WASHINGTON – Experts say they don’t believe the latest round of sanctions against Iran – imposed with the goal of convincing Iranian officials to halt their nuclear program and hitting hard at the nation’s currency, the rial – will work, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The recent currency decline due to sanctions was just the latest punch from Western interests, but even that isn’t assessed to be a knockout punch.
The West, led by the United States, has sought sanctions through the United Nations and implemented unilateral restrictions against Iran over its nuclear development program. The West is concerned Iran’s efforts are intended to make nuclear weapons, something which Tehran vehemently denies.
The intent is for sanctions to dissuade Tehran from pursuing its nuclear program altogether, even though the Islamic republic has a right as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium.
However, Iran has offered to restrict uranium enrichment with guarantees of outside supply for its nuclear reactors and medical research, in exchange for lifting of the Western sanctions. But the lifting of those sanctions must occur prior to Iran fulfilling its end of the bargain.
Nothing has come of that proposal, either.
In recent days, however, there have been reports that Iran and the U.S. would hold bilateral discussions on the future of Iran’s nuclear program before the military option is put forward.
However, Iran and even the White House denied that such discussions would take place, although Tehran later said that it would continue discussions with the so-called P5+1 countries after the U.S. elections.
The P5+1 countries are the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany.
In denying published reports that Washington and Tehran had agreed to hold direct meetings in November, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi clarified by saying that the meeting would be with the P5+1 countries.
“Yet, if by negotiations you mean the talks between Iran and the Group five plus one, these negotiations are under way now and according to the latest talks, these negotiations will be held in November or late in November,” Salehi said.
Israel, meantime, is losing patience, and has threatened military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomacy and sanctions fail, something which the Israeli leadership already has determined to be the case.
At the same time, Tel Aviv has indicated that it is willing to give the sanctions more time to work, but a military attack on the nuclear facilities is quickly beginning to appear to be increasingly difficult due. It’s because Israeli officials say Iran is fast approaching a “zone of immunity” in which a conventional military attack may not be effective.
The latest sanctions have devalued Iran’s currency by 75 percent, spurring some demonstrations in Tehran. However, the leadership appears to remain in firm control, despite claims that the government has mismanaged Iran’s oil revenues.
Because the rial has a limited official and unofficial value, the unofficial value allowed for black market purchases until the most recent fall to its actual value. Now, the devaluation of the rial is affecting Iranians’ ability to purchase even the bare necessities of food and is wiping out any savings. Iran remains plagued by high unemployment, estimated to be more than a third of the working population.
Analysts believe that Iran has no intention of halting its program and don’t see the Iranian leadership being serious about making a deal to end the sanctions, despite the currency devaluation.
Instead, they said, Iran will seek to find loopholes in bypassing sanctions, reflagging its oil tankers to hide their true ownership and destinations and relying on China to continue buying Iranian oil.
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