After the nationwide uprising started in Iran in December 2017, the US – Iran relations entered into a new phase of escalation, and now perhaps more so than ever, US relations concerns with regard to Iran dominate the American media and policy-making discussions. The United States has a set of policies to change Iran’s behavior
In his first speech as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo declared that Iran must withdraw all its forces from Syria, stop supporting its allies Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen. It must halt production of long-range missiles, stop uranium enrichment allowed under the nuclear agreement, and agree to inspection of a range of facilities at any time, anywhere in the country.
Trump’s priority for maximum pressure
On February 13, 2019 Mrs. Victoria Coates, Deputy Assistant to President Trump and Senior Director for the Middle East, said: “The core objective of President Trump’s Iran Strategy is the systemic change in Iran hostile and destabilizing actions, including blocking all paths to a nuclear weapon and exporting terrorism. Under the President’s direction, we have prioritized the maximum pressure campaign placing unprecedented stress on Iran’s economy, forcing Tehran to make increasingly difficult choices. As the Islamic Republic marks its 40th anniversary it is appropriate to assess how this strategy is proceeding, and how we will continue to implement President Trump’s guidance in the coming year.”
She added: As Iran continues to target Europe as well as its regional neighbors with nefarious disinformation campaigns in addition to cyber and attempted terrorist attacks, their governments should decide to re-impose sanctions, adding materially to Iran’s economic pain. This combined pressure would accelerate Iran’s return to the negotiating table under circumstances highly-favorable to the United States and responsible nations around the world. As President Rouhani himself admitted, Iran will move into a period of unprecedented stress on its economy in the second quarter of 2019. We want this pressure to be decisive and we are supplementing sanctions with broader efforts to increase the cost of Iran’s destructive and destabilizing policies to an intolerable level as President Trump’s strategy requires.
“This legislation in Europe protects European businesses from the effects of the US sanctions, indicating to companies that they should comply with European legislation rather than with the American one,” said the High Representative Mogherini at a press conference during her visit to New Zealand on June 2018
Nonetheless, later, EU strategists said, the US ties are more important than Iran amid disagreement on the nuclear deal.
“When you look at the scope of economic relations between the European Union and the US and the European Union and Iran there’s nothing to compare, in other words, we must rule out a possible EU-US trade war on Iranian sanctions,” Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevicius told EUobserver on Monday (28 May).
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, the Parliamentary Committee for a Democratic Iran at the French National Assembly held a conference titled “Iran Perspectives 2019,” calling for a firm European Union policy vis-a-vis the Iranian regime’s aggravating terrorist threats and deteriorating human rights conditions.
The EU has stated that it’s probable that the Iranian regime has been involved in assassinations on European soil and it is necessary that we adopt an according to policy toward the Iranian regime,” said MP Hervé Saulignace. Saulignace also praised the people of Iran, especially women and youth, who have had a leading role in nationwide protests that have been ongoing across Iran in the past year.
Maryam Rajavi, President of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), called on the French government to initiate a bold policy in the EU that places France and Europe shoulder to shoulder with the people of Iran and respects the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy.
“The regime’s overthrow which is the desire of the people of Iran has never been so much within reach,” she said.
The mullahs’ regime of Iran launched a massive terrorism/assassination campaign in Europe through the course of 2018.
“The mullahs are badly in need of political and commercial relations with Europe. Nonetheless, they cannot forgo terrorist operations in the heart of Europe because they are much weaker than is conceived; they do not know of any other way but to suppress and to create a crisis,” Mrs. Rajavi explained.
Despite claiming to be a “moderate” and enjoying support by pro-appeasement parties in Europe, Rouhani’s report card speaks for itself.
“A significant development in Iran has been the formation of Resistance Units. These units are made up of members and supporters of the Iranian Resistance who come from among Iran’s younger and freedom-loving generation,” Mrs. Rajavi added in her reference to the vast network of PMOI/MEK Resistance Units inside Iran that are encouraging the people’s daily protests in their drive against the mullahs’ regime.
*Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.