Tehran, Iran, Oct. 27
By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:
Notwithstanding their verbal shows of sympathy for Iranian people, US leaders are in action helping the domination of a single political voice in the Islamic Republic.
The Rouhani administration’s investment in a nuclear deal with the world both as a ground for some economic upheaval and a proof that conservatives had been wrong in negating any talks with the West is now feared to prove a recipe for bankruptcy.
When he took power in 2013, President Hassan Rouhani said to end the nuclear dispute as well as unprecedented economic sanctions on Iran, it was better to “hammer things out with the sheriff,” meaning the US. This was a radically bold statement in an Iran which had been at odds with the US since the 1979 revolution.
A day after the implementation of the JCPOA in January 2016, Rouhani praised the achievement by saying: “Today it was proven that our country is in possession of a great power called diplomacy.” He then referred to the deal as a “win-win game” for Iran and the five countries that partook in it.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whom a great number of Iranians followed on social media during the nuclear talks and later when he proudly brought home a deal, used to call the conclusion of the JCPOA a “triumph of diplomacy”. “#IranDeal was triumph of diplomacy over coercion. Same start choice for US today, and reminder: old methods produce same old failures,” he tweeted in July 2016, a few months after the JCPOA implementation as Tehran was still hopeful to wring the desired benefits from the deal.
After the lifting of sanctions, companies from all the JCPOA signatories and elsewhere started pushing for promotion of economic ties with Iran, sometimes striking multi-billion-dollar deals with Tehran. The United States remained an exception.
Despite this and moves to pose new sanctions on Iran, US officials have been bemoaning what they represented as the fate of the Iranian nation, which, according to them, is wronged by its ruling power.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said Washington's "fight is not with the Iranian people," but with what he described as "the revolutionary regime."
"We know there are strong feelings and values inside of Iran that we want to promote in terms of one day the Iranian people being able to retake control of their government," the US top diplomat said.
In similar remarks during his Iran strategy announcement on October 13, President Donald Trump also feigned sympathy with Iranian people, saying the ruling class in Iran “has raided the wealth of one of the world’s oldest and most vibrant nations”.
Notwithstanding such remarks, probably meant with the best intention to sooth the Iranian people’s dismay in a diplomatic approach to the US, Washington’s political measures against Iran have created a quality in the Iranian people’s mindset quite different than what the White House wishes to do by words.
As the US is venting more and more pressure on Iran, conservatives who have for decades been saying America is not trustworthy, are now becoming once more the focus of attention as sages of Iran. The most recent move by the House of Representatives to pose new sanctions on Iran has completely driven to the margin the reform-minded Iranians who hoped talks with world powers, besides ending tension over the nuclear program, would give the conservatives some reason to trust diplomacy and international pacts.
Zarif himself has become critical of Washington. He recently referred to Trump’s October 13 de-certification of the nuclear deal, which opened the way for Congress to consider new sanctions on Iran, as a violation of JCPOA.
In April 2015, a few months before JCPOA was concluded and he was hotly debating it with international counterparts, Zarif severely criticized the oppositional views of freshman Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton. “Serious diplomacy, not macho personal smear, is what we need,” he tweeted in response to Cotton, a staunch critic of any US talks with Iran.
The same Senator Cotton, however, when Trump recently presented his new Iran strategy, was drafting a legislation to pose new sanctions on Iran’s missile program, the legislation that is going to mar things between Iran and the US unimaginably.
On Wednesday, Senate passed a bill to pose new sanctions on Iran over the missiles. Critics believe things are moving back to square one for Iran and the US to use “old methods” once more.
Zarif recently said Americans are “addicted to sanctions.” As Washington is pursuing its addiction, Iranians seem to be developing new faith in their old “Death to America” slogan.