WHAT DOES IRAN THINK ABOUT US SANCTIONS?




Mustafa AY – TDO – 15.07.2018 On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani evaluated USA’s anti-Iranian policies. President Rouhani specified that the core reason why USA has recently emerged in the state of isolation and alienation can be attributed to agressive foreign policies executed against NAFTA, China, EU as well as unfriendly policies in Middle East. By implying US President Donald Trump’s visit to his British counterpart Theresa May, Rouhani underlied the fact that USA’s alienation and isolation from its closest allies can be easily observed. As known, following NATO Leaders Summit in Brussel, during his visit to Britain, US President encountered unpleasent anti-Trump rally organized by British citizens.

Since the inauguration day in January 2017, US President Donald Trump followed very distinct foreign policy as opposed to peaceful policies of his predecessor Barack Obama. First of all, Trump administration unilaterally announced its withdrawal from 5+1 Nuclear Accord (now 6-1 Nuclear Accord) signed with Iran. This was an apparent testimony of that peace process between Iran and Western bloc was obstructed since Israel managed to convince USA of “no peace shall be made with Iran” through lobby activities in Capitol Hill. USA’s unilateral withdrawal from Iranian nuclear agreement prompted a serious reaction of Britain, France and Germany. The interesting thing here is that Trump administration didn’t predict its closest ally in EU –Britain- to turn its back to USA on the matter of its move against nuclear deal. Britain with Germany and France renounced USA’s act of withdrawal and then decisively stated that they would proceed with adherence to Iranian nuclear agreement.

President Trump alongside Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took a very tough stance against Qatar based on the unfounded allegation of that Qatar endorsed terrorism by yielding financial support to Hamas and Al-Qaeda. So, the Gulf Crisis starting with a tweet transformed into deteriorating economic embargo which Arabic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahreyn and UAE imposed on Qatar. However, Qatar overcame embargo through Turkey and Iran, we can say. US-led embargo campaign against Qatar brough Gulf states the idea of that USA could take aim at ‘us’ one day. Based on the skeptical approach of Gulf states to Trump administration, USA started icreasingly isolating and alienating from its affairs with Gulf States. To give an example, even if Saudi Arabia signed arms deal worth billions of dollars with USA, Riyadh committed itself to render its diplomatic relations with Russia moderate by reaching arms deal worth 3 billion dollars effective immediately.

USA’s unilateral declaration/official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel led UN General Assembly to arrange emergency session for destiny of Jerusalem. In the aftermath of emergecny session, Jerusalem voting immediately took place in UN General Assembly. As a result of voting, US envoy to UN Nikki Haley’s threatening remarks encouraged UN member states, who voted against USA in effect, take objective action against Washington. Because USA’s absolute disappointment/humiliation in UN Jerusalem voting resulted in threats of cutting off defense budget allocated to US troops in Europe. According to Trump, EU should afford all the expenses of US troops deployed there to protect EU from Russian threat. So, in the aftermath of Trump’s threatening words, EU Council accelerated negotiations conducted for formation of self-sufficient European Defence Force. EU Council arranged frequent meetings with both civil and military authorities to discuss fund, planned framework for European Defence Pact. Therefore, USA experienced loss of confidence with its NATO allies in Europe.

Finally, that Washington’s extra tariffs on China encompassed EU added a new dimension to USA-EU relations. Before this, EU Commission launched compromise talks with US authorities to attain exemption from extra 20-30 percent tariffs on EU commodities like steel and aliminum. However, EU Commission couldn’t acquire what it expected from negotiations because USA levied extra 20-30 percent tariffs on EU commodities. Afterwards, EU’s official statements “we’ll take essential retaliatory steps against USA’s tariff decision” led Trump administration to threaten EU with another extra 20-30 percent tariff to levy on imported vehicles from EU. Even if President Trump hasn’t fulfilled what he threatened EU with, EU uttered its discomfort with Trump’s threatening words. This utter can be deemed as the first signal for new era in EU-USA relations. In light of all those abovementioned policies of Trump administration, President Rouhani seems to be right at his point.