By Javad Heirannia

New U.S. sanctions on Iran will disrupt import of medicine, food: international business professor

October 11, 2020 - 14:8

TEHRAN – Professor Hossein Askari, who teaches international business at the George Washington University, says the recent U.S. unilateral financial sanctions are cutting off Iranian banks from the international banking system, thereby making import of medicine and food by Iran much more difficult.

In an interview with the Tehran Times, Askari says, “U.S. sanctions on Iran are an act of war.” 

Hossein Askari, who served as special advisor to Saudi finance minister, tells the Tehran Times.

On Thursday, the Trump administration introduced sweeping new sanctions targeting Iran's remaining financial sector. Sanctions target eighteen Iranian banks. 

My guess is that Trump and Kushner will get a bigger payday from MBS if they do more harm to Iran and Iranians.  Professor Askari says, “Iran will face shortages of food and medicine” due to the new sanction, noting “average Iranians will suffer from this inhumane and cruel policy.”

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: How will the recent U.S. sanctions on Iran affect the country and the average Iranians?

A: These are essentially unilateral financial sanctions cutting off Iranian banks from the international banking system. The U.S. is telling U.S. banks that they can have no dealings with Iranian banks. But as with other sanctions the U.S. will impose secondary sanctions, or what is sometimes referred to as the concept of extraterritoriality, on banks from other countries doing business with Iran. The U.S. tells them that they must also cut all relations or they will face fines and be barred access to the U.S. market.

So if an Iranian bank wants to open a letter of credit to import medicine and food it cannot do so unless other countries are willing to stand up to the U.S. and say if you go down this road we will have to retaliate with our own sanctions, something that the Europeans and others have been reluctant to do.

Iran will face shortages of food and medicine. Payments in cash will have to replace bank letters of credit. Smuggling will be the best business. And average Iranians will suffer from this inhumane and cruel policy, which is in my opinion impossible to justify.

Q: Will the Europeans and others resist this U.S. measure to make sure that Iran can import food and medicine?

A: I doubt it. They will make a lot of noise and do very little. For there to be any dignity left for Europe in face of Trump’s bullying, they should say they will impose sanctions on U.S. banks if European banks are sanctioned by the U.S. for dealing with Iran. Let’s face it: Trump is in a pickle with a dire economy and the last thing he needs is a financial war with Europe. And because Trump will lose the election the Europeans can give him a little nudge along the way.

“The dignity and welfare of Iran must not be humbled by America’s lawless actions.”Q: Will this round of sanctions make it more difficult to restore the nuclear agreement?

A: Let me say that the U.S. sanctions on Iran are an act of war. The impact on Iran is as if America was fighting a war but without bombs and bullets. Iran’s economy is being destroyed. There are shortages. Iranians lack some of the essentials of life. Patients are dying in hospitals because of a shortage of supplies. These are the fallouts of war. So yes, war makes reconciliation more difficult. Iranians have always been warm toward the American people, not its government. But ask yourself, how would you feel about the United States if your child had been deprived of medicine and had died?
 
Q: What is the Trump administration telling the Americans about such sanctions?

A: Nonsense. That Iran must change its bad behavior and treat its people better. 

Well, just look at the United States. How does it treat its minorities? Do they have equal rights? Is everyone equal in the eyes of the police and the law? Does America use its military with its bases and illegal covert operations around the world to support dictators who oppress their own people? Is Mohammad bin Salman, the man who ordered the dismemberment of an American journalist, an enlightened ruler deserving of America’s support? Does America’s great ally, Israel, uphold the human rights of Arabs and uphold international law by annexing Arab land? Look I could list many more damaging facts, so the U.S. is not doing any of this because it is heartbroken for the Iranian people. The United States, and especially Trump who has caused so much hardship on the average Iranian, are in no position to lecture Iran.

Q: Why is the Trump administration doing this?

A: Trump is losing badly in the polls and he needs to change the discussion. He wants to show that he is tough on Iran. As important is the fact that he is doing what Israel and the (P)GCC want, namely, to weaken Iran and to overthrow the regime. This is Netanyahu’s and MBS’ wish. My guess is that Trump and Kushner will get a bigger payday from MBS if they do more harm onto Iran and Iranians.

Q: How do you think Iran should react now?

A: Iran should not do anything over the next 3 to 4 months. Don’t retaliate, although this is Trump’s war on Iran. If Iran retaliates, it will help Trump in his re-election and it will make eventual reconciliation more difficult.

Q: Do you think if Biden gets elected as president, he will move to restore the agreement?

A: Yes, but he will demand that Iran go back to full compliance.

Q: Do you think Iran should accept going back to the nuclear agreement? 

A: Yes, but Iran should demand damages in a quiet way. The United States has caused humanitarian pain and economic damage to Iran by breaking an agreement that it signed and that was ratified by the United Nations Security Council. America must recognize this and compensate Iran. The compensation should be calculated by a group of qualified experts appointed by the United Nations. The dignity and welfare of Iran must not be humbled by America’s lawless actions. 

Comments

  • 2020-10-18 04:24
    Hopefully Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will win the United States election November 3rd and restore the Iran Nuclear Deal. Save America and Dump Trump.

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