It certainly looks as though the Israeli campaign launched during the previous fall, where rumors of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran were disseminated, secured its objectives. Western statesmen clung to this campaign and utilized it in order to impose on Iran the devastating sanctions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded two years ago already.
On July 1st, European Union states intend to shut their doors to Iranian oil. The Islamic Republic will then have to contend with a decline of at least $20 billion in its annual income. Iran will survive – beaten, battered and suffocating, like a patient who lost yet another vital oxygen pipe. With emphasis on “another.”
The sanctions imposed by the EU on Iran Monday are not there in and of themselves: They are the continuation and highlight of a long and increasingly intensifying path of sanctions. The economic sanction regime – first American and later international in nature – has been imposed on Iran since 1979 and in its current format since May of 1995.
Until 2008, the sanctions achieved little; they were no more than a nuisance. However, since then, and especially ever since Security Council Resolution 1929 from June of 2010, the picture has been changing rapidly. The sanctions are biting into the flesh of Iran’s economy and weakening it every day; their cumulative effect is crushing.
Another aspect is the boycott on Iran’s central bank. Although it has not yet been expelled from the joint nerve center of all central banks, The Bank for International Settlements in Basel (Nazi Germany’s central bank was also not expelled during World War II,) the Iranian bank has in fact become a pariah.
Russian reactor a failure
The strict sanction regime makes it much harder to undertaken further investments in the nuclear program, both because of a foreign currency shortage and a shortage in means and technologies. Everything costs 100-fold of its price in the official market and the origin of the goods is always dubious.
Meanwhile, the Russian nuclear reactor has already been proven as a failure: It produces energy at crazy costs and its safety is doubtful.
Hence, will the sanction chokehold being tightened around the neck of Iran’s economy prompt its leaders to renounce the military nuclear project? The likely answer is “not yet.”
An insane government like the one in Iran often conducts itself like a gambler near the roulette table: The more it loses, the more risks it assumes. Yet the moment arrives where even the most serious gambler loses his pants and is thrown out of the casino. Iran is closer to this point than assumed. It is possible that the Iranian people’s patience will wear thin even before that, and they will rebel in the face of the vision of turning their country into North Korea.