“Decertification and sanctioning Iran’s Revolutionary Guard complicates the situation for both our Congress and our allies who supported the “deal” and those confronting Iran’s hegemony. Congress will be adding to its already overburdened legislative agenda new sanctions to vote on. Further, the intelligence community may not be able to monitor Iran nuclear breakout and cooperative development of medium and long range ballistic missile development with North Korea without a formal agreement. The sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced by President Trump on Friday, October 13 will NOT deter the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from continuing to threaten national security interests and assets in the Middle East. Iran has effectively created a Shia Muslim “land bridge” from the Persian Gulf via Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to the Mediterranean through proxies Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthi, Afghan, Pakistan and Shia mercenaries – and could choke the Gulf of Hormuz and the Red Sea entrance to the Suez Canal impacting the world energy market.” – Jerry Gordon (Former Lisa Benson Radio Co-Producer, & Sr. Editor, “New English Review”)
For most of 2015 the focus of Lisa Benson Radio for National Security Matters (AM radio KKNT, Salem) was focused on trashing of what we referred to as the “Iran Deal” otherwise known as the JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION (JCPOA).
In our 205 broadcasts we interviewed dozens of experts, including the former director of the CIA, Amb. R. James Woolsey. The consensus was the same: The Iran Deal was shaped to provide some oversight by the IAE (International Atomic Energy) appeasing Iran with investment opportunity. We called it on the air: “The Dream and The Nightmare.”
We were correct.
By 2025, Iran aims to export 25 million tons of steel annually as part of its economic expansion. After the Iranian nuclear deal was reached, foreign countries and companies rushed to rekindle business with the Islamic Republic — in areas of technology, arms, manufacturing, gas and oil.
Within hours of the 2015 JCPOA, several international oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Eni were jumping on the Iran trade band wagon – Germany and France among the first to rush to rekindle business. Russia and Iran signed a $2.5 billion deal in August to start up a rail wagon production. Iran is in the midst of an “infrastructure Bonanza.” In July, Iran signed a $4.8 billion deal with a consortium led by French oil company “TOTAL” to develop its South Pars gas field, the largest gas field in the world.
Foreign Trade Figures For Iran 20th March to July 2017 (courtesy of The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce):
China: $3.4 billion
UAE: $2.9 billion
South Korea $1.7 billion
India: $ 891 million
China: $2.8 billion
Iraq: $2.5 billion
UAE: $2.3 billion
South Korea $1.4 billion
India: $ 926 million
The P5 + 1 that framed the bi -lateral “Iran Deal” of the United Nations Security Councils five permanent members (the P5); namely, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The “plus 1” was Germany.
Upon reviewing the trade import and export above, is there any doubt in your mind that any effort to delegitimize of the Iran Deal and/or deep sanctions would give our allies a reason to never trust the United States?
Germany, UK, France and Russia slammed Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran Deal. World leaders have pledged their commitment to the deal.
While President Trump said in the White House speech on Friday that the U.S. is imposing new sanctions on its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, it wasn’t clear how far-reaching the latest move will prove to be.
The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that it was labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a “hard-line military and political force in Iran.” It stopped short of adding the Revolutionary Guard on the State Department roster of foreign terrorist organizations.
As I write, Iran al Quds is amassing its Shi’ite military might on the border of Kirkuk, Iraq to battle the Kurdish Peshmerga for the city of Kirkuk. Iran is being joined by Russia, Turkey and the Shia Iraqi military. The U.S. has little to say as a battle many ensue in the next 24-28 hours. The Kurdish Peshmerga have fought bravely in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State, and their reward from the United States was a lack of U.S. support last month for an independent state of their own.
In Somalia today, 200 were killed by a car bomb. The usual suspect: al Shabaab; however, they have not taken responsibilty and some suggest that Iran’s Houthis are to blame.
Iran is everywhere in the Middle East and North Africa fostering their Shia ambitons against the Sunni Arabists.
Nothing in the Middle East is simple; you have to follow the “chess board” daily to keep up — and I am my colleagues do just that.
We are confused and surprised that President Trump would toss a hand grenade into the “Iran Deal” without a clear strategy — asking Congress to figure it out — while our allies are left shaking their heads.
In diplomatic circles this is being called a POLITICAL MANEUVER to appease the Trump base of support. However, it does nothing to shore up the security of the Untied States, protect us against an oil war in the Straits of Hormuz, stop transfer of nuclear technology to North Korea or destabilize the Iranian hegemonic ambitions of gaining control of the Middle East and North Africa.
Only deep, unparalleled sanctions against Iran, and all who trade with Iran will stop Iran’s hegemonic ambitions and not even the Trump Administration would consider alienating the world — I don’t think.
Questions for Lisa Benson?
Write her at Lisa@TheQueenEstherProject.org