By Shahriar Kia
U.S. President Donald Trump has spoken very openly about this disdain of the Iranian regime. He criticised the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and promised to withdraw from it, even before taking office, and emphasised his belief that the Iranian regime presents a much bigger threat than many realise.
He took office and withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reimposed crippling economic sanctions. He said that his administration would be subjecting Iran to a maximum pressure campaign and the State Department announced that all countries would be expected to stop importing Iranian oil.
President Trump has been calling for Iran to come back to the negotiation table. He wants the nuclear deal to be renegotiated so that it covers all areas. The U.S. President has said on a number of occasions that the nuclear deal is completely one-sided and fails to address crucial issues such as the regime’s ballistic missile program and its bloody rampage across the Middle East that is impeding peace and security in the region and beyond.
When speaking about the oil sanctions on Iran, a number of Trump administration officials have emphasised that the purpose is to cut the regime off from the revenue that it used to fund terrorist proxy groups and militias across the region. The regime plunders a large portion of the country’s revenue on terrorist groups and activities. Meanwhile, the country’s dilapidated infrastructure is left to rot and social services become even more ineffective because of the lack of funding.
The people of Iran suffer higher costs of living and extremely low salaries and very poor working conditions, all while regime officials line their own pockets and spread chaos across the region. It is no wonder the Trump administration is trying to cut the regime off from significant sums of money.
And it appears that the sanctions are working because reports indicate that the Iranian regime is struggling to pay the terrorist groups that act on its behalf. The Lebanese Hezbollah group is the group that the Iranian regime pours the most resources into. The group also contains some of the most senior members with huge value to the Iranian regime.
Reports indicate that fighters are being sent home or put to the reserves in a bid to lower the salary bill. Many fighters have already been pulled out of Syria where they have been present for a long time, fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
The financing situation has even got to the stage where television programs on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar channel and have been cancelled.
Many top officials and key fighters in the Hezbollah group were once paid very generously and benefitted from a number of perks such as generous expense packages and funded accommodation but sources say this is not continuing because of the cuts.
Hezbollah is in difficult situation because it cannot demand funds that do not exist. The group has been calling for donations and calling on people to contribute to collection funds.
It seems that the sanctions are doing a huge amount of good already.