Egypt's Sisi directs further efforts to develop higher education    Lebanon's Khatib says Sunnis want Hariri to be PM again    Egypt's parliament speaker slams justice minister over 'inaction' in fighting corruption at notary offices    Egypt's foreign reserves sufficient to cover imports for 8 months – minister    'The Irishman' draws 17 million U.S. viewers on Netflix, Nielsen estimates    Art Alert: King Lear on Cairo stage four times in December    Man arrested for alleged racist behaviour during Manchester derby    Half of lymphoma patients alive three years after new cell therapy treatment: Study    Trump asks World Bank not to lend money to China    Egypt's fuel subsidy bill drops by 69% year on year July-Sept: Minister    Protesters flood Hong Kong as government urges calm    Saudi airman may have become radicalized before US Navy base attack    UK PM Johnson promises lower immigration if he wins election    Salah's absence was 'bad luck' for El-Badry's debut with Egypt, says EFA boss    Rocket hits Iraqi cleric's home following deadly Baghdad attack    Live score: Aston Villa v Leicester City (English Premier League)    Winners of African App Launchpad cup announced    Egypt's Sisi reviews anticipated New Administrative Capital relocation plan    Iran says new budget bucks US oil embargo, uses Russian loan    New waste management system needs cooperation at all levels: minister    Criminal court sentences 4 to death for killing 3 policemen in 2016 robbery    The role of academic institutions in culture industry discussed at Alexandria Theatre Festival    Even being big, burly one needs his mother    Egypt Zamalek's new coach eyes winning start in Champions League against 1º de Agosto    Egypt's Cabinet denies reports on increasing Jan. train fares    WHO decries "collective failure" as measles kills 140,000    Things to do to receive 2020 feeling better    Mohamed Salah, Zamalek's Hamed represent Egypt in shortlists for CAF awards    Rate of HIV infections in Egypt around 0.02% – minister    Adam Sandler threatens to make ‘so bad' movie if he doesn't win Oscar    Egypt's Tahrir Square among top Reuters photos of a decade    Ahly labour to Egypt Cup win over second-division Beni Suef    Gearing up for the World Youth Forum    Shaaban Abdel Rahim, passed away aged 62 years    Egypt names 16 new governors ahead of anticipated Cabinet reshuffle    Egypt's MPs back potential return of information minister post in expected reshuffle    Court sentences six to death, 41 to lifetime imprisonment violence related case    Trump says he would release Mideast peace plan after Israeli elections    ACWA Power compares 3 bids to supply production units for Luxor power station    What do you know about gold alloying?    NBE announces EGP 2.5m prizes for handball youth teams for their world achievements    Jennifer Lopez evokes Egyptian outrage post her North Coast performance    Al-Sisi honours Egypt's scholars on Science Day    IS claims responsibility for suicide bombing killing 63 in Afghan wedding    Political parties gear up for parliamentary, senate, local elections    Unprecedented Glory: Egypt win Men's U-19 World Handball Championship    12th National Egyptian Theatre Festival fuel up public theatre art scene    Ministry of Environment has a plan for "black clouds season"    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Return of sanctions on Iran
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 01 - 11 - 2018

New US sanctions on Iran were implemented on 5 November, with the aim of stopping the Islamic Republic from raising resources to spend on regional conflicts or on support for groups on the terrorism list of the US State Department, including the Lebanese Shia group Hizbullah and the Palestinian group Hamas.
Exactly 39 years ago, the US and Iran broke off diplomatic ties. Since then, the region has changed a lot, as has Iran. Its population of 35 million in 1979 has jumped to almost 81 million today. Young Iranians are not as revolutionary as their parents, even if their rulers have remained fiery and steeped in the atmosphere of 1979 when students climbed the walls of the US Embassy in Tehran and changed the nature of the country's revolution forever.
The core issue between the US and Iran is miscommunication and each having different expectations of the other.
The sanctions on Iran, which allow eight countries having exemptions to import Iranian oil on a temporary basis, do not allow for oil to be paid for in cash. According to the US, this money should be kept in an escrow account and can only be used to buy food and medicines.
The plan is similar to the oil for food plan in Iraq after former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and the United Nations imposed a heavy embargo. The sanctions ruined Iraq, which is still suffering from the consequences. The new sanctions against Iran may have a similar effect, being designed to punish the regime but in fact causing suffering to ordinary Iranians.
Iran is a leading power in the region, and it has major influence in both the Middle East and Central Asia. Isolating Iran in the way US President Donald Trump wants and punishing the regime for its behaviour may be hard to achieve as a result.
The Islamic Republic is not North Korea, and it is not likely to change its behaviour as a result of sanctions as it can still sell oil on the black market, something the regime has done in the past and during the previous sanctions regime.
The Iranian leadership's expectations from talks with the US are less than during the period of former US president Barack Obama, though most of the current US demands are concentrated on changing Iran's behaviour in the region, a halt to its testing missiles, and stopping the financing of militias.
These issues are highlighted in the 12 demands made of Iran by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. There is no word about the Iran nuclear programme. Even the four sites associated with Iran's nuclear facilities are exempted from the sanctions, which according to Pompeo have to remain open in order to carry out external inspections.
The major goal of curbing Iran's nuclear programme was achieved during the Obama administration, and it was dismantled thanks to the friendly approach of the US. Now is the time for the US to curb another major threat, which is Iran's threat to Israel.
Since the Islamic Republic has never recognised Israel and has not changed its behaviour in the region despite the nuclear deal, security for Israel and normalisation with its neighbours is a priority for Trump who wants to settle this matter once and for all by cutting off financial resources for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards without this leading to a military confrontation with Iran.
Economic pressure has turned many Iranians against the regime, though it is not clear if extra pressure would lead to its overthrow. Yet, Trump's aim is clear: the regime has to stop threatening Israel, and if it does not do so it will have to face its own angry people who are more and more convinced that the regime is corrupt and cannot manage the nation.
It should not be long before the Iranian regime decides on its path forwards and the Iranian people decide their views on the matter. Trump, however, is unlikely to change direction. Israel is his administration's priority, and he wants to put an end to anti-Israeli sentiments in the region, which he thinks are largely stoked by Iran.

Clic here to read the story from its source.