The U.S. re-imposed economic sanctions on the Iranian regime on Monday targeting the money machine that fuels the mullahs’ religious dictatorship, including petroleum sales, shipping, banking
President Donald Trump trolled supporters of the Iranian
regime with a tweet riffing on HBO’s show “Game of Thrones” with a movie-like
poster featuring the iconic font reading “Sanctions Are Coming.”
The near-hysterical response from the Iran lobby over the
weekend was predictable, but also revealing in that the regime supporters such
as the National Iranian American Council were left with little to talk about
except blasting the president’s tweet.
“Trump, his war cabinet and regional cheerleaders in
Benjamin Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman do not have the Iranian or American
people’s best interests at heart,” said
Jamal Abdi, the president of the National Iranian American Council.
“Instead, they are blowing up an agreement that supports U.S. interests and the
aspirations of the Iranian people while planting the seeds for a disastrous
The NIAC added its own tweet trolling attempt by labeling
the president a “White Walker,” but while it tried to score points on
cheekiness the Iran lobby cheerleader was essentially powerless to stop the
imposition of sanctions and the economic hammer blow it will rain down on the
Not even the Iranian regime’s leader of its infamous Quds
Qasem Soleimani, could resist sending his own “Game of Thrones”-inspired
post saying he would “Stand Against You” in referring to the president’s tweet.
“Things are escalating and the fact that it’s Soleimani
tweeting is a sign that this is moving towards a military confrontation,” NIAC
founder Trita Parsi said in response. “This was not a crisis. The only reason
this is a crisis is because Trump pulled out of a fully functioning deal.”
Parsi trying to claim Soleimani is gearing up for war with
the U.S. through a trolling tweet renders any intelligent reader as sophomoric
sophistry at best and idiot banality at worse.
The sanctions are aimed at more than 700 Iranian individuals
and entities and are hoped to put a stranglehold on the regime’s economy and
force the regime into a new round of negotiations.
“Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon
its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country,”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters
Friday in a conference call previewing the sanctions. The U.S. penalties
will hit foreign countries and companies that do business with the targeted
Iranian entities, including its national oil company, its banks, and its
Abdi claimed though the sanctions would hurt the Iranian
people, a silly argument since it virtually ignores how the mullahs have
destroyed not only Iran’s economy, but sacrificed its environment and plunged
large portions of the Iranian population into near poverty status all on its
“Impoverishing ordinary Iranians will not hurt the regime or
achieve any of America’s security interests, but it will set back the Iranian
people’s aspirations for years to come,” Abdi said.
The messaging by the Iran lobby that the Iranian people are
helpless in the face of the powerful regime also ignores an essential truth
that has steadily build since last year which is the Iranian people are finally
becoming emboldened and taking to the streets, bazaars and markets to voice
their collective frustration, fury and displeasure at their religious
Abdi also ignores how the U.S. is also granted waivers
exempting certain countries from select sanctions in order not to overtly harm
the Iranian people, including lobbying more than a dozen countries doing trade
with Iran – India, Japan, Greece and Turkey – to wean themselves off from
Iranian oil in exchange for waivers.
Pompeo said eight jurisdictions, which he declined to name,
were cooperating with the administration on its push to move to “zero” oil imports
from Iran. Those entities will earn temporary exemptions when the sanctions go
into effect on Sunday night, Pompeo said.
There will also be some exemptions for food, medicine, and
other humanitarian goods, Pompeo said, further diminishing the Iran lobby’s
But these are essentially the only talking points left to
the Iran lobby. It tries to claim the U.S. is only interested in war and
sanctions will hurt the Iranian people.
Absent from any of these points is any blame directed at the
regime and the mullahs in Tehran for fueling the crisis in the first place by
pushing forward with a massive military build-up including the launching of
advanced ballistic missiles, coupled with devastating wars in Syria and Yemen.
Supporters such as the NIAC have also been silent on more
recent attempts by the Iranian regime to carry out terrorist attacks and
assassinations of Iranian dissidents in Europe as seen in a foiled bombing
attempt outside of Paris over the summer and murder plan disrupted by Denmark.
Both incidents led France and Denmark to demand a harsh
response to the Iranian regime; neither of which was answered by the Iran
The facts are activists such as Abdi and Parsi are left with
little to say, except sputtering the same inane banalities as before and their
collective effectiveness in stopping the sanctions train has been virtually
With few options left, we might advise the NIAC to stop
clogging up the airwaves and discussion boards and confine their tweets to
speculation on who will come out on top at the end of the “Game of Thrones.”
Our money is on the Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.