The havoc hitting Iran’s national finances should leave no-one under any illusions. The country is facing economic warfare from the US and its European allies. In financial terms, it is equivalent to attacking the country with a weapon of mass destruction.
The disruption and hardship being inflicted on Iranian citizens is criminal and unspeakably callous. But let’s make no mistake: the suffering of Iranian people is the direct result of conscious decisions being made in Washington, London and Brussels. These sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking industries are outrageous acts of aggression based on specious and malicious claims about the country’s legally entitled civilian nuclear development. The sanctions are unwarranted, criminal acts of war and crimes against humanity, initiated by Washington and its Western lackey governments.
It is important to understand the source of aggression. Recently, some commentators and analysts have overplayed the rift between Washington and Israel with regard to Iran. Some have taken delight at the rebuffs issued to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the White House. When US President Barack Obama declined to grant Netanyahu a personal meeting at the White House during the UN summit last week, some commentators interpreted this as another slap from Washington to Israel over its belligerence towards Iran. There was even a hint of hope that the White House is at last coming to its senses about Netanyahu’s nuttiness.
Other commentators have lamented the supposed excessive influence of Tel Aviv on American government foreign policy. In this view, the reason why America is so hated around the world is because of Zionists hijacking Washington’s foreign policy in general and towards Iran in particular.
Yes indeed, Zionist lobbyists, corporate media and presidential fundraisers do have huge influence on American government. But let’s not kid ourselves. The tail does not wag the dog. American imperialist aggression is a function of America’s position as the executive power overseeing global capitalist domination. The state of Israel was set up historically as a garrison of American military power projection in the Middle East to augment the imperatives of capitalist control. In this role the Zionist state still serves as a subcontractor of American imperialism, in the same way as Britain, France and other Western lackey powers perform.
To believe that America is somehow misled by a miscreant Israel and its unhinged leaders in pursuing US foreign policy in the Middle East is to gravely misunderstand the real source of international aggression. If somehow we could magic Israel out of the equation that would not suddenly lead to a civilizing of US foreign policy in the world. American aggression and lawlessness exists with or without Israel as its imperialist depredations throughout Latin America and the Pacific in the 19th and early 20th centuries all too clearly show.
This inherent violence in American foreign relations stems from its dominance as the defender of corporate capitalist power. The problem of American aggression is rooted in the capitalist system, not in its alliances with other countries, whether European or Zionist Israel.
Getting back to the issue of sanctions implemented by Washington, London and Brussels: there can be little doubt that these powers have unilaterally chosen a warpath towards Iran. It is their policy-making over many years, not the reckless vicissitude of some rogue interlocutor.
These sanctions are aimed at causing maximum damage to the Iranian economy and society, delivering the kind of disruption that would be comparable to ballistic missiles. They are of course deliberately disproportionate to the alleged concerns over nuclear enrichment. As an Iranian commentator wrote in Iran Review this week, Western accusations over Iran’s nuclear research date back 28 years.
This relentless spurious speculation about Iran’s imminent nuclear weapons capability is a ridiculous scandal, which serves to underscore the belligerent policy.
On the back of these baseless allegations, the Western powers are committing acts of war on the Iranian economy. That is not hyperbole.
Earlier this year, the American business magazine Forbes conjectured that the Federal Reserve Bank had a stealth plan to devalue the dollar by 33 per cent – over 20 years – as a way of making the American economy more competitive. That caused outrage among many US commentators who lambasted the treachery of the Fed for “stealing” the savings and earnings of millions of ordinary Americans.
Following the worldwide financial crash in 2008, the British pound depreciated by 30 per cent against the US dollar over a period of a year or so. That prompted the Bank of England to make an historic intervention to stabilize the British economy by injecting £75 billion of new capital in an extraordinary rescue measure known as “quantitative easing”.
When the Euro was launched in 2002, it lost some 30 per cent in value over 20 months, which triggered the European Central Bank to step in and salvage the single currency with unprecedented massive financial support.
These fluctuations over periods of years give some idea as to the havoc Iran is now being subjected – over a period of weeks. On top of the financial turmoil and inflation, Iran is also being physically embargoed over essential exports and imports of oil, food and medicines. Can you imagine how the US, Britain or the EU would react in that context? And especially given that the havoc is not being caused by anonymous market forces, but by specific governments’ decisions.
This week, a US government spokesperson commented on Iran’s financial disruption with callous relish: “The [Iranian] currency is plummeting and firms all over the world are refusing to do business with Iranian companies,” adding that “these are the most punishing sanctions we have ever been able to amass as an international community”.
The most punishing sanctions ever. That is saying something given that the US-led sanctions against Iraq between 1990 and 2003 were reckoned to have caused over one million children to die from preventable causes.
Such barbaric conduct is the systematic aggression of the world’s biggest imperialist power. It is not the misguided conduct of a hapless power that is being hijacked by a Zionist stooge.
By the way, Obama may not have shared a photo-op with Netanyahu in the White House last week. But the pair were reported to have had a friendly telephone chat after ‘they closed ranks” in their respective speeches at the UN in which they both repeated outrageous threats of war against Iran. In other words: “Attaboy Bibi, easy puppy”.