Posts Tagged ‘Iran Economy’

Iran Economy,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,poverty,Rial plummeted

The plunging rial

Iran: Regime Responsible for Currency Crisis

The rial plunged once again, dropping to an exchange rate of 170,000 rials to one U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The rate for euros was 185,000 rials for one euro. Iran’s currency has been in free fall for the past year, due to the country’s economic unrest, according to a recent statement from Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the

The plunging rial

The dire condition of economy in Iran under the rule of the mullahs.

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Regime President Hassan Rouhani appointed a new Central Bank chief in July and promised as recently as August 15th that Iranian currency would stabilize. The rial is still dropping in value, though, as is the “Bahar-e Azadi” gold coin, which was trading at 47.4 million rials as of Tuesday, according to the state-run ISNA news agency.

A Crisis Rooted in Government Corruption

The Jahan-e San’at daily described the source of Iran’s currency crisis, writing, “The starting point of this economic fiasco is rooted in the government’s currency policies.

The primary problem is that regime agencies and the IRGC have a monopoly over Iran’s oil and petrochemical export industry, which allows them to profit from the currency crisis. The regime set the currency rate at 4,200 rials per U.S. dollar. Individuals associated with the regime purchase U.S. dollars at this rate and then sell them on the black market for much higher prices. On Wednesday, prices on the black market soared to 200,000 rials per U.S. dollar. Those within the Iranian regime have no personal financial incentive to resolve the economic crisis because they profit from it.

Iran’s state-run media agrees that the regime is to blame for the currency crisis, as do the regime’s experts. In a recent interview with a state-run media outlet, one of the regime’s own experts said this: “The banks and financial institutions owe the Central Bank at least $23.8 billion (based on the government fixed rate of 42,000 rial/dollar) and far more to the people. The government and the parliament decided to increase currency prices to provide for this budget.”

Skyrocketing Prices and the Death of the Middle Class

The result of the devaluation of Iran’s national currency is a surge in prices around the country, which has drastically increased the price of necessities. One of the first consequences of skyrocketing prices is an increase in the number of people living below the poverty line, say regime experts.

Currently, more than 80 percent of Iran’s population lives below the poverty line. Meanwhile, those who buy up U.S. currency at the fixed rate and sell it on the black market get richer. The gap between rich and poor widens and the middle class shrinks more every time the rial rises.

Rouhani claims that the currency devaluation will lead to increased exports and additional revenues, with a boom in non-oil exports. Even if this statement were possible or true, it could not possibly offset the economic losses caused by the continued devaluation of the rial.

In addition, the devaluation of the rial impacts inflation and production and raises the prices of imports. Production is already an issue in Iran, with numerous factory closures causing production delays, as well as months-long delays in salaries for workers.

A Democratic Alternative

The economic crisis has caused many Iranians to take to the streets to protest over the past year. The current uprising, which began last December and continues today, began because of economic concerns and soon spread to widespread calls for regime change. Because all of the people of Iran are affected by the regime’s corruption and mismanagement, people from all walks of life have joined the call for a democratic alternative to the mullahs’ oppressive rule and have joined the MEK in the fight for a free Iran.

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UN Security Council

The Iranian Crisis Represents a Political Opportunity

UN Security Council

The UNSC expected to condemn Iranian regime’s human rights abuses

As the mullahs struggle to get a handle on the domestic crisis, the international community has an opportunity to apply pressure to the regime. Khamenei, Rouhani, and their cronies are in a precarious situation. They are scrambling to hold onto power, exposing their corruption, human rights abuses, and mismanagement of the national finances in the process.

Iran in Crisis

The Iranian economy is in turmoil. The rial soared to 150,000 to the US dollar, prompting a national outcry and string of public protests.

Protests have become the norm in 2018. As details of the mullahs’ economic mismanagement have come to light, the Iranian people have responded with anger and fury. Protesters chanted “death to the dictator” and “death to Rouhani” in the streets at a number of high-profile protests.

The Iranian leadership has attempted to deflect the anger. The mullahs have publicly blamed the crisis on a foreign conspiracy, fostering an image of the regime as a victim.

However, the public has remained unconvinced. Among the protestor’s chants and slogans, many describe the regime as the “enemy”. On social media, Iranians have refuted the regime’s lies, and thwarted their attempts to portray the US as the enemy.

Valuable Allies

Instead of accepting the regime’s narrative of the US and Europe as the enemies, the Iranian protesters pointed at the regime as the enemy, not the West.

