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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 42, New Delhi, October 10, 2015

Behind Lifting of US Sanctions: Washington’s Real Game-plan against Tehran

Saturday 10 October 2015

by Michael Todd

According to the WTO experts, a considerable part of the Iranian business will not benefit from the lifting of the US sanctions. Except in the case of some commodities, Washington intends to retain the full trade embargo. What is to be noted in particular is that in the mid-term perspective, the changes that have been contemplated do not apply to restrictions contained in the laws of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran imposed in 1996 (by virtue of the Helms-Buron Act) and 2010 (through Cisada).

It neods to be mentioned that Washington will keep an effective lever of influence over the national commercial companies. Thus of considerable significance is the fact that aircraft companies Boeing and Cessna have to give the US authorities documentation details of the contracts with the Iranians in order to obtain special licenses for export and re-export of aircraft. The US is quite capable of blocking any commerical initiative on such pretexts as Tehran’s support to extremist organisations like Hamas and Hezbollah, violations of human rights and freedoms as well as persisting terrorist activity against American and Israeli citizens.

Washington will barely allow Tehran to get back its financial assets frozen in the US and European Union. The Americans act on the premise that Iran wants to use those assets for strengthening its defence potential and security forces (steps which are fully legitimate). But such actions on the part of Tehran cannot be countenanced by the US leadership whoever or whichever party gets the majority to wield power in Washington. That is why the present and future Adminis-trations in the White House will strictly supervise how those funds are utilised and ensure that they are used exclusively for relevant commercial projects under direct Western control.

It must also be understood that in his effort to enlist the support of the influential Jewish lobby to his Iranian venture, President Obama has openly appealed to the members of the country’s Jewish community. Emphasising that the US and Israel are practically “one family”, he has asked for assistance to promote the Joint Cooperation Plan of Action (JCPOA) while focussing attention on the fact that with Iran deprived of the prospect of acquiring nuclear weapons, a major potential threat to Israel has been eliminated. What is more important is that the US leader has promised to continue working to maintain Israeli military superiority in the Middle East and foil Iran’s ‘destabilising’ moves in the region.