Despite the positive approach by Iran Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif proposing a humanitarian exchange of prisoners between Washington and Tehran (in an attempt to break the stalemate and ease the current tension), Iranian Speaker Ali Larijani and ‘Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Brigade’ (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani both rejected any rapprochement. It is the radical general mood in Iran and its tendency towards firmness rather than flexibility that is prevailing, as a response to the severe US sanctions on Tehran. In fact, Iran is showing signs of strength, less concerned about the US “strangulation policy”, confident it can face the US establishment decision to impose “zero oil exports” and confident also that it will survive, as it has the last four decades whilst under sanctions imposed by all US Presidents since 1979.
The policy of the US establishment under President Donald Trump is to impose its hegemony and flex its muscles, adopting political and financial sanctions on countries rather than sending troops to submit opponents through a military act of war. All countries opposing the US hegemony are under the US’s spotter microscope and have been listed on the sanction’s agenda. These are Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba Nicaragua, Yemen, Lebanon, Iran, Syria- and many other countries.
These US sanctions aim to burden above all the population, destroy the local economy and, in consequence, trigger a domestic uprising to reach the ultimate goal: changing the regime. The US is not aiming to intervene militarily unless the situation is ripe enough at the minimum possible cost of military effort and expense. George Bush’s previous policy of direct military interventionist era now seems out of fashion. Iran is aware of this and, in consequence, is comfortable about its domestic control of the situation. Tehran seems prepared for an economic siege for as long as President Trump is in power (until 2020) and, according to Iranian official sources, until the end of his next term if re-elected.
The White House believes Middle Eastern countries can top-up the difference needed to compensate the ‘lost’ two million Iranian barrels of oil exported on a daily basis. In a few words, the US objectives are two: preventing Iran’s oil exports and compensating for the overall loss of quantity,