Earlier, The Washington Free Beacon reported, citing sources, that senior US State Department officials have convinced US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to permit Tehran to remain connected to the SWIFT international banking system.
Sputnik has talked about this with Foad Izadi, professor of political communication at the University of Tehran.
Sputnik: In your opinion why has Washington decided to backtrack on its threats to halt Iranian oil exports completely and halt its accesses to the global SWIFT system?
They are free to buy oil from Iran and free to have trade with Iran and what the US is saying is that countries should violate that UN resolution of dealing with Iran or trading with Iran, and if they do follow the UN resolution what the US is saying is that the US government is going to sanction these companies that engage with Iran. So that creates opposition.
I think the Trump administration realized that they cannot get what they want. They wanted to prohibit Iran from selling any oil, what Secretary Pompeo even said yesterday (Friday), the goal was to prevent Iran from selling oil altogether and they realized that that goal is not achievable, so what they did in effect was they issued exemptions for eight countries and these eight countries are going to continue to buy Iranian oil.
Of course, what they have said is they want these countries to reduce their import of Iranian oil. We don't know how successful they're going to be, what we do know is that there's almost total opposition to what the Trump administration is doing.
Sputnik: What is your opinion regarding the timing of these decisions?
The people who voted for Trump generally, they didn't like the nuclear agreement, the Republicans opposed the agreement, and the Trump administration is basically playing to its base and the idea is to demonize Iran and then win some votes by saying that they have done what they said they would do. So I think as they're announcing these sanctions coming back they're trying to tell the base that voted for Trump in 2016 that his promises are kept.
Sputnik: President Trump, of course, has been indicating these sanctions will stay in place until a new accord with Iran is signed replacing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but how difficult and how lengthy would it be to convince the sides that are part of the agreement to reconsider, what could be the difficulties?
Foad Izadi: The difficulty, I think, is that the Trump administration isn't really interested in reaching a new agreement with Iran. Their real goal, as former Secretary of State John Kerry promised, is to overthrow the Iranian government. The same thing they did in 1953. It seems that the US government hasn't learned anything in the last 60-70 years. They keep going back trying to change the Iranian government and they have been actually successful one time, and I think they want to try their luck again, I guess.
They're interesting in changing the Iranian government and they're designing their policy to reach that goal. I think that's a mistake, I think Iran is ready to resist US pressure and I think what the Trump administration is doing it is actually unifying people in Iran under the flag because everybody realizes inside Iran and outside Iran that the Trump administration is using bullying tactics to pressure the other side to accept the dictates that come out of Washington and people don't respond well to that.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Foad Izadi and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.