UAE Press: Iran put on notice with sanctions

ABU DHABI, In an editorial on Tuesday, the Khaleej Times said that the world may love or hate US President Donald Trump, but the Middle East cannot ignore him when it comes to his efforts to bring Iran to heel.

“He has been consistent with his policy from the day he campaigned for the presidency. He called the nuclear deal of 2015 flawed. Tehran got a cushy seat at the negotiating by giving nothing away. The regime merely curbed nuclear enrichment for ten years and the West hoped that the leadership would stick to its commitments in letter and spirit.

“Little did they know that Tehran’s heart wasn’t in the agreement and was only buying time for a military breakout. Containment was the buzzword when Iran’s backers Russia and China took the lead as the West walked into a trap,” the local newspaper added.

It went on to say that Tehran again faces a reality check with some sanctions reimposed in small measure. “Monday’s start is only a teaser, with sectors like automobiles, gold, steel and other key metals set to take a hit. We are watching you, is the message Washington is sending Iran.

“These punitive measures, Washington hopes, will choke the Iranian economy and lead to widespread dissent and protests across the country. Trump and his team are urging the Iranian people to rise against their leaders and demand better civic amenities and living conditions. The Rial has plunged to record lows and it is the same Iranian people the US seeks to liberate who are hurting from these sanctions,” the English language daily continued.

“Will they turn friendlier to the US or grow in rage after this episode? Iran is more complicated than Washington thinks and is now firmly in the Chinese camp as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Ninety days hence, the US will tighten measures with restrictions on oil sales from the country. Any nation doing business with the regime faces punitive measures. Will the world do Trump’s bidding? “Truth is, Iran’s war economy run by the military and clerics can only do much to stave off civil unrest. The bigger issue for the regime will be at home when the sanctions start to bite. The country could go into its shell or will simply implode if the ruling dispensation holds sway. But if Tehran decides to turn a new leaf by holding direct talks to the US, an old like China could become a new enemy. Tehran has a lot to lose and the regime knows it,” the paper concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency