Baku, Azerbaijan, July 27
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
While many believe that the new US sanctions on Iran appeared at odds with international law, an Iranian expert suggests that the US is seeking to make Tehran alter its political behavior through imposing fresh sanctions.
The remarks come after the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to slap new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea.
Hostile policies, arming militant groups
Behrooz Bayat, a former consultant at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told Trend that the nuclear dispute has always had two components: first preventing a putative nuclear armed Iran and second - use the dispute as a leverage to press the Islamic Republic to change its political behavior toward the West, USA and Israel.
“Former President Barack Obama adopted soft policies in order to change Tehran’s political behavior step-by-step through helping the Islamic Republic to integrate into the world economy. However, President Donald Trump’s administration is following up on the policy of changing Iran’s international and regional policies more aggressively through building up pressure on Tehran – because, maybe, Trump needs a scape goat for the case when his policy within the USA dead ends,” he said.
“Certainly, there are many state actors in the Middle East, who instigate the chaos and give rise to the disastrous situation as it is there. Meanwhile, role of Saudi Arabia as an ally of the US is widely accepted and more over supported by the West, the more or less similar role of Iran is not tolerated,” he stated.
Saying that the sanctions aim to force Iran to give up its hostile approach towards the US and Israel, he added that Washington and its regional allies plan to prevent Iran from arming militant groups such Lebanon's Hezbollah, hoping that a weakened Islamic Republic may give in their demands.
Lobbies create obstacles in the path of nuclear deal
On the other hand, those who failed to foil the efforts to conclude Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers, including the US back in 2015, have set up some lobbies in the US to create difficulties for the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA/nuclear deal), Bayat mentioned.
The expert touched upon the interests of the regional allies of the US, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, accusing them of making efforts to escalate disputes between Tehran and Washington, which eventually leads to the White House’s stepping up pressure on Tehran.
Bayat further ruled out the possibility of slapping back nuclear sanctions on Iran and said the US itself is very unlikely to do so, and even if the US has a desire to re-impose Iran’s nuclear-related sanctions, it will not yield results as the Europeans appear reluctant to back such decisions.
Therefore the JCPOA will stay in place, but the lobbyists will attempt to prevent Iran from reaping the fruits of the nuclear deal through new sanctions, Bayat concluded.
The new sanctions on Iran are “unfair”, given the achievements of the nuclear deal, but logical, given the [United States’] new policy and new friendship with Saudi Arabia,” a French lawmaker told Trend on Wednesday, asking to remain anonymous.
“President Trump has obviously chosen his side,” said the lawmaker.
“But what is unfair is that the US policy has a lot of impact on the financial networks and it may prevent European financial institutions from having deals with Iran,” the lawmaker mentioned.
The French Foreign Ministry has said that new US sanctions against Iran, Russia and North Korea appeared at odds with international law due to their extra-territorial reach, Reuters reported previously.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that French and European laws would need to be adjusted in response and added that discussions would be necessary at European Union level because of the potential impact on European citizens and firms.