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 war.”
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 mullahs.
Not even the Iranian regime’s leader of its infamous Quds Forces, General 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 shipping industry.
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 own.
“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 overlords.
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 feeble arguments.
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 lobby.
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 non-existent.
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.