On July 18, Donald Trump’s Administration announced blacklisting of 18 privates and entities supporting Iran’s program on development and testing of ballistic missiles, as well as the country’s military procurements and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. A day later, Department of State once again called Iran as “top state – sponsor of terrorism.” On July 18, the Parliament of Iran passed a bill to counter “American terrorism” in the Middle East. Details of the bill are kept secret so far. One can suppose that the retaliatory actions by Iran are measures against U.S. officials with histories of supporting terrorism in the region, increase of military budgets and other measures. According to Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani, the bill shows the Iranian people’s decisiveness to fight America’s actions. The U.S. Administration should realize that any action against the Islamic People will be furiously repelled by the Iranian people and parliament, he said. Iranian General Yahya Rahim Safavi, in turn, said that after mercenary-terrorists suffered defeat and casualties in Iraq and Syria, Saudi Arabia, U.S. and Israel are hatching plots against Iran.
The Iranian foreign ministry responded with a mirror image and blacklisted American privates and entities taking hostile steps against Iranian people. The bill to counter “America’s adventurist and terrorist measures in the region” was retaliation also to The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, the sanctions of U.S. senators, that affected Russia’s interest as well. Although the document is yet to be approved by the House of Representatives and Donald Trump, White House Director for Legislative Affairs Mark Short assured that the Administration will support the regular legislative initiative to confront Iran.
Some American observers optimistically thinking Trump realizes that War against Iran may turn into what war in Iraq turned for Georgia Bush-junior. Consequently, the hysteria around sanctions may be aimed at reducing criticism for “nuclear deal” with Iran. Earlier, information was leaked to U.S. media telling about a CIA project to arm and train anti-al-Assad militants in Syria, which is presented as Trump’s another realistic step. However, the possible triggers of such decision and its feasibility are not clear yet.
On July 19, President Hassan Rouhani addressed the American sanctions at the government. The Iranian leader said the political authority and power of every country, the trust in it and respect for it depends on how it implements its international commitments. He recalled the Paris Climate Change agreement, arrangements with Cuba and liabilities on Central Asia, which U.S. has violated recently. “The US cannot be a promoter of human rights, legal positivism, stability, and security in the world. A party, which is not stable itself, does not respect laws and regulations, and does not honor its own signature, cannot invite others to stability, security, and calm,” Rouhani said.
Iran implements its international commitments and the new sanctions against the country run contrary to the logic and provisions of The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The document is considered one of the few achievements of Obama-Kerry Administration’s foreign policy (thanks to Moscow and Beijing).
At the JCPOA meeting in Vienna, on July 21, the Iranian delegation blamed Washington for failing to implement its commitments.
Although Trump criticized the “nuclear deal,” he did not promise to withdraw from it if elected. The deal has faced political and economic problems. For instance, the contract signed with France and China on July 3 to implement the 11th phase of South Pars large gas deposit evidently contradicts to the interests of those who seek to “readjust” the world energy markets to their needs.
The Western press is flooded with reports on regular anti-Iranian sanctions under pretext of danger allegedly emerging from its nuclear program. This is how U.S. responds to evident success of Iran in development of high technologies in maximum unfavorable conditions. A few days ago, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan announced that the country has increased the range and high-precision of sea-launched cruise missiles. Earlier, in May, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced opening of a third missile producing plant in Iran. "If the U.S. intends to pursue sanctions on the Guard, it should first disassemble its military bases within 1,000 kilometers, or 620 miles," General Mohammad Ali Jafari said, apparently referring to the range of Iranian missiles.
Earlier, in June, IRGC used high-precision missiles against targeting facilities of “Islamic State,” organization banned in Russia, in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor as part of “Laylat al-Qadr” operation. According to some assessments, for the first time the operation was supported by intelligence and information systems developed by Iranian specialists. Iran’s achievements and increased missile power are a headache for many countries in the region. Meantime, unlike its neighbors applying Western deadly missiles targeting civilians in Yemen, Iran does not sign contracts worth billions of dollars with power brokers.
Iran’s nuclear program is an important component of national security and defense amid instable and turbulent situation in the region and America’s efforts to isolate the country. It is more than justified considering Pentagon’s military activity in the Persian Gulf, including laser-guided weapon tests.
