The United States’ national security adviser John Bolton said the sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. have been even more effective than anticipated, but he did express concern over Iran’s continued regional activity.
“Let me be clear, the re-imposition of the sanctions is already having a significant effect on Iran’s economy and on popular opinion inside Iran,” Bolton said.
Earlier this month, the US reimposed sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. These sanctions have already had a great effect on the already unstable Iranian economy, including a significant drop in the value of the rial, and caused many protests by the merchants and shopkeepers who are normally loyal to the Regime. These protests have turned into anti-government rallies.
“I think the effects, the economic effects certainly, are even stronger than we anticipated. But Iranian activity in the region has continued to be belligerent: what they are doing in Iraq, what they are doing in Syria, what they are doing with Hezbollah in Lebanon, what they are doing in Yemen, what they have threatened to do in the Strait of Hormuz.”Bolton added.
The Iranian people are suffering through high costs of living, a lack of state support, and high unemployment, but make no mistake; this was not due to the sanctions. Four decades of corruption and mismanagement by the mullahs made the economy vulnerable and the Regime’s increased spending on support for terrorist groups has only depleted the public purse further.
In May, Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which provided sanctions relief in exchange for a supposed restriction on Iran’s nuclear programme, citing well-documented Iranian cheating. This angered the Iranian regime officials who responded with threats of disrupting global oil supply and even war with the US.
The first round of sanctions targeted Iran’s purchases of U.S. dollars and its car industry, but a second round, due in November, will target Iran’s oil sales and banking sector.
Meanwhile, Europe has been attempting to secure the deal, but many European firms have already pulled out of the Gulf country due to fears over the sanctions.
“We expect that Europeans will see, as businesses all over Europe are seeing, that the choice between doing business with Iran or doing business with the United States is very clear to them. So we will see what plays out in November. But the president has made it very clear – his words – he wants maximum pressure on Iran, maximum pressure, and that is what is going on,” Bolton added.