Iran Wants Sanctions Lifted, No Surprise [VIDEO]
Iran Wants Sanctions Lifted, No Surprise [VIDEO]
Iran is still a problem for the United States. The deal may be dead, but that is not going to stop Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, from complaining about how the U.S. is “addicted to sanctions.”
Sanctions restarted on August 6th, and yesterday, Zarif gave an interview to CNN complaining about how sanctions will not change anything politically in Iran.
— Alireza Miryousefi (@miryousefi) August 20, 2018
“I believe there is a disease in the United States and that is the addiction to sanctions,” he told CNN, adding that, “Even during the Obama administration the United States put more emphasis on keeping the sanctions it had not lifted rather than implementing its obligation on the sanctions it lifted.”
The interview is the first the key architect of the complex nuclear deal between Iran and the West has given to Western media since some of the US sanctions against Iran were renewed last week. The US-educated minister gave the interview in fluent English on the 65th anniversary of a US-backed coup that overthrew democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.
Zarif retained a clear belief during the hourlong interview in the foreign ministry that the nuclear deal could be revived regardless of the Trump administration denunciation of it. In May, Trump withdrew from the deal, known as the JCPOA and intended to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief, calling it a “horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.” The first wave of sanctions that were to “snap back” under the Trump move hit the import of car parts and precious metals on August 6.
Zarif expressed his dismay that the United States has not learned that sanctions are ineffective in changing the political climate in Iran.
“We felt that the United States had learned that at least as far as Iran is concerned, sanctions do produce economic hardship but do not produce the political outcomes that they intended them to produce, and I thought that the Americans had learned that lesson. Unfortunately I was wrong,” Zarif said.
Earlier that day, he tweeted criticism of the US State Department last week establishing the “Iran Action Group” to coordinate the US and its allies pressure on Iran. He wrote: “Now an action group dreams of doing the same through pressure misinformation and demagoguery — never again.”
65 years ago today, the US overthrew the popularly elected democratic government of Dr. Mossadegh, restoring the dictatorship & subjugating Iranians for the next 25 years. Now an “Action Group” dreams of doing the same through pressure, misinformation & demagoguery. Never again. pic.twitter.com/ic3o652awn
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) August 19, 2018
This is what Zarif is complaining about:
“Our hope is that one day soon we can reach a new agreement with Iran, but we must see major changes in the regime’s behavior, both inside and outside its borders,” Pompeo said in a brief address at the State Department. “The Iranian people and the world are demanding that Iran finally act like a normal nation. The Iran Action Group will drive daily progress on these objectives, and I hope do much more.”
The group will report directly to Pompeo and be led by Brian Hook, the newly minted special representative for Iran, who as the State Department’s director of policy planning had steered ultimately failed efforts to try to renegotiate the nuclear deal before Trump withdrew.
Of course, all of this is much more complicated than Zarif would like to portray.
But it is your regime that more closely resembles those who overthrew Mossadegh as you deny the people basic freedoms; deny them social media; and the right to dress as they want; #think and why don’t you tweet in Farsi?
— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) August 19, 2018
Yes, the CIA and British Intelligence helped overthrow the Iranian prime minister in 1953… but he wasn’t exactly “democratically elected.”
While Mossadegh was elected to the Majles (the Iranian Parliament) by democratic means (Iran at the time was not a democracy by any means, though some aspects of it were democratic in nature), the office of Prime Minister was nominated from amongst the Majles deputies by the Shah. In turn, the Majles members either voted for or against the nomination (In his initial appointment Mossadegh was approved by a tally of 79-12). Mossadegh enjoyed massive popularity at different times during his political career, but his position as Prime Minister was never due to a nationwide poll (he was PM on two separate occasions).
This is not to say Mossadegh’s position was not legitimate. He was chosen by his constituency to be a Majles deputy, this is indisputable. He was not however, chosen by the Iranian people to be Prime Minister. This also does not account for the fact that the Majles was mostly comprised of feudal landowners, intrinsically opposed to Mossadegh and his populism . Before Mossadegh became Prime Minister, the Iranian public was unhappy with the state of affairs in Iran; Mossadegh with his sincere populism was seen by the Shah as a clever alternative to yet another feudal landowner or military officer .
The history of the Iranian government from the Cold War onward is a complex one, but hashing over the past doesn’t change the reality of the moment. The reality is that Iran’s people will be the ones who pay the price for the sanctions. Zarif is also looking to save his legacy, as the Iran Deal was one that he brokered with the Obama administration (and one could argue that yes, he was a brilliant negotiator who got exactly what he wanted from the deal, including large pallets of cash). It’s little wonder that he is now openly complaining and criticizing the end of the deal as a bad thing – and bringing up the past to try and guilt the United States into getting sanctions reconsidered. Fortunately, the Trump administration is not inclined to play his game.