IRAN: PRESSURE FROM WITHIN AND WITHOUT


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Beyond the severe U.S. sanctions that have battered Iran’s economy, pushing it deep into recession, last week, conflicting announcements came from Washington regarding sending more American troops to the Middle East to “confront potential Iranian aggression.”
Despite providing no proof, Washington has been advocating for more U.S. military presence in the region citing Iranian attacks on commercial shipping, a U.S. drone, and the destruction of Saudi oil refineries.
Last Friday, a meeting took place in Vienna between Iran and the “Joint Commission,” which includes Germany, France, the UK, China, and Russia.
While European powers discussed measures to re-impose international sanctions on Iran if Tehran further violates the 2015 nuclear deal, which the U.S. unilaterally withdrew, pressure from China and Russia stopped the “triggering mechanism” to reinstitute sanctions on Iran.
“All countries need to refrain from taking actions that may further complicate the situation,” the head of China’s delegation stated.
An Iranian official, referring to threats made by Germany, the UK, and France to institute sanctions, said, “They try to keep Iran in the deal but then take no action against America’s bullying and pressure.”
Iran re-started some steps toward developing nuclear weapons after the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal Iran had been honoring and imposed strong sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.
Iran’s recent raising of gasoline prices, combined with the severe economic downward pressure resulting from the sanctions, led to the recent street riots that reportedly resulted in 200 deaths and thousands injured.
On Sunday, Iran said a $40 billion “budget of resistance” to help Iranian citizens suffering from the effects of U.S. economic sanctions would be forthcoming.
Since the U.S. pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal and imposed harsh sanctions on Iran, inflation is above 40 percent. And since the widespread protests began in November, its currency, the rial, dropped some 15 percent. (Since 1978, the Iranian rial has depreciated almost 2,000 fold.)
Israeli Pressure
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss further strategies to heighten pressure on Iran.
“The first subject that I will raise is Iran, the second subject is Iran, and so is the third, and many more,” Mr. Netanyahu said.  He continued, “Iran’s aggression is growing, but its empire is tottering. And I say, let’s make it totter even further.”
On Sunday, at least five pro-Iranian men were killed in Syria by an Israeli air strike.  This was the same area where 23 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard were killed by an Israeli raid last month.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: It has become perfectly acceptable for nations, such as the U.S. and Israel, to inflict hardship on millions of people with economic warfare, i.e., “sanctions,” and the overt mission statement, “Let’s make it totter even further.”

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