By Shamsi Saadati
This week, the United States took action to shut the Iranian regime’s oil supplies to Syria off, emphasising that Tehran is on a mission to “dominate” the Middle East.
These sanctions are just the latest in many that have been introduced over the past year. In this latest case, the sanctions are specifically targeting two companies that are based in Lebanon. These two companies have been importing large quantities of oil from Iran into Syria – allegedly tens of thousands of metric tons.
The two companies in question are named as BS Company and Synergy SAL.
The Iranian regime’s oil exports have taken a huge hit because of the U.S. sanctions that urge all foreign countries to completely cut their imports of Iranian oil to zero. These latest sanctions are going to hit one of the last outlets that Iranian regime has with regards to its oil exports.
The Syrian industrialist, Samer Foz, a tycoon that is behind large-scale and high-end constructions, is also being focused upon with these sanctions. The undersecretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, in a statement said: “This Syrian oligarch is directly supporting the murderous Assad regime and building luxury developments on land stolen from those fleeing his brutality.”
The Treasury Department explained that Foz has defied the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports abroad by shipping Iranian oil into Syria.
Joel Rayburn, the special envoy for Syria, also said that Samer Foz has been giving illicit help to the Iranian regime. He said that the action against Foz will “put pressure on the Assad regime’s key supporters, such as the Iranian regime and Hezbollah”.
The Iranian regime’s role in Syria has been nefarious ever since it started meddling several years ago. Without Tehran’s intervention, many believe that the Syrian civil war would have ended before it really got off the ground. The Iranian regime has supplied extensive military assistance in the form of weapons, men on the ground, training personnel and the supply and financing of numerous militias.
The Iranian regime is still going for regional dominance, although it has been weakened significantly in the past year and especially in the past few months. It has lost so much of its much-needed oil revenue and it is unable to finance its henchmen across the region, in particular the notorious Lebanese Hezbollah that is financially struggling.
The Trump administration, and President Trump himself, have been warning the Iranian regime that the United States is keeping a close eye on all of its activities and that it will act accordingly. Further sanctions can be expected from the Trump administration, and now perhaps from the Europeans too who are starting to harden their stance towards the regime.