing any sign of backing down.
By: Chitresh Sehgal, Senior Editor, Dkoding Media