Trump Tightens the Screws on Tehran
By Lloyd Billingsley
“Today, the United States is taking action to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions with respect to Iran that were lifted in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015,” President Trump said in a statement on Sunday. “These actions include reimposing sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector and on its trade in gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions related to the Iranian rial.”
The president said his actions were consistent with his May 8, 2018, announcement of U.S. withdrawal from “a horrible, one-sided deal” that “failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos.” Since the deal, “Iran’s aggression has only increased. The regime has used the windfall of newly accessible funds it received under the JCPOA to build nuclear-capable missiles, fund terrorism, and fuel conflict across the Middle East and beyond.”
While continuing to apply economic pressure, the president said, “I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime’s malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism. The United States welcomes the partnership of likeminded nations in these efforts.”
The sanctions begin today, August 7, but prominent Democrats have already weighed in. Back in May, Democrat Senate boss Chuck Schumer saw no reason to withdraw from the deal and Sen. Dick Durbin called the withdrawal a “mistake of historic proportions.” San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “the president’s decision to follow his misguided and uniformed campaign promise to destroy the successful JCPOA endangers global security and defies comprehension.” Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democrats’ candidate for vice president in 2000, offered a different view in an August 5 interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox News.
Lieberman, now chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran, said the renewal of sanctions was “a very important day that I, for one, didn’t think would happen.” The sanctions meant that “effectively the Iran agreement of 2015 dies” and Lierberman said it was “one death I’m not mourning.” The United States took off the sanctions “in return for not much from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and “I give credit to President Trump,” who recently tweeted his willingness to meet with the mullahs at any time.
“There’s a possibility for new deal to work,” Lieberman said. “The regime has a lot of troubles, the economy is tanking,” and the rial lost some 80 percent of its value. Lieberman also noted the protests going on in cities all over Iran. In some cities protesters were chanting “Death to Khamenei,” a reference to the Islamic regime’s “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Under the reimposed sanctions, Lieberman said, “foreign business will not invest in Iran” and most of those that went in after the nuclear deal “will pull out.” Whatever they might say, governments in Europe and Asia “don’t want a choice that will shut them out of the American economy.” In the meantime, Iran will be tested by economic sanctions and pressure from their own people. According to Lieberman, “there may be a second Iranian revolution,” but “the only time they will negotiate an agreement is when they think their own regime is in jeopardy.”
For millennials and those with short memories, this is essentially the same Iranian Islamic regime that in 1979 under the Ayatollah Khomeini invaded the U.S embassy in Tehran, took more than 60 hostages and held them for 444 days. The movie Argo showed how six were smuggled out, with help from Canada, but the embassy invasion was a humiliation for the United States under Democrat Jimmy Carter.
Iran’s Islamic regime still leads fanatical mobs chanting “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel,” while funding terrorism and creating instability across the Middle East. That did not bother POTUS 44, formerly known as Barry Soetoro, raised in a “predominantly Muslim” school in Indonesia and on record that the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. For POTUS 44 the mullahs always know best so, without submitting the deal to Congress, he gave the mullahs everything they wanted up front, including planeloads of cash.
“The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen,” President Trump explains. “The Iran deal is not a fair deal to this country. It’s a deal that should not have ever been made.” POTUS 44 holdovers in the State Department such as Sahar Nowrouzzadeh continued to back the deal, along with fiction writer Ben Rhodes and other mouthpieces from the previous administration.
President Trump stuck to his promise and in May pulled the USA out of the JCPOA. Today, August 7, new sanctions kick in but there’s more to come, as the president explained on Sunday.
“All remaining United States nuclear-related sanctions will resume effective November 5, 2018,” one day before the November mid-term elections. “These include sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector, including petroleum-related transactions, as well as transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran.” To ensure compliance, “Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences.”