(Persia Digest) - Some American officials appear to hope that resumed sanctions on Iran will lead to a popular uprising. Have they thought that through? Writes Carol Giacomo in the New York Times.
President Trump’s gamble with Iran will reach an inflection point next month when his administration reimposes American sanctions meant to apply severe economic pressure on the government in Tehran.
These draconian penalties, part of Mr. Trump’s May 8 decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 deal to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons program, do more than repudiate the approach of his predecessor. They represent a radical break from America’s closest allies in Britain, France and Germany, who remain firmly committed to the deal.
In resuming sanctions, Mr. Trump hopes to force Iran to capitulate to unrealistic American demands, including ending all its nuclear activity and ceasing its military role in Syria and Yemen.
It’s unclear whether the administration has really considered the potential consequences of its actions. They may have the opposite effect of what is intended, by strengthening Iran’s hard-liners and stoking more regional instability.
Iran was promised sanctions relief in return for sharply curtailing its nuclear ambitions, but never reaped the expected benefits even though it continues to abide by its commitments, as the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded in a dozen reports.
Crucially, Mr. Trump has failed to enlist Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — the major powers that joined the United States in negotiating the nuclear deal — in his anti-Iran crusade. The Europeans say the deal is in their national security interest; they resent that Mr. Trump has unilaterally upended it.
And now the Europeans are trying to save it by developing a financial mechanism that would skirt American sanctions by enabling their companies to trade oil in local currencies or barter rather than in dollars. The aim is to create an alternative way to move money in and out of Iran when Western banks, handcuffed by Mr. Trump’s sanctions, won’t do it.
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