By Reza Moshfegh

Washington sees Iran's move in sending tankers to Syria a violation of its hegemony: expert

June 14, 2021 - 16:15

TEHRAN – A Lebanese political expert says that Tehran has antagonized Washington by questioning its hegemony by sending fuel tankers to Syria and Venezuela.  

"Washington interprets Iran's move as a violation of American decisions and its hegemony, and it has nothing to do with anything else," Faisal Abd al-Sater tells the Tehran Times.
"With this move, Iran could undermine the American hegemony, and this is the main issue for Iran more than anything else," he adds.
Following is the text of the interview;

Q: What are the implications of sending a big fleet of oil tankers to Syria and Venezuela by Iran?

A: It is clear that Iran, in its repeated steps to sending tankers carrying oil derivatives to Venezuela and Syria, has proven that the sanctions imposed on it by the American side are illegal in the international sense of the word and that they are unilateral. 

She made such a move more than once. But this time, perhaps the Iranian tankers or ships are accompanied by warships crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps the matter is more important, and it carries multiple signals that may be interpreted on the American side as a challenge to the American will and American security because it is not easy for these tankers to be accompanied by Iranian warships. Of course, on the legal level, the United States of America cannot prevent any country in the world from being present on high seas (international waters), and this is a case that requires full attention from Iran.

Some ask about the necessity and the reasons that prompted Iran to take such a move at such a sensitive time concurrent with the negotiations in Vienna on the one hand and with the approaching presidential elections in Iran on the other.

This proves once again, regardless of the American interpretation or international interpretation, and here I am talking about the Iranian interpretation of the matter, that Iran does not act to take advantage of events or timing.

I think it is a constant policy for Iran, whether this person or that person or this or that political group comes to power. Whether there are flexible negotiations or harsh negotiations, the Iranians do not accept that the U.S. administration impose its demands.

Q: Why is America dissatisfied with the oil cooperation between Iran and its allies? Is it a violation of international norms?

A: Of course, Washington interprets Iran's move as a violation of American decisions and its hegemony, and it has nothing to do with anything else. Especially since the export of oil from Iran to these countries achieve three goals at the same time: First, it contributes to alleviating the crisis in some countries besieged by the United States of America, such as Venezuela and Syria, for example. 

Second, it also gives Iran a certain income, albeit it is low, but at least it contributes to the Iranian treasury, and this is something that may not be the main goal. But economically it can be considered in this context, even if the currency is local and wages are low compared to the global oil trade.

Third, and most importantly, with this move, Iran could undermine the American hegemony, and this is the main issue for Iran more than anything else.

Q: Do you think that the countries in the region are able to build an economic partnership to strengthen their capabilities? How can such a partnership offset U.S. sanctions on Iran, Syria and Lebanon?

A: A partnership between Iran and some countries at the regional level should lead to great economic cooperation that would get these countries out of the market that the United States leads. Of course, this would be a big decision and it would need tremendous economic efforts; there should be studies and delegations that would discuss everything related to this field in economic cooperation between these countries.

What can Iran offer and what can Iran benefit from these countries? When we talk about the countries of the region or the neighboring countries, I mean a complete system and a huge market. It is enough to say if there is a cooperation between Iran and Turkey, or Iran with Iraq, Syria, Jordan and so on, these countries represent a large market for Iran through which it can export many things, share expertise and technologies.

Don't forget that Iran is a technologically advanced country despite all the U.S. sanctions, and this is shown in statistics and figures regardless of the malicious attempts to underscore these achievements.

But there is no doubt that the Iranian capacity and industry are now at a good level and that it is one of the most important developing countries in the region.

We might say that Iran is more than developing countries in the traditional classifications of countries. If the embargoes and sanctions on Iran are lifted, it will reach very important levels because within the framework of these continuous and numerous sanctions, no country in the world can survive.

It is the case when it comes to many countries, except for Iran. The sanctions could strengthen creativity in Iran. This is not what we say here for praise or courtesy. Rather, this talk stems from a follow-up to everything that is going on inside Iran and, according to formal statistics, that classifies Iran as an advanced country on scientific levels, inventions and patents, and this matter is fully understood by the Americans. That is why the U.S. is afraid of this progress.

We saw the American position on the agreement concluded between Iran and China. They were surprised and condemned it, within a hostile position par excellence, as if America considers itself leader of the world, and it decides who to cooperate with whom. Undoubtedly, Iran's agreement with China will have a great impact on the region in the next decade, and it may bring many steps that no one can predict.

Q: Why did America and its allies in Lebanon obstruct an electricity cooperation between Tehran and Beirut? 

A: As for the continuous obstruction by the Americans regarding any cooperation offered by Iran, especially in Lebanon, especially in the issue of producing electrical energy or the issue of oil exports to Lebanon, we know that Lebanon's main problem is in its complexity and its political system which is subject to the sectarian power-sharing agreement and also the historical establishment of Lebanon.

Thanks to the French occupation, the sectarian system in Lebanon was entrenched to maintain balances within the Lebanese groups. Therefore, when Iran was advancing any projects in Lebanon, these factors (political groups that oppose Iran) always tried to say that Lebanon will not fall under Iranian influence, while Iran had a great contribution in liberating Lebanon from the Israeli occupation and supporting the resistance.

They consider anything that Iran does to be within the framework of consolidating influence and not, in fact, stemming from studies or related to Lebanon's need to develop its economy or to need certain energies or cooperation in certain fields.

 So, for example, will the electricity offered by Iran to Lebanon be of a different type than the electricity in the world? Will Iranian oil be anything other than the oil sold in the world market? This kind of obstruction comes within the framework of political hatreds that have no value at all, and this is unfortunate. So far, the offers by Iran to the Lebanese government since the 2006 war are still valid.

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