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World will not go along with Trump’s economic war on Iran; Analyst

US President Donald Trump (C) walks with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis (3L), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (REAR) and US National Security Adviser John Bolton (2L) after arriving to attend the North Atlantic Council meeting during the NATO summit, at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, on July 11, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The administration of US President Donald Trump does not have the leverage and political clout to rally the world behind its “economic war” on Iran, says American scholar Dr. Kevin Barrett.

“There are all sorts of reasons why the world is not going to go along with Trump’s all-out economic war with Iran,” Barrett, an author and 9/11 researcher in Madison, Wisconsin, said in an interview on Saturday.

“The Trump administration is talking big in its threats against Iran in the same way that Trump is notorious for threatening to rain down ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea,” he said. “The US does not have the leverage anymore to seriously put a real embargo on Iran,” he noted.

Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in May, and said that he planned to reinstate sanctions on Iran. However, Washington is finding itself isolated as other signatories to the deal– China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany -- have reiterated their commitments to the historic accord.

European countries and Iran’s regional allies have already launched efforts to mitigate the impact of new US sanctions against Tehran ahead of a Nov. 4 deadline for their implementation.

Trump is even facing resistance from American financial institutions in cutting Iranian access to international markets.

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday that J.P. Morgan and Citibank, which sit on the board of the Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) that facilitates international banking transactions, were opposed to disconnecting Iran from the network.

According to the report, both banks could play a pivotal role in ensuring that SWIFT and its members comply with the new sanctions, which target Iran's Central Bank and critical infrastructure networks.

“So Trump does not have the political clout to rally people behind his effort against Iran,” Barrett said, adding that this is partly because of the US president’s unpopularity at home and abroad.

“The numbers of people who review Trump extremely unfavorably are off the charts. There has never been a president who is hated the way Trump is,” the analyst said. “This is even more true in other countries.”

Trump’s trade and sanctions policies have caused a number of countries to announce plans to shift to national currencies in trade with Iran and between themselves. 

“The US Empire is beginning to crumble as more and more countries are dumping the US dollar,” Barrett said.

“The whole world leans toward supporting Iran. They can’t say so out in the open because the US will punish them, but they can certainly find various covert ways to skirt these sanctions,” he noted.

“In the short term Iran may suffer but in the long term it will recover,” he concluded.

Iranian officials have said the country will not give in to US pressure and rejected any offer of talks with Washington under threats.


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