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US sanctions help Iran towards self-sufficiency: Expert

Kevin Barrett

Decades of US sanctions against Iran have pushed Tehran towards greater self-sufficiency and to narrow its reliance on foreign nations, an American scholar says.

“Now we have this pathetic little display of essentially a continuation of the kind of sanctions that have been going on for a very long time and not harming Iran at all,” said Kevin Barrett, an author and political commentator in Madison, Wisconsin.

“On the contrary, US sanctions have helped Iran build its independence and create a domestic economy rather than importing everything from abroad,” Barrett told Press TV on Friday.

Iran is “generally becoming advanced and self-reliant,” he added.

Iran, along with Russia and China, is involved in an international effort to end reliance on the US dollar and rearrange the global financial system, Barrett stated.

The US Treasury Department said Thursday it has levied economic sanctions on 11 individuals and companies in Iran accused of supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) or engaging in cyber attacks on US banks.

The new sanctions targeted an engineering company, two air transport firms and an IT company accused of carrying out denial-of-service attacks on at least nine American financial institutions, including major banks and stock exchanges between 2011 and 2012.

The sanctions freeze any assets the individuals and companies hold in the US and prohibit American citizens and residents and US companies from doing business with them.

The move came the same day the White House announced an extension of sanctions relief for Iran under the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The administration of US President Donald Trump agreed to continue for now to exempt Iran from nuclear-related sanctions.

Trump, who made no secret of opposing the nuclear agreement in his election campaign, has threatened to “tear up” the agreement, calling it “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

Tehran says it plans to adhere to the nuclear deal regardless of any probable US decision to withdraw from the agreement.

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