Iran: US Sanctions Unilateralism

Turning the Clock Back to Before the Nuclear Deal

PressTV Interview – slightly enhanced transcript


Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has slammed U-S sanctions against his country, saying they are a flagrant violation of the UN charter.  In an address to the UN General Assembly, Rouhani said the Iranian nation successfully withstood the U-S maximum pressure campaign. He added, Iran even flourished under the bans while pursuing its role as a pivot of peace and stability. He pointed to some of Iran’s peace efforts in the region and beyond, including combating the Daesh terrorist group, saying such a nation does not deserve sanctions. Rouhani said the U-S sanctions under the pretext of nuclear proliferation are based on false and baseless accusations. The Iranian president described the UN Security Council’s rejection of US unilateralism as a victory for Iran and the world community. He said the US can impose neither negotiations nor war on Iran.


PressTV:Could you please comment on Mr. Rouhani’s remarks?

Peter Koenig:  First, Mr. Rouhani is absolutely right. Iran, together with Russia and Hezbollah, played a crucial role in the Middle East Peace process, especially in Syria. And, of course, Iran does not deserve any sanctions, not just because Iran is a peaceful nation and even helps brokering peace with and between other nations, but also because Iran did not violate any of the conditions under the Nuclear Accord or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed under President Obama’s watch on 14 July 2015 in Vienna.

This has been confirmed again and again by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

PTV: How come the U.S. insists on the sanctions though they’ve not caused Iran to abandon resistance against bullies?

PK: It’s largely propaganda.  In less than 45 days Mr. Trump will face re-election – or not. Being tough on Iran will impress his conservative followers, regardless whether or not these sanctions have any impact on Iran.

Americans are basically good people, but they don’t know the real background and impact of the sanctions. They know nothing – only the lies offered to them by the mainstream media.

Almost the same could be said for Europeans. Most of them know what the official mainstream media tells them.

President Trump knows, of course, that sanctioning Iran, and sanctioning everybody and every country that is still dealing and trading with Iran — like the European Union, for example — is illegal. We know. He doesn’t care.

But it must be said. The Iran Nuclear Deal had been approved by the UN Security Council and is still valid. The UN Security Council does not approve of the sanctions, nor does it approve of unilaterally abrogating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed on 14 July 2015, still during Barak Obama’s Presidency, by Iran, the US, Russia, China, UK, Germany and the EU.

Unfortunately, although the EU does not agree with the sanctions, they will most likely go along with them for fear of the US punishing European enterprises dealing with Iran. Very similar to what Washington does with European companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, supposed to deliver gas from Russia to Germany and the EU.

But not to worry.  Iran doesn’t need the west anymore.

Iran does well, focusing on the East, reorienting her trade and political focus, including monetary transactions, with the east according to eastern – i.e. China and Russian systems — approaching entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

PTV: Mr. Trump said he will force renegotiation of the Nuclear Deal. What is your view on this?

PK: This will not fly, of course. And Mr. Trump knows it. But, again, it’s propaganda ahead of the November elections, and it’s part of his election campaign.

Renegotiation, once more, would require the approval of the UN Security Council, and that is highly unlikely with Russia and China – veto countries – in the UNSC.

It’s sheer blustering Trump talk.

PTV: Why does the U.S. make claims such as being against terrorism while supporting them and putting the blame on other countries like Iran?

PK: Washington never follows logic. Until not too long again this preposterous approach worked with many countries. The world listened. And many believed it.   But no more.  It is every day clearer that the only rogue Nation in the World – the only Nation that sponsors terrorism — is the United States.

And why are they still doing it and blaming Iran?  Still propaganda – make believe – that The US is still the strongest country in the world, the one that calls the shots on every event on the globe.

But no more and Mr. Trump and his government are aware that the US empire is on a declining branch.

But as with every dying empire, they will not give up until the end.

The EU better wake up before the end, before being pulled down into the abyss.

Iran has a bright future ahead with her orientation towards the East, China and Russia.

• Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Press TV is the first Iranian international news network broadcasting in English on a round-the-clock basis. Read other articles by Press TV, or visit Press TV's website.