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, expressed his concerns about the foiled plot against the Iranian opposition. At the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) Grand Gathering event in Paris, other prominent international politicians, including Newt Gingrich from the US and Bob Blackman from the UK, made speeches at the event and lent their support to the opposition movement.

The Iranian public called on heads of states from the US and Europe to stand with them in their struggle.

As the regime finds itself increasingly threatened, it is resorting to more extreme measures to maintain its grip on power. Its mechanisms of repression and widespread human rights abuses have become even more apparent.

In August, the regime arrested around 1,000 peaceful protestors. During the nationwide protests that gripped the country in late 2017 and early 2018, the regime locked up around 8,000 civilians. Those arrested are frequently tortured, forced to sign false confessions, and kept in isolation.

Members of the Iranian resistance abroad are also in danger. MEK and Nation Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) members were the targets of two regime-orchestrated terror attacks, both of which were thwarted in the final stages.

The regime’s stifling of political expression and routine human rights abuses are having an effect on the regime’s popularity abroad. It is becoming increasingly politically isolated. The latest round of sanctions is putting the Iranian economy under intense pressure.

UNSC Expected to Condemn Iranian Regime’s Human Rights Abuses

The upcoming UN Security Council meeting on September 26th will provide another opportunity for the international community to condemn the regime’s human rights abuses. As will the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit.

Western countries share the interests of the Iranian people. Both want an Iranian government which promotes peace in the Middle East, upholds the basic human rights of its people and manages a prosperous and thriving Iranian economy.

Working together, the Iranian people and the international community can apply pressure to the regime from two fronts. The people protesting in the streets hold the regime to account internally, while the international community maintains external pressure. With this two-pronged approach, the regime would be unable to maintain its grip on power and Iran could usher in a new era of democracy.

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US Sanctions impact on the regime

Regime Forced to Admit Sanctions Are Effective

US Sanctions impact on the regime

The U.S. renewed sanctions are beginning to show their impact on the Iranian regime’s economy

On Tuesday, September 11th, the First Vice-President of the Iranian regime, Es’haq Jahangiri, acknowledged in a speech in Tehran that U.S. sanctions against the regime have been “highly effective.”

According to ISNA one of the regime’s official News Agencies, Jahangiri denied that Iran is currently facing a “deadlock” but said that Iran is facing a “difficult and sensitive situation.”

Jahangiri described the U.S. sanctions as “an economic war” on the regime, adding that the U.S. was also “waging a political and media war in order to influence public opinion in Iran.”
Jahangiri appears to have taken his talking points directly from regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who told the regime’s Assembly of Experts last week that the United States was waging an economic and psychological war on Iran.

The recent statements stand in sharp contrast to earlier statements on the sanctions by regime officials. As recently as late August, regime President Hassan Rouhani told the Iranian Parliament: “Don’t say in your speeches that the country is facing a crisis. We have been harmed and have at times been on the verge of being harmed, but there is no crisis.”

The U.S. began re-imposing sanctions in August, and the regime’s claims that Iran was not affected became impossible to maintain in the weeks since the sanctions took effect. The Iranian regime was already in the grips of overlapping economic crises, as high unemployment, rising prices, and devaluation of the rial have fueled the popular uprising that threatens to topple the regime. These issues have worsened with the addition of U.S. sanctions and are likely to continue their downward spiral as the November 4th deadline looms for American allies to stop buying Iranian oil or face U.S. sanctions of their own. The regime can no longer pretend that Iran is on a stable course.

The United States withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May of this year, which triggered the resumption of sanctions against Iran. Prior to the U.S. withdrawal from the deal, speculation that the U.S. might take this action led to a steep drop in the value of Iran’s currency, the rial. The rial lost 140% of its value overnight and has steadily fallen in value since, leading to a 5.5% inflation rate in Iran in August, according to Iran’s Central Bank.

The second round of U.S. sanctions is set to go into effect on November 4th. These sanctions, which will target Iranian regime’s oil income and the ability to access the international banking system, are already beginning to affect the regime, as many international businesses rush to cut ties with the Iranian regime

rather than risk sanctions. Economic analysts, and an increasing number of officials with the Iranian regime say that the new sanctions will deeply impact the regime.

Although Khamenei and his allies would like to place the blame for Iran’s economic woes on the “poor performance of the Rouhani administration” and “profiteers,” it is becoming more and more clear that Iran’s problems stem from systemic corruption and mismanagement on the part of the mullahs.

