Following the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, we are now witnessing a new wave of U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime’s various officials and institutions. The slate also includes different proxy groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and its senior officials. These sanctions are being imposed by both the U.S. and its Arab allies across the region.
These economic sanctions are most certainly delivering a political message. Valiollah Seif, chief of the regime’s Central Bank, is now blacklisted. This came as a crystal clear warning as Iranian regime foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sought to begin negotiations with his European counterparts.
All the while, sanctioning Iran’s central bank chief means any contract containing Seif’s signature will be considered a violation of U.S. sanctions laws, imposing fines on the second party.
Tehran sought guarantees from Europe in the face of U.S. sanctions. While there is a variety of news reports raising different claims in this regard, the Europeans are not playing along.
“The Europeans are bullying us and saying we’re not providing any guarantees,” said Mullah Alamalhoda, Friday prayer imam in Mashhad, northeast Iran. Such figures are known to represent the Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei in each city.
Sanctions that result in economic disaster for the Iranian regime will have a major impact on the regime’s political status quo, especially since the economy is very much intertwined with politics in Iran.
To this day, while many sanctions have yet to go into action against Iran, a large Persian Gulf/US alliance is taking shape against the Iranian regime, and nearly all Arab states are in line with American sanctions. This is a significantly important political message, especially since Qatar is also joining this anti-Iranian regime alliance.
Tehran used to claim they prevented a regional alliance against ISIS from changing its target to Tehran. However, the U.S. State Department is now forecasting an alliance establishing to take on the Iranian regime’s threats, very similar to the anti-ISIS coalition.