Iran has expanded its energy exports.
Venezuela, Turkey and Iraq are now importing energy from Iran.
These business deals take place even as the United States is trying to squeeze Iran and increase the impact of sanctions against the Persian nation.
It’s become a high stakes, diplomatic, game of "push-me-pull-you."
The U.S. pushes in one direction, Iran pulls in the other.
Iran expands inroads and entices trading partners.
And Iran has been much more successful in their efforts to keep their country economically viable — even economically strong — than one would expect, especially given the unrelentless U.S. sanctions and press coverage.
Turkey is the third country to import Iran’s oil.
The announcement came this week.
Last month, five massively loaded oil tankers made their way from Iranian shores to Venezuela.
Iraq has for some time had energy business with Iran.
Reports are that Iran has also begun negotiations with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This is particularly relevant information. If the deals go through, and there is no reason to believe that they won't, Iran will be well-positioned to fill a vacuum in those countries.
America is gearing up to wind down in the region. They plan to withdraw from Afghanistan and significantly reduce troop presence in Pakistan.
Thus, as the U.S. pulls out, Iran steps in.
This scenario has been played out before. It's what happened in Iraq.
After the United States pulled out, Iran began exerting increasing pressure on the Iraqis.
Now, Iran exerts tremendous power in Iraq.
Iraq and Turkey are the two markets Iran has the most interest in developing.
Turkey is their foothold to the west and will be used as a springboard into countries interested in trade.
Iraq is an untapped resource. Iraq is a place for Iran to exploit and sell to.
According to reports Iran has already signed a two-year deal with Iraq to provide electricity.
That makes Iran an essential partner in the development of Iraq. More will follow, and not just economically.
Religion, too, plays a role in Iran’s interest and courting of Iraq.
Iran and Iraq are bordering nations.
The Iraqi Shiite population is now close in number to their Sunni population.
This is significant for Shiite Iran not only because there is strength in numbers, but also because Iraq is home to several essential Shiite shrines.
The Mideast is a jigsaw puzzle.
There are many countries in need of big brother types assistance and many countries, from inside the region and out, vying for control of those countries.
Iran is deeply invested in Syria. Control of Iraq, coupled with their involvement in Syria, will enable Iraq to fulfill their ultimate objective of controlling a land bridge from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea.
For purposes of trade and for the sheer sense of power it lends them, this access from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean enables Iran to access whole new worlds.
And best of all, it will be done without the watchful eyes of the United States.
Now, Iran has received an added bonus, a gift from above.
Iranis celebrating the internal crises that America battles.
They are taking advantage of the situation. So, too, are China, Russia and Turkey. The nemeses of the United States are elated that the U.S. is suffering from internal strife and that, because they are still in the throes of COVID-19, the re-opening of markets remains shackled.
Nearly everycountry the United States has chastised, lectured, and preached morality to, has sided with the protesters and cited the protests as "proof" that the United States is a racist state.
At a news conference in Teheran on Monday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the U.S. in a press conference saying: "To the American people: the world has heard your outcry over the state of oppression. The world is standing with you. . . To American officials and police: Stop violence against your people and let them breathe."
He said that Iran is saddened to see "the violence the U.S. police have recently set off . . . We deeply regret to see the American people, who peacefully seek respect and no more violence, being suppressed indiscriminately and met with utmost violence."
And to make sure that his country’s message was heard loudly and clearly, as well understood by all, Mousavi, the Iranian foreign minister, delivered his message in English.
The Iranian spokesman could not miss the opportunity to twist the dagger in some more.
He drew the parallel between the domestic American crisis and U.S. foreign policy when he also accused the United States of "practicing violence and bullying at home and abroad."
This has been one of the worst weeks in modern U.S. history.
And for that fact alone, it has been one of Iran’s best ever weeks.
Iranian strategy has been point perfect.
They have used every possible opportunity, and there have been many, to make gains against the United States.
And point by point, they have been successful.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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