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Oil purchase is dropping down as sanctions loom

Asian Oil Buyers Cease Shipments of Iranian Oil as Sanctions Loom

Oil purchase is dropping down as sanctions loom

Sanctions are having their impact on the Iranian regime’s oil revenue from its main customers in Asia

Oil refineries from Japan and India have stopped buying Iranian oil ahead of the November deadline for U.S. sanctions. JXTG Holdings Incorporated, Japan’s largest oil refinery, and its biggest rival, Idemitsu Kosan Company, have both opted not to purchase their usual supplies in October.

State-run refineries in India, including Bharat Petroleum, also opted not to book October shipments.

The United States hopes that the threat of sanctions will force the Iranian regime to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal. The U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal this year and plans to reinstate sanctions against the Iranian regime in November, with the goal of reducing Iranian oil exports to zero. The people of Iran are in favor of this decision and urge the international community to join the United States in reinstating sanctions against the corrupt regime.

Why the Iranian People Support the Resumption of Sanctions Against the Iranian Regime

JXTG and Idemitsu spokespeople said that the refineries will follow their government’s guidance after talks with the United States are complete. So far, the Trump administration has not announced any waivers to the sanctions, and purchases of Iranian oil by American allies depend upon these waivers being granted. Earlier this week, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry said that the country would continue negotiations with the U.S.

While government officials negotiate over Iranian oil imports, companies are left to wait for instructions from their government. Currently, some refineries are choosing not to order cargoes for the month of October, fearing that the shipments may arrive after the November 4th deadline, making them subject to U.S. sanctions.

Asian oil buyers have made at least partial orders of Iranian oil since the U.S. announced in May  that it would re-impose sanctions, but with the deadline looming, companies are severing their ties with the regime, lest they are cut off from the U.S. banking system, which would effectively prohibit a company from doing business internationally.

Oil companies in India are still in limbo. Officials at Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation, and Hindustan Petroleum are still waiting for word from their government on how to conduct future transactions with Iran. Talks about Iranian oil imports are still in progress between India and the U.S., according to a U.S. official.

Iran Tells India Oil Exports Should Continue

Ship-owners who carry oil, those who ensure the cargo, banks who process payments for the oil, and others who handle the oil trade will also be affected by the sanctions.
The regime claims that it can find “other ways” to export its oil. Discounts and bartering could maintain some of its business, and the regime has not shown itself to be above smuggling.

Tankers are currently anchored off of the United Arab Emirates, loaded with Iranian condensate. According to traders and ship brokers, they could be waiting to be unloaded at the Jebel Ali port for use at a domestic refining complex. They could also be waiting for a vessel-to-vessel transfer.

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Iran Economy,Khamenei,Rial plummeted

Poverty in Iran

Khamenei Advises Regime Officials Against Expressing Pessimism About the Iranian Economy

Khamenei's remarks on how to minimize the impacts of the dire economic conditions

A poor man living in empty graves in one of Tehran’s grave yards.

In the first week of September, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei addressed the regime’s Assembly of Experts, asking them to lie about the dire economic condition in order to escape the public’s reaction. He talked about how officials should handle the economic crisis and warned that the plight of the Iranian people should not be overstated!

Understated or Overstated!

Khamenei used his address to call on senior officials and remind them that pessimism should be kept to a minimum publicly. On the Supreme Leader’s official website, the statement blamed exaggeration about the economic crisis for intensifying “the anxiety of public opinion”.

The statement also said exaggeration “causes the pessimism virus to spread. It is not correct to speak in a way that the audience is terrified and thinks that all is lost”.

It appears that Khamenei would rather see the dissemination of lies and falsehood, than accurate reporting about the dismal state of the Iranian economy.

An Economy in Disarray

The economic crisis in Iran has been intensifying for months. The value of the rial plummeted after the US reintroduced sanctions against the Iranian regime.

Following the United States’ withdrawal of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, the Trump administration made it clear that any company doing business with Iranian regime would lose access to the US market. Faced with the choice between Iran and the US, many companies and multinationals cut their business ties with Iran.

The Iranian regime attempted to mitigate the losses by appealing to European governments to stop the international exodus from Iranian markets.

But Rouhani and Khamenei’s attempts did not yield results. European nations had no desire to enter the dispute on the side of the Iranian regime and risk their own access to the American market.

However, the economy was already in turmoil. Years of economic mismanagement at the hands of the mullahs and systemic corruption has hollowed out the Iranian economy and the country’s financial institutions.

All across Iran, livelihoods are being lost. Goods are becoming more expensive, and poverty levels are soaring. So far, the government’s attempts to stop the free-fall of the rial have proven ineffective.

