Greece’s deputy foreign minister said on Aug. 21 that his country is not willing to facilitate the course of the Iranian ship to Syria.
The ship was released on Aug. 18 by Gibraltar after being detained for over six weeks. The United States believes that this tanker is related to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the United States has listed as a terrorist organization.
Secretary of State Pompeo said in New York on Tuesday that sanctions will be imposed on any country that helps the tanker. “We’ve made clear, anyone who touches it, anyone who supports it, anyone who allows a ship to dock is at risk of receiving sanction from United States of America. So if that ship again heads to Syria, we’ll take every action we can consistent with those sanctions to prevent.”
The United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May last year. Since then it has maintained maximum pressure on Iran.
Michael Pregent, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, told NTD: “Iran is cheating on the JCPOA now so that they can come back to where it was when we left. It’s a strategy.”
Although this was not supported by its European allies, experts believe that America’s unilateral sanctions have worked.
Behnam Ben Taleblu, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracy said, “Oil exports, GDP, inflation, value of the rial on the black market relative to the U.S. dollar, by all those indicators, max pressure is a success.”
Pregent also said, “The Iranians have now got to the point where they’re seizing their own oil tankers that are involved in their own oil smuggling operations. Because they can’t seize other country’s oil tankers.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani submitted a bill to the parliament on Wednesday. He plans to depreciate the country’s currency sharply by changing the national currency from Rials to Toman. Each Toman would be equal to 10,000 Rials. Since May last year, the Rial has depreciated by 60% against the U.S. dollar.
Pregent continued, “This regime is on its last legs. Whether Trump was aware or not, the regime doesn’t know how to manage an economy.”