More sanctions are on the way.
“The EU on Friday agreed new sanctions against Iran, adding 18 companies or institutions and one person to a blacklist aimed at forcing stalled talks on Tehran’s contested nuclear drive to resume.”
Unfortunately, on the media front, we have witnessed a mass of recent articles criticizing the very notion of sanctions. This belies the simple fact that they are working! Sanctions are, in fact, biting in the right places (despite the claims and manipulations of the Iranian regime – see previous posts).
On a Macro-level, this Foreign Policy piece illustrates that sanctions are causing the political echelons of the Iranian regime to at least recalibrate their belligerent stance.
“Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence did something remarkable last month: It used its website to publish a report (link in Farsi) calling for direct talks with the country’s foe, the United States.”
By implementing “severe sanctions,” the report contended, Obama is actually trying to control the situation without resorting to military action.
The most likely reason for the shift is the dire state of Iran’s economy. International sanctions leveled against the country because of its nuclear program are having a devastating effect.
For those negotiations to actually take place (and succeed), it is crucial that the stubborn, almost intractable Iranian regime changes its course. Editorials such as this one from the NYT, which place the onus on the White House and not the Islamic Republic, overlook the last ten years of Iranian inflexibility and are far from helpful.
Now moving to the micro-level, the sanctions are also targeted:
Hispasat’s removal of the Islamic Republic state channels comes after a similar move by the French company Eutelsat, which also owns part of Hispasat.
According to Overon, the European union’s blacklisting of Ezatollah Zarghami, the head of the Islamic Republic broadcaster Seda-va-Sima, has led to the decision to follow “a wider interpretation of the EU regulations.”
Human rights activists have accused Seda-va-Sima of having a key role in the crackdown on political dissidents and civil activists in Iran.
“The Treasury Department said SAD Import Export Company shipped weapons to the Syrian Armed Forces on behalf of Iran’s Defence Industries Organisation, which it accused of being used by the Government to “assist” the Syrian regime’s crackdown….
SAD Import Export and two others, Chemical Industries and Development of Materials Group and Marine Industries Organisation, were also blacklisted for their ties to Iran’s Defence Industries Organisation and its Defence Ministry.”
Leading Iranian figures, including economic committee members, former ministers, and members of the supreme labor council have been vociferous against the sanctions. Not to mention, the unofficial spokespeople of the Iranian regime in Europe and the US (see previous posts). The sanctions are there to a) put pressure on the regime which will b) convince them to cooperate with the international community leading to c) an eventual compromise in which Tehran agrees to stop advancing its military nuclear program.
Despite the recent flood of articles; with “(a) Pressure” working, now is NOT the time to remove sanctions.