Since the economic crisis began, the regime officials have done everything they can to ignore the problem or pass the blame onto another party. They have attempted to lay the blame on the activities of foreign powers, but the mullahs only have themselves to blame.

The regime has systematically funneled billions of dollars out of Iran, supporting militia groups and terrorist organisations across the Middle East. This money could have gone towards alleviating the economic pressure of the Iranian people.

Regime officials have ignored pressing social and environmental issue plaguing Iran for years. They have been content to divert money into their own pockets at the expense of the population.

During his speech, Khamenei said, “no government can go on without the support and trust of the people”. He knows that the mullahs’ day of reckoning is coming. All that remains to be seen for how long the regime can hold on.

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Infighting at Iranian regime's parliament

Shake Ups in Parliament Won’t Fix Corrupt Regime

Infighting at Iranian regime's parliament

The Iranian regime’s parliament infighting as a result of the growing discontent against the regime and its corrupt leaders.

A wave of impeachments is overtaking the Iranian regime’s parliament, as tensions among the regime leadership have reached a boiling point.

Minister of Work Ali Rabi-ee was dismissed three weeks ago. The Ministers of Industry and Education are set to be impeached on September 11th. Cabinet Minister Masoud Karbasian is going to be sacked by next month.

On August 28th, President Hassan Rouhani was summoned to Parliament to answer questions about Iran’s economy. Rouhani admitting the Iranian people’s discontent towards the regime said: “Economic issues are of determinative nature. However, what’s more important now is that many people have lost their faith in the future of our Islamic Republic and are doubting its power.” Rouhani’s visit to Parliament came after months of squabbling and power plays between parties.

Government officials in trying to put the blame on others have become increasingly willing to acknowledge that Iran’s problems stem from decades of corruption and mismanagement by the mullahs and not from the sanctions by the United States.

Member of Parliament Qasem Mirzaei Nikou said: “The fraudulent ways of money-making runs in all branches of the government. Their corruption is endless, much like a seven-headed dragon.”

The reality is that the impeachments will not solve Iran’s economic problems because the system is rotten to its core. Iranian regime’s economic policy is not based on the rule of law; it is based on greed and corruption. Even MPs agree that replacing the cabinet will not solve these problems.

On August 26th, Elias Hazrati another regime MP, commented on this issue: “We are in the month of August now. Sanctions won’t start until November, and its consequences won’t be revealed any earlier than the next 6 to 12 months. So, the current inflation of 19%, which is expected to go up to 40% by the end of the year, has clearly nothing to do with the United States”.”

Henchman, Mohammad Reza Badamchi another member of regime’s parliament, added: “In today’s society, one out of every six people is unemployed. In other words, close to 20 million of our youth, aged between 15 to 29 years old, have no jobs now.”

The cabinet, of course, only controls 50% of Iran’s economy. The other half is held by the Supreme Leader and the organizations under his power, primary the Revolutionary Guards and its affiliates.

Mahmoud Bahmani, another regime MP and the former head of the Central Bank, revealed last month: “A 2-year-worth of currency, accumulated from our exports, haven’t been returned to our country just yet. The bank accounts of the officials’ families are worth more than our currency held overseas. In March 2013, the liquidity rate was 435 thousand billion Toman, whereas today, it is more than 700 thousand billion Toman.”

Given the dire economic situation in Iran and the failure of regime officials to find effective solutions to address it, the Iranian people have grown more and more angry at the entire regime. Economic issues were the initial spark that led to the massive uprising that began in December of last year and continues today. People from all walks to life have taken to the streets, chanting, “Death to Khamenei!”

Khamenei you should be ashamed of yourself!”

Reformists, Hardliners, Game is Over!”

It has become clear that the people of Iran are tired of claims of reform. They are ready for regime change. Increasingly, protesters have looked toward the Iranian Resistance and the MEK for a viable alternative to the mullahs’ regime.

The regime faces many obstacles right now, but the largest and most insurmountable is the ongoing uprising taking place in the streets of Iran. The regime has been unable to suppress the protests, and it has been unable to kill off the opposition movement, despite attempted multiple terrorist attacks on the MEK this year.

Rouhani himself acknowledged the power of the protesters in a statement this year: “How did our country’s atmosphere suddenly change? It changed from December 26th, 2017; anyone who claims otherwise is only misleading people, in my opinion.”

The regime is fearful of its people because it knows the end is near. Overthrow is inevitable because the problems within the regime cannot be fixed. The people are angry, and the protesters cannot be suppressed. The regime should be afraid.

