11:37 GMT +308 December 2019
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    An Iranian woman holds her national flag as she walks past an anti-US mural depicting the Statue of Liberty on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran (File)

    US' Real Goal is to Overthrow Iranian Government – Prof on Sanctions

    © AFP 2019 / BEHROUZ MEHRI
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    US President Donald Trump said on Friday that the country’s objective is to force the Iranian regime to “either abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster.” Trump's statement comes as new US sanctions on Iran are about to take effect on November 5.

    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?

    Foad Izadi: You know, there is a serious opposition from all countries in the world basically with the exception of a couple, Israelis and Saudis, but the rest of the world is basically objecting to President Trump's policy towards Iran because what Trump is doing is actually punishing countries for implementing a UN resolution. Based on Resolution 2231, Iran is supposed to follow the nuclear agreement and Iran has been doing that and other countries of the world are supposed to engage with Iran economically.

    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.

    READ MORE: By Introducing Anti-Iran Sanctions US Deals Another Blow to NPT — Russian FM

    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?

    Foad Izadi: You know, there was basically a timeline in terms of when. After the Trump administration got out of the nuclear agreement there was a mechanism in terms of a timeline when the sanctions are going to come back. Of course, this week happens to be the time when Iranians have a nationwide demonstration against US intervention in Iran. So having sanctions back at the same time, on the same day basically, that the Iranians go to the streets to demonstrate against US foreign policy, I don't know if it's a coincidence or it was designed, but I think more than what you see with regard to the Iranian public I think the Trump administration is looking at the midterm elections.

    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.

    READ MORE: European Foreign, Finance Ministers Slam US Iran Sanctions, Vow to Protect Trade

    The reason I make this conclusion is that if the US is really interested in negotiating then the preconditions that you put in, and they have 12 preconditions, at least one or two of those preconditions should be something that the other side can actually do and the preconditions that the Trump administration has provided that doesn't leave any room in Iran for anyone to be able to accept any of them. So this is a sign, I think, that they're not really interested in negotiating with Iran and reaching a new deal.

    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.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    sanctions, Iran nuclear deal, UN resolution, U.S. Department of State, Iran, United States
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