Head of Trend Persian Desk Dalga Khatinoglu
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's dream on introduction of "paralyzing" sanctions and blockade with regards to Iran upon the example of the measures taken in 1960 by the United States against Cuba is not feasible because Tehran has a higher level of force.
Despite West's dissatisfaction with the actions of the "waltzing" with the world community Iran, which takes two steps back after one steps forward on the issue of the nuclear program, introducing "paralyzing" sanctions against the Islamic Republic is not possible, and the discussed option of war is pathos, like the threat of nuclear attack on Vietnam by Nixon in 1968.
According to the Foreign Minister of Israel, the U.S. can overthrow the regime in Iran, using direct "paralyzing" sanctions. And Lieberman, citing the example of the embargo, declared in 1960 by ex-President Eisenhower with regards to Cuba, "advised" Obama to take similar measures in the energy sector against Iran.
In 1960, a year after the communist regime was established in Cuba, Dwight Eisenhower announced an embargo on all imports to Cuba, besides food and medicine.
Iran imports 40 percent of gasoline needed for domestic consumption, and 80 percent of Iranian exports is crude oil. Announcing an embargo on this area is possible only through the blockade of the country, and it would mean a formal declaration of war.
Due to the strengthening of the sanctions against Iran by the U.S. since 2005, 80 foreign banks have stopped cooperating with the Islamic Republic and in 2009 the country, which obtains the second largest oil and gas reserves in the world, attracted foreign direct investment only in amount of $1.5 billion. Despite this, given the wide economic cooperation and interest in the Islamic Republic by Russia, China, Latin America and other countries, it is impossible to isolate Iran as Cuba.
Last year, foreign trade and financial turnover of Iran totaled $120 billion. Despite the economic crisis that has covered the whole world, the financial turnover between Iran and Russia, which in 2008 amounted to $3.7 billion, increased by 13 percent in 2009. Trade turnover between Iran and China has increased from $2 billion to $28 billion since 2000. According to the IMF, in 2008, the financial turnover between Iran and the countries of Latin America totaled $2.9 billion. And 2 billion fall on Brazil, which is one of the best from an economic point of view of the world.
At a meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last November, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva supported Iran's nuclear program and expressed hope for a peaceful solution to the problems appeared around it. During his visit to Brazil, Ahmadinejad was accompanied by 150 businessmen and 70 officials, which testifies the large potential for economic cooperation between the two countries.
U.S. and Israel have launched an international campaign to extend sanctions against Iran. The main purpose of the visit of U.S. Secretary of State to the Persian Gulf in late March and to the countries of Latin America now is to organize an international anti-Iranian propaganda. Last week, Assistant Secretary of State James Steinberg paid a visit to China in order to agitate Beijing to vote for the next UN sanctions against Iran.
Last week, the head of the Central Bank of Israel Stanley Fisher and the head of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs Moshe Bogie Ya'alon visited the Celestial Empire for the same purpose. In any case, citing the argument that negotiations on Iran's nuclear program has not yet reached a deadlock, official Beijing imports from Iran 12 percent of its oil needs (480,000 barrels per day), has demonstrated unwillingness to join the new sanctions against Iran.
At the same time, those who responded positively to the U.S. proposal to tighten sanctions against the Islamic Republic are not small. As Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon stated earlier that his country, taking advantage of a chance at the presidency to the G8 in 2010, will seek to tighten sanctions against Iran.
Iran can be supported by India as well, which imports 350,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day, and the financial turnover between the countries totals $13 billion.
Dmitry Medvedev - president of another member country of the UN Security Council, which supports rather closer relationship with Iran - and promised to consider new sanctions if they do not include damage to the Iranian people. However, this more likes a reflection in the field of aesthetics and poetry, rather than diplomatic pressure.
In any case, Iran insists on its right to nuclear development, and its serious reaction to tough sanctions is not excluded. The country now has more authority in making it a "swamp" the U.S. Pakistan and Iraq, and hopes for allies Hezbollah and Hamas neighboring with Israel. Being tired of the economic crisis, the world is also aware that 33 percent of oil transportation in the world is carried out through the Strait of Hormuz, which under the control of Iran.