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Iran Economy,Iran infighting,MEK,NCRI,PMOI,Regime Change,Rouhani

MEK- Iran: Rouhani’s Answers Leave MPs Unsatisfied

Archive-Rouhani was called to the regime’s parliament to answer questions about the dire economic condition, the plunge of Rial, etc. As Iran protests grow across the country, the infighting among regime rivals expands

There have been signs that the Iranian regime has been dealing with instability within the leadership for some time. The Minister for Labour and the Economic Minister were both removed from their positions in recent weeks, and Rouhani appeared before MPs on August 28th to explain the country’s woeful economic situation.

Rouhani answered five questions on the economy. Four of the responses were unsatisfactory. Among the 82 MPs that witnessed the session, approximately 75% felt that his answers to questions on unemployment and inflation were not acceptable.

An Economy in Crisis

In the last six months, the rial has plummeted in value against the dollar. Its value is around half of that at the beginning of 2018. Poverty is creeping up, with many Iranians struggling for economic survival.

One-third of the population now live below the international poverty line based on regime sources, with one in ten living in conditions that amount to “absolute poverty” (the reality is a lot worse). Mohsen Hashemi, Chairman of Tehran’s Council, puts the blame squarely at the regime’s doorstep. He said the mullah’s “quick and careless formation of policies” has destroyed the economy.

A Web of Deceit

During the hearing with MPs, Rouhani spouted fabricated figures and statistics as he attempted to put a positive spin on his government’s five-year tenure. Rather than acknowledge his government’s failings, he instead blamed the economic crisis on the perceptions of the Iranian people.

“All of a sudden, people’s perception of Iran’s future changed, and this is a major problem”, he said. “Banking irregularities and the economic boom and the currency prices are all important issues, but they all pale in relation to the issue of public trust and hope”, he added.

Rouhani pinpointed the uprisings in December and January, as the moment that the current economic crisis began. “Suddenly the circumstances in the country changed”, he said.

President Rouhani also blamed his counterpart in the United States, Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA on the 2017/2018 uprisings. He said that the “domestic turbulence and international threats frightened the people”.

Playing Down Reports of Factional Infighting

Finally, Rouhani attempted to dispel rumors of infighting within the regime leadership. Previously he had criticised the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of extensive smuggling, accusing the organization of smuggling billions of dollars across international borders. However, during questioning, Rouhani praised the IRGC for its role in preventing smuggling.

In refusing to give an accurate representation of his government’s role in creating the economic crisis and performing a U-turn on smuggling accusations within the IRGC, Rouhani demonstrated to the people of Iran that he has no interest in offering solutions to the country’s worsening economic situation. His answers demonstrate a leader burying his head in the sand to avoid the harsh realities of the situation, more concerned with smoothing over factionalism within his own government than improving the lives of the population.

The economic crisis ravaging the Iranian population looks set to worsen before it gets better. But one thing is certain: As seen in slogans of protesters in recent protests across Iran, shouting “Death to the Dictator” they well know that it is the entirety of the regime that is responsible for the corruption and mismanagement of the economy and that the only solution to the problem is regime change in Iran.

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A man searching the garbage can for food due to widespread poverty

Moshen Hashemi: The Second Half of 2018 Could Bring a “Tsunami” of poverty in Iran

A man searching the garbage can for food due to widespread poverty

A man searching for left overs inside a trash can, a very common scene in Iran today, due to government’s corruption and spending the country’s income to fund terrorism, development of Ballistic Missile programs and for domestic repression.

The Iranian economy continues to slide. In the last six months, the rial has plunged, losing approximately half its value against other international currencies. Around one-third of Iranians are now living below the poverty line, and one in ten live in what is known as “absolute poverty”.

In one single month, between March and June, the purchasing power of Iranians fell by more than 48%. The Head of the Workers Union of Chadormalu Mining and Industrial Company, Akbar Alipour, spoke of how the falling income levels of Iranians are clearly visible in the streets. He said, “we can see very clearly how income levels, and subsequently people’s welfare, have dropped”.

The mullah’s “quick and careless formation of policies” has ravaged the economy, according to the Chairman of Tehran’s Council, Mohsen Hashemi. There is no sign of improvement in the months to come. A regime official predicted that the second half of 2018 would bring a “new wave of inflation”, leading to “even lower purchasing power”, and even more widespread poverty.

