Donald Trump has decided to permanently cut the main Iranian banks in the rest of the world in an attempt to bend Tehran.
The United States tried Thursday to bend Iran by completing the suffocation of its economy. Their campaign of “maximum pressure” did not allow Donald Trump to obtain the “best deal” he hoped for with Tehran.
With less than four weeks of the election in which he is seeking a second term, the American president has resolved to announce a measure pushed by the anti-Iran hawks to permanently cut the Iranian financial sector from the rest of the world. “Today’s measures to blacklist the Iranian financial sector and sanction 18 of the major Iranian banks demonstrate our commitment to stop illicit access to US dollars,” US Treasury Secretary Steven said in a statement. Mnuchin.
“Our campaign of maximum economic pressure will continue as long as Iran does not agree to conclude a comprehensive negotiation which attacks the harmful behavior of the regime”, for his part warned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He specified that these sanctions would come into force in 45 days, that is to say after the US presidential election on November 3 but before the winner takes office on January 20.
According to Behnam Ben Taleblu of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, which argued for a radical line, “there were still several points of contact between the Iranian financial sector and the international financial system”, and it was time to disconnect them.
“America less secure”
Many observers, as well as European diplomats, fear that these new sanctions will further reduce the possibility for Iran to acquire goods deemed “humanitarian”, even if Washington assures that they are subject to exemptions. Ironically, on Wednesday again the US State Department pretended to be alarmed at the new death records due to the coronavirus in Iran, and offered its “assistance” to the enemy country.
“In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the American regime wants to destroy our last channels to pay for food and medicine”, denounced the head of Iranian diplomacy Mohammad Javad Zarif on Twitter. “The Iranians will survive this latest cruelty, but conspiring to starve a people is a crime against humanity,” he said.
President Trump withdrew the United States from the international Iran nuclear agreement in 2018, deeming this text concluded three years earlier insufficient to prevent Tehran from acquiring the atomic bomb and to put an end to its “destabilizing” behavior in the Middle-East. In the process, he re-established, then toughened, all the American sanctions lifted in 2015.
These punitive measures strangle the Iranian economy, since they are accompanied by so-called “secondary” sanctions. Any country or company that continues to trade with Iran risks being barred from accessing the vast US market and financial sector. But an attempt to also impose, unilaterally, the return of UN sanctions seems to have fizzled out, faced with resistance from most of the other great powers.
The Trump administration had posted the objective of bending the Islamic Republic so that it “change its attitude” and negotiate “a better deal”. But as the end of the Republican billionaire’s first term nears, she has not achieved any progress on either front.
The president-candidate now assures that the Iranian authorities will agree to negotiate, but after the American election. It remains to be seen whether it will be with him or with Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The latter continues to extol the merits of the 2015 agreement, signed when he was vice-president of Barack Obama and which is also still defended by European allies in Washington.
His running mate Kamala Harris, during his debate Wednesday against Republican Vice President Mike Pence, said that the withdrawal from the agreement had allowed Iran to acquire “what could lead to a significant nuclear arsenal.” “Because of Donald Trump’s unilateral diplomatic approach, and his isolationism, he got us out of it and made America less secure,” she lamented.