Oct 11, 2020, 12:49 PM
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Banks sanctions Trump’s last attempt to stop JCPOA revival

Tehran, Oct 11, IRNA – Experts say United States’ imposing secondary sanctions on 18 Iranian banks pursue two goals: closing the last ways of payment for basic goods and medicine and thwart Joe Biden’s campaign promise for revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

After the month-long media hype stirred up by the US, which worried the world about blocking the pathways for humanitarian goods to Iran, the sanctions on 18 Iranian banks and financial institutions were eventually imposed.

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Abdolnasser Hemmati blasted imposing sanctions on the Iranian banks, and said that some of the sanctioned banks were handling imports of food and medicine and worked with foreign banks which still have all the necessary waivers from the US government.

"Although in the past months, we have been in dire need to provide medicine and food to the people due to the maximum pressure, so far we have not allowed any shortage to be felt in the country," he said.

From now on, the central bank, along with the private sector, will make every effort to provide medicine and basic goods needed by the people and will not allow more pressure to be put on the people, Hemmati said.

Applying the term “secondary sanctions” indicated that the nature of the latest sanctions is different from the ones imposed in the past two years. These sanctions are actually imposed for political and election campaign to help US President Donald Trump who is fighting for his second term in office.

On 8 May 2018, Trump pulled the US out of the internationally-endorsed JCPOA and unilaterally re-imposed sanctions lifted by the UNSCR 2231. Six months later on 5 November 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington had started the re-imposition of the sanctions.

The sanctions started with 50 Iranian banks and financial institutes and all their overseas branches.

The names of the 18 banks being sanctioned have previously existed in the first list of Pompeo. So, what is the aim of the secondary sanctions on those?

According to Reuters, some analysts said that goal of the secondary sanctions is to close all the financial ways that have so far allowed Iran to gain its people’s basic needs. This made European governments worried.

The new sanctions will actually have no effects because those foreign banks that planned to cut ties with Iran in fear of the US sanctions did that two years ago.

In addition, Iran is on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) black list and in action has no link with the international banking system.

What is the second goal of the sanctions? According to Reuters, the designers of the new sanctions are a group of Congress members that have been in really good terms with Israel for a long time. The combination was why President Hassan Rouhani termed the sanctions as “cruel, terrorist, and inhumane”.

Biden has pledged to come back to the JCPOA – if elected. So, many analysts say that the sanctions intend “to make it very difficult for any future president to be able to unwind these measures and engage in nuclear diplomacy.” 

That’s why, President Rouhni pointed out that Americans have so far carried out everything they could against the great Iranian nation, and that they cannot break the Iranian people's resistance by taking inhumane measures.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message slammed the US' new sanctions against Iranians, saying the Iranian people will survive such cruelties.

"Amid Covid19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine," Zarif wrote in his Twitter account on Thursday.

"Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties," he added.

"But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity. Culprits & enablers—who block our money—WILL face justice," Zarif noted.

Translated by: Hossein Abolqassemi

Edited by: Safar Sarabi

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