The clerical regime does not have the budget to handle another wave of inflation. It has already proven itself inept at dealing with the current economic crisis. Its responses to the economic crisis have been ineffective and merely exacerbated the situation.

An Economy Creaking under the Weight of Mismanagement

Moshen Hashemi summed up the current situation in Iran. He said, “poverty is bearing down on Iran’s society like a Tsunami”. The regime’s officials are in panic mode. A “snowball of social damages” are reaching a critical point and threaten to spiral out of control.

Alipour warned of the devastating impact falling income levels would have on Iranian families. “Many families will be falling apart”, he said, adding, “especially given the desperation of many people, including workers, are already experiencing now”.

The effects of falling income levels have already prompted mass protests and demonstrations across Iran. Recent demonstrations from merchants, truck drivers, farmers, teachers, students, investors, factory workers, and laborers have racked the country.

With a population of 60 million people, there is little doubt that further economic decline would pose a real problem for the mullahs. It would create a domestic situation where the slightest spark could ignite nationwide protests, similar to those seen in December and January, but on an even greater scale.

As the situation has worsened, the protest movement has evolved. The protests since March have targeted inflation and economic decline. The protestors slogans have called for “death to Khamenei”, and “death to Rouhani”. Khamenei himself has acknowledged the nation’s economic problems and the internal unrest.

Alipour insisted that “there has never been a time in history, where workers have been on the verge of absolute hunger like now”. The Iranian people are hungry. Hungry for food to feed their families. Hungry for economic security. Hungry for a better standard of living and welfare. And above all, hungry for regime change.

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Secretary Pompeo describes new Iran Strategy

Why the Iranian People Support the Resumption of Sanctions Against the Iranian Regime

Secretary Pompeo describes new Iran Strategy

Secretary Pompeo’s speech on Iran-May 2018

The first of Donald Trump’s sanctions against the Iranian regime has been revealed following the withdrawal of the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo described the coming wave of sanctions against the clerical regime as “the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete.”

Secretary Pompeo explained the US government’s Iran policy as a three-pronged approach. The first strategy would be to apply financial pressure on the regime. The second would address the regime’s contributions to instability in the Middle East, particularly its financing of international terrorism. The third prong would see the US supporting the Iranian public and championing their cause.

A Clear Set of Criteria

The US Secretary of State was explicit in the requirements the Iranian regime would have to meet before the US would consider lifting the sanctions. He produced a set of 12 criteria that would have to be met. Among the criteria is the termination of the nuclear and ballistic missile programs, a cessation of meddling in the affairs of its neighbor states and an end to the financing of terrorism.

Many of the demands Secretary Pompeo laid out have been among the demands of the Iranian opposition since decades ago to end the policy of appeasement to the mullahs in Iran, however while secretary Pompeo spoke extensively about the Iranian people and their uprising against the mullahs, the end of human rights abuses and suppression of the Iranian population was not among the 12 demands.

Will the Sanctions Harm the Iranian People?

When economic sanctions are employed against a rogue government, there is often a concern among the international community that rather than affect those in power, the people bear the economic burden, and are forced further into poverty and financial hardship. This is actually the narrative that the Iran lobby had long been pursuing in a bid to prevent more crippling sanctions on the regime.

However, the people of Iran are in favor of the proposed sanctions. Iranian trade has not benefitted the Iranian population. The economy is under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRCG) and the only beneficiaries of Iranian international trade are the IRCG and their affiliated companies.

Under the Iran deal, the Iranian regime received a $100-$150 billion financial windfalls. This had no effect on the Iranian people, who live in worse economic circumstances than they had prior to the lifting of the sanctions. In fact, the lifting of the sanctions and extra financial revenue allowed the regime to ramp up its domestic oppression and further interfere with conflicts in the region.

The people hope that with the resumption and intensification of international sanctions, it will limit the regime’s budget for repressive bodies and limit its campaign of tyranny against the Iranian population.

Maryam Rajavi’s Comments on Pompeo’s Speech

Responding to Mike Pompeo’s speech, leader of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, called his recognition of the Iranian people’s struggle “a major step”. She added, “democratic change in Iran is the only solution to the problem in Iran and the crisis in the region. Forming an international front against the religious and terrorist dictatorship in Iran is a requisite for the establishment of peace, security and coexistence in the region and world over”.

In the wake of the announcement from the US, Europe now has a choice; persevere with their short-term strategy of maintaining lucrative economic ties with Iran, or stand with the democratic movement in Iran, end its appeasement of the Iranian regime, and stand on the people’s side in their quest for a free, democratic Iran.

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