Tags: Coronavirus | Donald Trump | Iran | Iraq | qom | irgc | dwb

Sanctions, Coronavirus Shake Iran's Regime

coronavirus and iran
(Gregory Alekhin/Dreamstime)

By Tuesday, 14 April 2020 05:23 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Christopher Ruddy writes on Newsmax, political attacks on President Trump about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic "are akin to a 'blood libel' and demonstrate a degree of political depravity unseen in our politics."

Mr. Ruddy also wrote, "Throughout this national emergency President Donald Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s the right person to lead the nation."

On Jan. 31, the president issued a travel ban restricting entry to America by nationals who had traveled to China, within the previous 14 days.

Per reports from Beijing, 32 new cases but no deaths for first time since January.

Mr. Trump’s decision was difficult, because he had just concluded a trade deal with China.

Still, the president's choice was a hard one.

Soon after, a dozen countries followed his lead and banned Chinese traffic, because of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Politicians, including former Vice President Joe Biden, folwed the president's lead, reamining firm on the issue.

Protests are shaking the foundation of the Iranian theocracy. This is leading to the downfall of the regime. A resurgent resistance is coinciding with maximum U.S. sanctions and COVID 19.

Thus, Iranians are not only at war with a kleptocracy; they are also at war with a virus —abetted by rulers.

Neither protests alone nor sanctions soley are likley to effect regime change.

But, with demonstrations, U.S. sanctions, and escalating coronavirus infections and deaths, unelected ayatollahs are likely to fall.

All dictatorships must eventually yield to the people, since their regimes lack popular support.

According to Reuters, Washington, D.C. sent a strong message, "The spread of COVID-19 will not save Iran from U.S. sanctions, which are choking off oil revenues & isolating its economy.

But, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, announced on 3/22, “U.S. sanctions are not preventing aid from getting to Iran."

Iran's supreme leader, Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei's response to the U.S. offer of assistance implied that, for him, political considerations were preferable to the lives of the people. "Your drugs may even spread the disease further or make the virus permanent." (Khamenei’s remarks, the state-run Fars News Agency, March 22.)

Additionally, Khamenei made a false claim, "If you send a physician, you may want to closely test the toxic effects of the virus you have created. Because it’s said that given the knowledge about Iranian genes, part of the virus has been specially created for Iran. Therefore, [President Trump ] your word is not acceptable."

Madame Maryam Rajavi, President-Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said, Doctors Without Borders, came to Isfahan with prior agreement and coordination with the regime.

But, then Tehran prevented Doctors Without Borders (DWB) from constructing a hospital in Iran. President Hassan Rouhani declared, "our hospitals are empty, and we don’t have any sort of shortages."

Protests as surging in Tehran,which also deals with its own protest movement — People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), the largest unit in the NCRI coalition of oppositionists.

Since 2017, there have been hundreds of protests in Iran per month, about deteriorating economic conditions and political grievances.

But, they are unlikely to threaten regime survival — at least for now, unless there are maximum amount of U.S. sanctions coinciding with protests and escalating coronavirus deaths.

Tehran admitted existence of COVID-19 (with a three-week delay) to hold sham parliamentary elections.

On Feb. 11, Iran celebrated the anniversary of its rise to power against the Shah.

Between that commemoration the Iranian New Year, (Nowruz - March. 20), coronavirus peaked. To make matters worse, Tehran refused to quarantine the holy city of Qom, the epicenter and source of coronavirus in Iran.

The regime’s Minister of Health acknowledged tens of millions of masks have been hoarded by the IRGC Party, then sold at exorbitant prices.

At the height of the spread of the COVID-19 in Iran, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council "donated" 50,000 masks to the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

A militia known to target U.S. forces in Iraq.

In January, despite claiming it has financial difficulties because of sanctions, Iran paid $200 million dollars to the IRGC Quds Force.

This, for its military operations abroad, e.g., in Syria.

In closing, President Trump has said, "As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior."

So, President Trump, stay the course of maximum sanctions to compel the regime to release its formidable resources that belong to the Iranian people. Doing so might combat the human tragedy unfolding in Iran, due to COVID-19 — a calamity aggravated by regime corruption and mismanagement.

Prof. Raymond Tanter (@AmericanCHR) served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to international security and arms control talks in Europe, and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. Tanter is on the comprehensive list of conservative writers and columnists who appear in The Wall Street Journal, Townhall.com, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Human Events, The American Spectator, and now in Newsmax. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Iran's supreme leader, Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei's response to the U.S. offer of assistance implied that, for him, political considerations were preferable to the lives of the people.
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2020-23-14
Tuesday, 14 April 2020 05:23 AM
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