06:40 GMT +324 September 2018
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    Missiles are on display during a parade marking National Army Day at the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

    US Anti-Iran Sanctions Serve IRGC's Interests, Could Hinder Reform – Strategist

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    Suliman Mulhem
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    US President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this month to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has drawn condemnation from Tehran and members of the P5+1 for potentially undoing years of negotiations and diplomatic progress.

    Tom Elliott, an investment strategist at the DeVere Group – a leading international financial advisory firm – told Sputnik reporter Suliman Mulhem that the re-imposition of anti-Iran economic sanctions are likely to serve the interests of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), while oil-producing nations also stand to gain from Iran’s weakened position in the global oil market.

    “Russia and Saudi Arabia and anyone else who can make up for lost Iranian output will benefit from the sanctions. And the Revolutionary Guard will gain, since they and their businesses were at risk from the reforms of President Rouhani,” the DeVere Group’s Investment Strategist Tom Elliott told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    While the sanctions may restrict some of the IRGC’s business ventures and activities, they will in fact aid them in their struggle against President Hassan Rouhani’s reforms, as he and other pro-reform moderates in the Iranian government may lose face over the deal’s disintegration, potentially derailing their plans to reduce the corps’ dominion over several sectors of the economy.

    READ MORE: IRGC Commander Solemani Core Figure in Iran, Region — Analyst

    The IRGC controls a large chunk of Iran’s economy, with IRGC-affiliated or owned enterprises active in virtually every industry. The corps was instrumental in rolling back the *Daesh caliphate in both Syria and Iraq, with IRGC advisors deployed abroad to advise the Syrian Army and Iraqi forces in their military operations against Daesh and other terrorist groups.

    Sectors of Iran’s wider economy could be hit hard by the US sanctions, especially its national energy industry, though some of the pitfalls of the sanctions can be avoided by trading oil in a currency other than the US dollar, according to Mr. Elliott.

    “Iran's economy will be seriously affected if it wants to be paid for its energy resources in dollars, since the US treasury can ban US banks from servicing any client of Iran that requires dollars. It’s unlikely Iran can entirely counter the sanctions by trading in another currency, such as the Ruble, but possible given that there is little international sympathy for the US position,” he added.

    The investment strategist went on to warn that, although other P5+1 states and the broader international community aren’t set to re-impose sanctions, Iran is likely to witness a sharp drop in inward investment, due to the threat of secondary sanctions.

    “Planned inward investment by Japanese, European and US companies will come to a halt for fear of being shut out of US market should they proceed (the so-called secondary sanctions). This will slow growth,” Mr. Elliott concluded.

    The threat posed by such sanctions to European companies jointly working on projects in the Islamic Republic was underscored by US National Security Advisor John Bolton on May 13, when he said Washington couldn’t rule out the possibility of European companies being sanctioned by the US for engaging in trade with Iran.  

    READ MORE: US Not Ruling Sanctions Against EU Companies for Cooperating With Iran — Bolton

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    oil, nuclear weapons, trade, Iran Deal, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), DeVere Group, Iranian government, Daesh, Syrian Army, European Union, Tom Elliott, John Bolton, Hassan Rouhani, Iran, Europe, Syria, Iraq, United States, Tehran
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