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Pressurizing Iran would be quite challenging for the US

Former Pakistani envoy:

Former Pakistani Ambassador to Iran Assif Durrani says the events of the past four decades show that it would be quite a challenging task for the American administration to achieve its goals in pressurizing Iran.

In an article published in the Pakistani newspaper, Daily Times, Durrani wrote that US President Donald Trump’s sanctions against Iran came into effect on November 5 along with waivers to eight countries (China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey). These waivers, mostly concerned with import of Iranian oil. These wavers are not without reason; those are meant to help contain sudden rise in oil prices because of production capacity problems likely to be faced by other oil producing countries.

Meanwhile, European partners of the nuclear deal have reiterated their resolve to continue the business with Iran. EU countries led by France, Germany and the UK have announced to set up a “special purpose vehicle” to facilitate non-US trade with Iran, but so far it has not made a tangible difference in raising the comfort level of the Iranian government. For the time being the “special purpose vehicle” would act as a “clearing house” which would be a barter trade mechanism without explicit financial transactions. Three European signatories of the nuclear deal (UK, France and Germany) are pledging not to comply with the US sanctions.

In the region, Russia and China have also declared to continue normal trade with Iran. They have maintained that reimposition of US sanctions would be detrimental to maintaining the sanctity of international agreements. While the US has also granted waiver to Turkey, the latter publicly snubbed the US by saying that it did not believe in sanctions and vowed to continue business with Iran as usual. Turkish Foreign Minister MevlutCavusoglu on Tuesday (6 November) criticized the US sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping industries, saying it was “dangerous to isolate Iran and unfair to punish its people”.

India, which has been a beneficiary of the waiver, apart from purchasing oil from Iran was also granted exemption on the Chabahar Port development project. The port would allow transit facilities to India and Afghanistan and serve as an alternate to the port facilities offered by Pakistan. Afghanistan has also received waiver to import Iranian oil products.

The events of past four decades show that it would be quite a challenging task for the American administration to achieve the objective of isolating Iran, especially when it has annoyed many of its close allies including Europeans. More importantly, the US pretext for leaving the nuclear deal known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not convincing and that too when Iran has been in full compliance of the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has testified in almost a dozen inspection reports that Iran has not breached any of the provisions of the JCPOA.

It is becoming obvious that Trump’s sanctions were meant to create tensions in the region. The US withdrawal from the JCPOA has set a very dangerous precedent in international relations with grave consequences for peace and security in West Asia.Mehrnews

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