Pressure building on Iran as fresh sanctions loom
United States President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal is based on several reasons, principal among them being its failure to reinforce stability in the region. Iran continued to support terrorist militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and arm them with its homegrown ballistic missiles, threatening the security of the region.
Dr. Mohammed Abbas Naji, an expert on Iranian affairs at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Egypt told Al-Riyadh Arabic daily that another key reason for the pullout was the flaws in the deal itself. It allowed Iran to develop its nuclear program for military purposes in the future.
These flaws convinced the Trump administration to withdraw from the deal and not to pursue negotiation of any kind. But the anticipated sanctions on Iran are not new. They were originally imposed on Iran and suspended under the nuclear deal by the former US administration. The severe sanctions, which are soon to be reinstated, cover many sectors inside Iran, including oil, banks and telecommunications. It also prevents Iran from using the dollar for trading or accessing the US financial system.
Dr. Naji said that these sanctions will greatly affect Iran’s ability to restore its nuclear program fully even with the support of European countries and China. This is because many European and other companies will hesitate to work with Iran for fear of US sanctions. Trump has adopted a tough line on Iran and is putting more pressure on it, particularly due to its continued threat to the region and American allies. The mounting pressure is expected to take a toll on Iran, forcing it to change its behavior.
The Israeli air forces are pounding Iran’s military positions in Syria and Tehran is unable to retaliate. “We only hear verbal threats without any action from the Iranian government,” he said. A few days ago, the mullahs in Tehran barked that they would turn Israel into ashes, but they have not carried out a single retaliatory attack on Israeli bases. Iran cannot face the US and Israel. It can only target Arab and Islamic countries.
Dr. Naji confirmed that Tehran suffers from its most serious crisis since the revolution. The popular protests in several Iranian cities are only compounding the problem for Iran. The Iranian regime also suffers from a regional crisis as most countries are resentful of its meaningless policies that destabilize the entire Middle East region, he said.