sanctions iran

New shiny sanctions for Iran, from the US Deep State!
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran, the P5+1 and EU was announced on July 14th, 2015. According to the US fact sheet, the EU would terminate all nuclear-related economic sanctions, and the US would terminate all of its secondary economic and financial sanctions once the International Atomic Energy Agency verified Iran's implementation of its key nuclear commitments, as laid out in the agreement.

On January 16th, 2016, UN inspectors declared that Iran had dismantled significant elements of its nuclear programme, leading to many of the international sanctions imposed over the past decade being lifted. If the lifting of sanctions continued as planned, Iran's total trade could have increased by $61 billion annually, which would add 32 percent to Iran's GDP. However, US President Trump withdrew from the deal earlier this year, and reimposed all sanctions against Iran. In addition, tomorrow, November 4th, new sanctions against Iran will be imposed.

As laid out in a document by the US Department of the Treasury, the newest sanctions will include Iran's port operators, petroleum-related transactions, transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran, the provision of specialized financial messaging services to the Central Bank of Iran, the provision of underwriting services, insurance, or reinsurance, and on Iran's energy sector. All sanctions together target Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, auto and energy sector, and financial transactions.

The dramatic shift in the US government's attitude towards it is interesting. In a SOTT radio show, host Joe Quinn pointed out that the reason the Washington establishment agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in 2015 was due to the expectation at the time that West's jihadi mercenaries in Syria would soon defeat the Syrian military and overthrow the Syrian government, weakening Iran and dealing a serious blow to its expansionist goals in the Middle East. Iran was, after all, one of the seven countries "to be taken out" as US General Wesley Clark noted circa 2007. Little more than a year after the Iran agreement was signed in 2015, however, the Russian military intervened in Syria, decimated the jihadist mercenaries and secured the independence of Syria. As a result, Iran's hand has been strengthened, much to the annoyance of the US establishment.

Since Trump backed out of the Iran deal, many Western companies have ceased doing business with Iran, and with new sanctions to come into effect tomorrow, many more businesses may follow in coming months. Iran has, however, taken measures to withstand the coming economic blockade and can rely on countries like Russia, China, Iraq, South Korea, and even the EU, to not bow down completely to US dictates.

Russia made it clear from the beginning that it did not agree with sanctions against Iran, and would do "everything necessary in the interests of preserving and fully implementing the SVPD (Iran nuclear deal)." The Russian foreign ministry also said that the move is a "glaring example of Washington's continued practice of violating UNSC resolution 2231 (the Iran deal) and its trampling on international law."

Moreover, on September 24th this year, Russia, China and the EU decided to join forces in developing a new payment mechanism - known as a special purpose vehicle - that will attempt to dodge US sanctions. This proposed measure will facilitate payments related to Iran's exports and imports, making it possible for EU firms, and others, to continue to trade with Iran.

The EU is against the sanctions for the simple reason that while a strong Iranian economy may be a threat to the US, it is not a threat to the EU. On the contrary, EU-Iran trade is a massive untapped resource.

During a visit to Iran, French Senator Philippe Bonnecarrere said that France wants at least one Iranian bank to remain connected to the international banking system through the global financial messaging service SWIFT to maintain commercial relations.

Of course, as bullies often do, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently warned SWIFT that it could be penalized if financial services to entities and individuals doing business with Iran were not cut. However, almost immediately thereafter, the Trump administration has declared that it will allow Iran to remain connected to SWIFT. As others suggest, this may have been due to European officials pressuring the administration to take a softer line with Iran. It is likely that some US war hawks are less than happy with this softening-up, and things may change depending on the result of the US midterm elections on November 6th.

Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge remarked that a possibility exists for trade with Iran via a Russian currency transfer system:
...the possibility remains that Tehran may opt for an alternative currency transfer system being currently developed by Russia, and one which according to unconfirmed reports has also seen tentative participation interest by Europe. Should Trump engage in a full lockdown, that may be just the catalyst that prompts Europe to join the "Russian version" of SWIFT, thereby further eroding the dollar's "weaponized" influence around the globe.
It is of course precisely this potential for US sanctions against SWIFT to bolster support for an alternative international payments clearing system that forced the US to soften its stance against it. Even American reality-creators, it seems, are sometimes aware when they are shooting themselves in both feet.

Regarding the dollar, it's worth mentioning that an increasing number of countries, including Russia, China, and Japan, are making moves (or talking about making moves) to eliminate the dollar from their trade with other countries. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently told Rossiya TV channel:
"All of a sudden, the country which issues the US dollar starts making steps which are shattering trust in this reserve currency. More and more countries, not only in the East but also in Europe, start mulling ways to minimize their dependence on the US dollar. They suddenly realize a) it is possible, b) it should be done, and c) save yourself if you can, it should be done as soon as possible."
Iran, also, is working towards dropping the dollar, and has stopped bilateral payments in dollars with Russia.

Meanwhile, Iran continues developing its trade and infrastructure agreements with other nations. A small sample of which includes: exports to Iraq will be raised $20 billion a year; in a trilateral meeting between Iran, India, and Afghanistan, a new transportation corridor via Iran's port of Chabahar was discussed that would facilitate international transit and transport by bypassing Western control of the sea-lane chokepoints in the Red Sea, Mediterranean, and North Sea; and India, Iran and Russia will soon come together to discuss the operation of a 7,200 km trade and transport corridor.

It is clear that the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel are the only countries that stand to benefit from harsh sanctions against Iran, but even then the motivation is largely ideological. In a recent moral and political victory for Iran, the International Court of Justice ordered the US to lift sanctions linked to humanitarian goods and civil aviation.

What effect US sanctions against Iran will actually have remains to be seen, but the Trump administration's isolationist foreign policy, while popular with many Americans, implies a significant reduction in America's ability to impose its will on other nations. In addition, a scaling-down of 'Pax Americana' will only accelerate the rise of large, energy and resource-rich nations like Iran, Russia, China and India, and (heaven forbid!) encourage the traditionally Westward-looking nations of Europe to look East.

brics iran russia

Iran moves closer to join Russia-led economic bloc, BRICS.