One of the outspoken critics of Iran and its nuclear program, politician John Bolton came out with anti-Iranian statements in France, at regular meeting of the so-called “national council to resist Iran.” Pentagon Chief James Mattis shared his views with students calling normalization with Iran impossible unless “theocratic regime” is changed there. Pentagon again made allegations against Iran over a series of terror attacks orchestrated by other powers. It is quite logical that Iran’s Foreign Ministry disclaimed “Mad Dog’s” allegations against Iran and called U.S. Government and personally Mr. Mattis “embodiment of terrorism” and violators of human rights.
Activity at CIA’s Middle East station, including appointment of Michael D’Andrea, known as CIA’s Agent Ayatollah able to lead a very aggressive but smart program on Iran, as head of CIA’s Iran Operations is arousing concerns too. Earlier that “dark prince” hunted bin Laden by launching killer-drones in Afghanistan. CIA admits that Iran is a “tough nut to crack” but it is not going to stop “active measures.”
Perhaps, one of such operations (which failed as no goals were not achieved) was the terror attack on a number of state facilities in Iran on June 7. Formally, ISIL (a terrorist group banned in Russia – EADaily’s note) claimed responsibility for the attacks. Attempts of terror attacks in Iran are probably one of the directions that “terrorist project” failing in Iraq and Syria will start to evolve. ISIL is a brilliant instrument to ensure further hostile steps against Iran through U.S. military bases and illegal facilities in the east of Syria. Actions of militants will be orchestrated against Tehran the same way it was done in Damascus.
Awakening of “sleeping” terrorist cells in Ahwazi, Iranian Kurdistan and Balochistan is one of the measures against Iran. A single clash with militants of The Kurdistan Free Life Party in Western Azerbaijan province resulted in death of seven militaries of the IRGC. In mid-June, the Police exposed and liquidated four well-armed ISIS terrorists in Hormozgan province populated with Arabs. The situation is still tense in Sistan-Balochistan province border with Pakistan. On June 15, IRGC forces detained a group of terrorists in Qasr-e Qand. Mehr media outlet reported that 700kg of explosives, several suicide belts and small arms were found in their hideouts. On the same day, two terrorists of Ansar Al-Furqan Sunnite militant organization were liquidated, several were wounded and arrested in Chabahar, southwest of Iran.
Yet in 2009, Brookings Institute report “Which Path to Persia?” recommended promoting external opposition groups, by sparking revolts to weaken “the clerical regime.” This was reflected in Washington’s policy. The above and future secret operations have propaganda cover, including mass media and social media hysteria in support of “the rights of political prisoners” etc.
Meantime, Iran still seeks ways of political dialogue with U.S. despite inadequate actions of the White House and absence of any contacts of foreign policy departments, as well as the U.S. military presence in the Middle East that is extremely dangerous for the region.
On July 17, Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif had a meeting at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. Recalling the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953, support to Saddam Hussein in the Iranian-Iraqi war, the Iranian minister assured that Iran is surviving despite any sanctions and attempts of U.S. to overthrow its legitimate authorities. When U.S. started imposing sanctions, Iran had about 200 centrifuges within the frames of its peaceful nuclear program. When Washington launched talks to cancel restrictions gradually, Iran has already had 20,000 centrifuges.
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Probable reincarnation of “Greater Middle East” project will give a new impetus to regional conflicts involving international terrorism. Obama’s Administration contributed to the growth of militant radicalism covered by pseudo-religious philosophy, inter-confession hatred and artificially inflated discrepancies between Shiites and Sunnites. The abovementioned Brookings Institute report was one of the documents proving the West’s policy of using terrorism as a geopolitical instrument. There are no doubts that such policy will be continued in the Middle East (and not only there) though with the help of other methods and persons. This makes the multi-aspect cooperation of Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq as never important.
On May 23, representatives of the national security agencies of the four countries met in Russia’s Zavidovo. Ali Shamkhani, head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, Secretary of Russia’s National Security Council, national security advisors from Iran and Syria, Faleh al-Fayyad and Ali Mamlouk attended the meeting. According to Mehr, stressful and non-constructive statements recently made by Saudi Arabia prepared ground for regional instability and tension. The national security representatives discussed joint efforts to root out terrorism from the region and manage the crises caused by terrorism. They agreed to meet regularly to take efficient measures to combat terrorism.
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As “pork barrel” of leading transnational corporation in the key regions is shrinking, Big Powers are focusing on Iran, Russia, and China. The strain in the relation of Washington and Tehran may result in extremely negative consequences in the Near and Middle East. Anyway, combined efforts of regional power seeking development not degradation to the Medieval Age are needed to give a proper response to the West’s imperialist policy.