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Washington: Accelerating sanctions is first step towards defeating Iran

The US Treasury imposed sanctions on the governor of Iran’s Central Bank, and one of his aides. (Reuters)

The US administration decided lately to adopt three clear ways to confront the Iranian issue, first by imposing sanctions, second by strengthen ties with allies and the third by responding firmly to any Iranian intimidation in any place.

In a special interview with Al Arabiya.net, a US National Security Council spokesman said that  "the aim of the Trump administration's policies towards Iran is to deal with the Iranian file as a whole and confront the evil Iranian acts and effect regime change in Tehran.”

This statement carries an American insistence to face the Iranian problem head on. The spokesman added "the nuclear deal decision was approved in the hope that the Iranian behavior in different sectors will become better, but that did not happen.”

He added that "Iran’s actions became more aggressive and threatened the interests of the United States and at the same time taking  cover under the nuclear deal.”

Accelerating sanctions

In the past few days, the US plan appearedt o be based mainly on reimposing sanctions on Iran according to a calendar starting from the month of May up to six months, but the US Treasury suddenly announced new and wider sanctions pointing to a faster and more assertive scenario.


The US Treasury in cooperation with the UAE government announced the aborting of a money laundering operation on behalf of the special elite unit al-Quds Force, a faction of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

Days later, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Valiollah Seif, the governor of Iran’s Central Bank, and one of his aides, the head of an Iraqi bank and his insititution, and a senior Hezbollah figure for smuggling funds for Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

The US Treasury statement confirmed that the sanctions do not apply to Iran's central bank but the Trump withdrawal from the nuclear deal on May 8 "means that starting on August 7, 2018, the US will re-impose sanctions, including transactions with the central bank of Iran which include the purchase of the dollar."

The US Treasury statement added that "on November 5, 2018, sanctions would be imposed on people who deal in large amounts with the Iran’s Central Bank."

With these actions, the US sanctions seem to be hitting Iran in an accelerated pace, unlike the previous administration of Barack Obama, when it waited a long time before imposing a penalty.

Trump wants within months to take the Iranians to a situation prevailing before 2015, when the Iranian regime was suffering from an international oil and financial boycott, with a collappsed currency, and an economy hit by high inflation.

The US wants the Europeans to understand that they should soon choose either to stand with Iran or join President Trump's campaign of solving the "Iranian problem.”

Obstructing Iran’s communications

The second item of Trump’s plan is to adopt ways to obstruct Iran's links with Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

The  National Security Council spokesman said: "We are reviving our traditional alliances and partnerships in the region as a basis for countering Iranian interference and restoring the balance of power in the region."

This clearly means that the US administration is re-choosing its historic alliances in the region and has decided to cooperate closely with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries nearby to counter Iran's actions.

The US National Security Council spokesman explained to Al Arabiya.net that the United States wants "to make sure that Iran and Hezbollah will not be able to establish a permanent presence in Syria.”

The spokesman stressed - perhaps for the first time ever - that Iraq was working to counter Iran's bad behavior and said in a statement that Iraq's peaceful, inclusive and democratic elections over the past weekend proved that. adding

"Criticism of Iran and criticising its bad influence was a major topic among the Iraqi voters and among many of the candidates who won the election.”

The spokesman was clearly pointing to the list of the Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr and his allies, known for his Arab orientation and to his disputes with Iran and its allies in Iraq.

Confronting the aggressions

With all that said, US officials pointed out that the administration's plan is based on a firm response to Iran's actions, and therefore Iran should expect field and non-field responses to any act that poses any threat to international navigation, arms smuggling or sponsorship of any terror operations.

It was remarkable that the US National Security spokesman used an expression of aggression when he told Al Arabiya.net "In October, President Trump outlined strategic lines to counter Iran's continuing attacks," he said, adding that the strategy was not limited to the nuclear program ”but included many Iranian threats.”

It is clear that the Trump administration adopted the principle of comprehensive confrontation with Iran in preparation for the ultimate defeat of the Iranian regime.

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Last Update: Friday, 18 May 2018 KSA 19:06 - GMT 16:06
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