Jun 30, 2019, 5:44 PM
Journalist ID: 1853
News Code: 83375573
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Sanctions in long-run detrimental to US: Ex-diplomat

Tehran, June 30, IRNA-An Iranian veteran diplomat believes that US sanctions against the Islamic Republic in the long run are detrimental to the United States.

"This may not be a disadvantage for them in the short-run, but in the long-run it would discredit the country, reduce US deposits, caution behavior of others, and preference of foreign currencies in international trading," Fereidoon Majlesi, a former country diplomat, said about the US resort to unilateral sanctions against others.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in an exclusive interview with former Iranian diplomat and international expert Fereidoon Majlesi has reviewed Iran's four-decade relations with the United States and its sanctions against Iran;

IRNA: The first sanctions against Iran after the seizure of the US Embassy in 1979 were imposed, to what extent the nature of the sanctions depends on the president and the executive power in the US, and to what extent do you see the share of the ruling system of the country in its actions?

Majlesi: The American Embassy in 1979 was seized by the students who follow the Imam Khomeini’s guidance. My service was the Third Political Department of the Foreign Ministry. Considering that in 1979, the embassy was conquered by students and ended with the interference of the government quickly, my vision as a professional diplomat was that this time too, it would end it soon. The first official came to the ministry to mediate was Swedish ambassador, and since I was in charge of the Swedish table, from the very beginning, and since the embassy of Switzerland was responsible for protecting the interests of the United States, I was present at hostage-taking diplomatic meetings.

Carter ordered an aircraft-carrier ship or another ship to depart for the Persian Gulf. My concern was that, in the conditions of Iran's defensive weaknesses, the ship would likely take the position against Abadan, and with the serious threat to release the hostages, Abadan would be bombed and the people would be displaced.

The immediate reaction was the announcement of blocking Iran's assets to European banks and, moreover, to withdraw from the military threat. This was the beginning of Iran's financial sanctions. It would seem that America preferred taking billions of dollars or hostage-taking to continue the threat and immediate release of hostages! The Americans' anger was about hostage-taking, and its ruling system was not opposed to any restrictions on Iran. The United States, which was still subject to criticism of its violence in Vietnam, was turning its position from a ruthless stance to the oppressed position. The level of trade between Iran and the US was reduced, but relations with other countries continued, and especially the banks continued their financial relations.

Algeria's agreement which helped Reagan come to power and the release of hostages helped reduce sanctions, and claims by American companies were handed over to the particular judgment of The Hague. The United States believed that with the decrease in the revolution's upheavals in Iran, that country would perhaps be better able to deal with Iran than some other countries, but this did not happen. At the time of Ahmadinejad's presidency, six resolutions of the Security Council and Iran's full trade and banking sanctions were approved.

IRNA: Given that the sanctions regime has been one of the practical tools of the United States against different countries, including Russia, Iraq, and Turkey, how much does this method contribute to the achievement of the US’ interests or its disadvantages?

Majlesi: The US sanctions on Iran before Ahmadinejad were unilaterally or in collaboration with some countries, but after Ahmadinejad and the nuclear and Holocaust events, sanctions took on an international face that was highly detrimental to Iran. The 5+1 talks resulted in lifting sanctions. This agreement had already been opposed from the beginning or even before.

In the United States, Republican advocates, extremist rights activists, lobbies of the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia strongly opposed it, which eventually led to the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement and the intensification of unilateral sanctions that America threatened other countries to pursue it lines. The United States did not resort to economic sanctions against Iran, and the Cuban sanctions had its history.

The US resorting to blocking assets and unilateral sanctions of others may not have a negative effect on the country in the short term, but it will in the long-run lead to America's discredit and cuts in deposits and discretionary behavior, and preferences of currencies other than the dollar in international trade.

IRNA: How far did the sanctions against Iran be abandoned in the event of full implementation of the JCPOA?

Majlesi: The JCPOA in practice succeeded in removing obstacles. The big deal was the purchase of Boeing planes from the United States, Airbus, Italian turbojets, the Total contract, the start of drilling operations in the Persian Gulf, Renault and Peugeot contracts, and the presence of European traders in Iran, but Trump, who had coordinated himself with Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia, took stance against it and boosted Iran's banking and commercial sanctions.


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