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Iran-USA : Time for decisions

As Obama recalled this week, the United States wants an entente with the Mullahs. The purpose of this entente being the territorial and political control of Central Asia, in order to put a lock on the region’s natural resources highly important to the Russian and Chinese economies. In exchange for this decisive entente the Mullahs demand the lift of sanctions against the Hezbollah and the abandon of the U.S. requirement of their demilitarization in order to maintain their threat on Israel as a levy in case of a later discord with Washington. This demand being unacceptable, Washington is leading a strategy of intimidations, economic sanctions and regional destabilization combined with regular offers to resume dialogue. Washington led actions this week that perfectly illustrate the different shades of their strategy.

The main message behind the American policy is that the door to dialogue remains open in the event that Tehran revises their demands concerning the Hezbollah.

It is highly improbable that Tehran revises their demands, for the Mullahs do not want an entente with Washington. If relations with Tehran warm up, it would result in the reopening of the American Embassy in Tehran, which would in turn pave the road to the return of “pro-American Islamists”. The latter would have no difficulty in taking power through elections and therefore put back the American led revolution back on the initial path that Washington hoped for. The Mullahs would lose their power and most importantly the dollars that go with it. That is the reason why they seek so many different scenarios in order to provoke a major crisis between the two nations, thus putting an end to any possible entente.

One of the axes of the Mullahs’ strategy in refusing the appeasement is to meddle in sensitive neighbouring American allied countries : Presently in Yemen, a country bordering Saudi Arabia and coasting the African horn. Another axis of their strategy is to create internal political instability in order to deprive the P5+1 of a legitimate interlocutor.

Iran’s attitude in refusing all U.S. efforts towards an appeasement has exasperated Washington. Wishing a speedy access to Central Asia, Washington lately evoked extremely harsh sanctions against Tehran. The Obama administration then had the House of Representatives adopt a bill on an embargo on fuel imports by Iran. However, before having the bill voted by the Congress, Washington realized the degree of Tehran’s dependence on imported fuel. Any serious sanctions in this sector would irremediably lead to the regime’s downfall, and Washington needs this regime to impose its Islamic ideological mayhem in the muslin Central Asia. That is the reason why Washington has slowed down the voting of fuel sanctions at the Congress and is considering lesser sanctions.

1 | Washington has weighed it’s options and has fixed it’s choice of an embargo on the First East Export Bank, a Malaysian branch of Bank Mellat, an Iranian bank already boycotted by Washington. This sanction may be a lesser remedy, it remains highly important, for the First East Export Bank was founded in December 2008 by the Iranian Central Bank as a measure to avoid the sanctions hitting Bank Mellat, shareowner of The Iran-Europe Bank (Europäisch – Iranische Handelsban), establishment in charge of financing Iranian imports. This clearly means that Washington has come to an end of its soft sanctions process.

2 | The latter explains the second action taken by Washington this week in collaboration with Israel. The Jewish state, America’s major ally in the region, announced that it had intercepted an Iranian cargo containing Iranian missiles destined for the Hezbollah. This is a violation of resolution 1701 of the Security Council, banning any sales and delivery of arms to the Hezbollah. Whatever might be the authenticity of this interception, it opens the road for newer sanctions against Tehran, and against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, a shipping company in charge of all Iranian imports. This company was already under the threat of unilateral sanctions from Europe. Washington might be considering replacing banking sanctions with air and sea transport sanctions.

3 | Parallel to the two actions, Washington has also hit Iran hard by destabilizing its regional propaganda tools. Egypt, another faithful U.S. ally, banned the regime’s Arab speaking television channel Al Alam from its two satellite bouquets, Arabsat and Nilesat. Iran has lost its major communicating tool with the Arab street and thus an important tool in its ongoing destabilization of pro-American Arab nations.

4 | In conformity with it’s strategy of sanctions combined with offers to resume dialogue, Washington has once again sent an important ally to Tehran in the person of the Emir of Qatar with a message from Obama to the Mullahs : “You are at a turning point.”

We may add that the United States is also at a turning point !

If Tehran once more refuses the offer, Washington will be forced to escalate the sanctions despite the fact that it would go contrary to American interests.

The french version of this article (with more links) :
- Iran - EU : L’heure des choix
- (6 NOVEMBRE 2009)

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| Mots Clefs | Décideurs : OBAMA |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Apaisement |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Sanctions Ciblées en cours d’application |

| Mots Clefs | Décideurs : P5+1 (les Six) |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Sanctions (du Conseil de Sécurité) |

| Mots Clefs | Nucléaire : Politique Nucléaire des mollahs |
| Mots Clefs | Institutions : Diplomatie (selon les mollahs) |