Once President Donald Trump realized that he could not change the situation in the Persian Gulf or force Iran to yield by military means, he resorted to his favorite approaches: political extortion, scaremongering and deceptive aggressive propaganda. And even if at first, his actions, to an extent, struck a chord or found a receptive audience in the region, nowadays, most Arab leaders have begun to more and more fully comprehend how egocentric and pushy Washington’s policy is at its very core.
Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm (a London-based Arab online newspaper), has a perfectly reasonable opinion about all this. He thinks that the fear-mongering propaganda fixated on the Iranian threat, spun by the United States, is no longer credible, especially if one factors in the rapid pace of political change in the region; Iran’s just battle to defend its rights, and the strengthening of ties between Tehran and its neighbors. According to Abdel Bari Atwan, it is becoming quite clear that the coastal nations of the Persian Gulf (or more accurately most of them) are gradually escaping the reach of America’s cheap propaganda (meant to elicit fear among them towards Iran), and are beginning to open up communication channels to negotiate with Tehran and resolve any differences via talks, which is indeed a wise policy. One of the arguments he has used in support of his viewpoint is the fact that even Saudi Arabia, which, in the past, was openly hostile towards Tehran, is currently engaging mediators to establish closer ties with Iran’s Ayatollah and conducting secret negotiations with the Ansar Allah movement (banned in the Russian Federation) in Yemen.
Hence, we may now safely state that the current U.S. administration has been actively promoting false propaganda against Iran and its role in the region from the very first day it came to power. However, Tehran has always highlighted the defensive nature of its military strategy; the desire to develop its nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes, and its willingness to help other nations in the region to combat terrorist organizations. During his speech at a ceremony to mark the start of the construction of the second and third reactors at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in the southern port of Bushehr, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI),
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Last week, the US State Department said that Washington will attempt to persuade its allies to stop purchasing oil from Iran completely by early November. Reportedly, negotiations are already underway with representatives from India and China. Afterwards, Iranian President H. Rouhani said that he considers the US’ wish to stop Iranian oil exports not feasible; stressing that Iranian authorities would take certain steps that will allow the Iranian government to sell oil at the same volume. Additionally, Rouhani called Washington’s actions incompatible with international law. “Donald Trump is putting pressure on international companies so that they won’t buy Iranian oil, leading to an increase in prices,” said the Iranian representative to OPEC, Hussein Kazempur Erdebili, on July 4. According to him, oil should not be used as a weapon or an instrument for achieving political goals. “Trump’s requirement that Iranian oil not be purchased and his pressure on European firms when Nigeria and Libya are in crisis, oil exports from Venezuela have fallen as a result of US sanctions, and Saudi Arabia’s domestic consumption has increased this summer, is to do nothing but harm one’s self,” he said. It will lead to growth in global oil markets,” Erdabili added. “In the end, the American consumer will be the one paying the price for Trump’s policy.”
The command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps went even further. A representative of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran threatened to block the transit of oil from the Persian Gulf and to close the Strait of Hormuz to some countries if the US manages to ban the sale of Iranian oil. Deputy Head of the IRGC “Sarala” Ismail Kusari clarified that the closure of the strait would be in response to the halting of Iranian oil exports. He noted that 20% of the world’s oil exports pass through the strait. General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Al-Quds special unit, made an even sharper statement that if Iranian oil exports are blocked by sanctions, then Tehran will make it so that other countries in the region also could not sell oil. According to him, a part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is ready to implement a forceful scenario, and they have enough forces and means to do it.
Tehran’s reaction to Washington’s blackmail is understandable – Iran has reason to consider itself the aggrieved party after the history of the nuclear deal,
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