Producing hard, soft power needed to lift sanctions: advisor

November 20, 2020 - 17:40

TEHRAN — Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a senior foreign policy advisor to the Iranian Parliament speaker, has said producing hard and soft power is needed to remove the United States’ sanctions on Iran.

“Removal of sanctions is top priority & to achieve it, (re)producing hard/soft power is needed,” Amir Abdollahian wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

“Trump's & Biden's approach differs, but #Biden is not Iran's friend & master key. Change to WH is taken into account. Iran is a 'man of action & logical, dignified negotiation,” he added.

The outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump has pursued the “maximum pressure” policy against Iran in order to force Tehran to succumb to its demands. The policy was implemented after Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

Washington then slapped several rounds of harsh sanctions on Iran, claiming it was pursuing to negotiate a better deal with Iran than the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was clinched under his predecessor Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has voiced support for the JCPOA, saying his administration will rejoin the deal.

In response, the Trump administration has been trying to do whatever it can, after Trump’s defeat in the election, to make it more difficult for the Biden administration to return to the JCPOA.

U.S. sanctions Mostazafan Foundation

In its latest round of sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted the Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution, a large charitable organization for the poor and the disabled.

The sanctions, announced on Wednesday, also target Parviz Fattah, the head of the foundation, and 50 of its subsidiaries in sectors such as energy, mining, logistics, information technology, and financial services.

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) described the Mostazafan Foundation as a “multibillion-dollar economic empire” and “an immense conglomerate of some 160 holdings in key sectors of Iran’s economy, including finance, energy, construction, and mining.”

It designated several Mostazafan Foundation deputies, who are appointed by and report directly to Fattah, for what they called key business functions for the organization.

The U.S. Treasury also imposed sanctions on Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, and accused him of having played “a central role” in human rights abuses against Iranian citizens.

Firms, individuals and other entities targeted by U.S. sanctions are subject to asset freezes and Americans are generally barred from doing business with them.

In response, Fattah on Wednesday tweeted, “The struggle of the declining U.S. government cannot influence the foundation’s anti-sanction activities and its productivity.” 

Calling Trump a “loser”, Fattah also said Trump proved that the foundation is on the right track.

MH/PA

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