US sanctions against Hezbollah and Iran: Clear evidence of US foreign policy failure in The ME

American Herald Tribune |  MARWA OSMAN : Over the past few days, Hezbollah has been the talk of the town in the media, specially the Western mainstream one. The reason for that was what happened in Washington, when army chiefs of state and along with Israeli army leaders met to discuss how to deal with what they referred to as “Hezbollah’s growing threat”. American officials even returned at this particular time to the 1980s, to talk about the bombing of the Marine headquarters in 1983 in Beirut powered by media propaganda and a political campaign aimed against the axis of resistance, especially Iran which included promoting more sanctions against the resistance group Hezbollah and against Tehran. All this rhetoric comes within a deliberate policy which has always been is part of the “Kissinger strategy”. But this time, this is rhetoric taking place under new regional and international conditions.

So, the US House of Representatives have as expected backed new sanctions on Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance group, as the group continues to gain grounds and victories alongside the Syrian Arab Army and other allies inside Syria against western backed proxy terrorists. Let us begin by clearing things up a bit. Backed by Iran, Hezbollah has been fighting against the Israeli entity since the 1980s and has successfully liberated the majority of Lebanese land because if this direct aid both in funding and political backing. Neither Tehran nor the leadership of Hezbollah has ever denied this nor will they ever because simply it is a right to back resistance against occupation and a right to receive aid and support while fighting an occupation and the constant Israeli aggression against Lebanon.

Then came the global war against Syria, a vital ally for the resistance in the region. It was only normal for Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah to stand with the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army to work together against the US/NATO project for our region. One needs to fully comprehend how this rhetoric of illegal sanctions came to be as a result of the regional shift of power from US backed proxies and Persian Gulf puppet states into the hands of the axis of resistance. After the direct intervention of the Russian forces inside Syria and the gains that the SAA and it allies were able to do inside on Syrian soil we began hearing an increase in the moaning of the Zionist entity and its buddies at the US congress. Swaths of land were being liberated from ISIS and Nusra, better known as US and NATO terrorist proxies, and the government was reinstating itself in all the liberated areas bringing back basic services and order to the Syrian public.

At that time, the Saudi, Qatari and Turkish voices were singing a song of concern of what is to become of President Assad and their now falling project if this progress and victories continue before we saw the Turks shifting under Russian influence and the Qataris backing down due to the Persian Gulf feud led by KSA. At this point both the US and Israel were positive that their project for the new Middle East has failed miserably and that a backup plan is needed to be put in action straight away. Hence we saw the Kurdish referendum which proved to be a complete disaster in less than a month leading to its cancellation and then we saw Trump’s rhetoric against the p5+1 nuclear deal with Iran which also backfired with exceptional European support for Iran and the Islamic republic’s steadfastness in the face of constant US threats.

One week later the sanctions hit the house of representative’s agenda despite it being there for several time now and despite it showing absolute failure in halting the activities of the resistance. Rather these sanctions has burdened the Lebanese economy with unnecessary afflictions that would touch every Lebanese citizen’s life but not the resistance’s economic cycle.

Now going back to to Henry Kissinger’s analysis and his future vision for the Middle East, he suggested that the best way to strike Iran’s attempts to expand in the Middle East is to prevent it from taking advantage of all the benefits of the nuclear deal by imposing new sanctions on Tehran and everyone it supports. A simple analysis of Kissinger’s strategies for the Middle East explains the scale of the attack on Iran and Hezbollah. According to the current US conception of the regional developments, what Tehran benefited economically after the nuclear agreement did not serve the US goal of striking Iran’s foreign policy. On the contrary, the Iranian mind was able use this advantage and convert it to serve Iran’s strategic interests and strengthen the role of its allies, foremost of which is Hezbollah. Hence, we understand the US’s need to tamper with the two parties by deliberately branding them with terrorism despite their efforts and success in defeating the terrorism the US implanted in the Middle East to begin with.

Henry Kissinger suggested that the best way to strike Iran’s attempts to expand in the Middle East is to prevent it from taking advantage of all the benefits of the nuclear deal by imposing new sanctions on Tehran and everyone it supports.

It is true that the new sanctions are tougher than previous ones, especially with the sanctions list expanding to include organizations that do not fall under the umbrella of Hezbollah, but rather belong to Lebanese citizens who simply support the choice of resistance, yet it still won’t affect the resistance’s activities as much as it will affect the Lebanese banking sector. What worries many banks in Lebanon and the region is that leaked information about the sanctions suggests that unlike previous ones, Lebanon will not be able to take financial measures to avoid them.

Unlike previous decisions, the recent congressional sanctions on Hezbollah apply to individuals and institutions not subject to US jurisdiction, and it classifies the party as a criminal organization, not just a terrorist organization. In other words, Hezbollah and its members could be charged with crimes such as drug trafficking and money laundering. But how much affect will that really have on the logistical and military section of Hezbollah. Even if we debate the affect it will have on the political wing of Hezbollah, how will the sanctions go into effect on the resistance’s members of Parliament who are elected by the public?

At the end of the day these sanctions were put into place to primarily punish Iran at a point when US foreign policy proved to be a failure when trump did not have the guts to pull out of the nuclear deal. It also showed the deep rift between the secretary of state and the white house, not to forget the unprecedented support Iran received from Europe as a result of the aggressive Trump stance against the Islamic republic without any solid reason. Trump had previously called for a tougher stance from Congress that could include renegotiating or pulling out of the Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. But when the legislation didn’t give Trump what he requested he automatically re-imposed sanctions as dictated by his Zionist buddies including toughening the sanctions on Hezbollah as part of Iran’s extended power arm in the region.

Iranian officials have said there is no room to renegotiate the nuclear deal. Even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week Iran wouldn’t move first to abandon the nuclear deal but “will tear it to pieces” if the U.S. violates its side of the agreement. If that is still the case up for grabs for the US, then I would argue that not only will the US be pushing Iran itself to back off from the deal, but the US would be putting their presence in the Middle East under jeopardy whether in Syria, Iraq or even Yemen.

The US might then retaliate with more sanctions, however, these moves have so far done little to deter Iran from its regional and internal ambitions. Already in December 2008, then Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi’s said that “Iran will never suspend uranium enrichment,” calling out the sanctions at that time as ineffectual. In June 2013, newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Qashqavi’s sentiment when he said that the “era [of suspending enrichment] is behind us.” And last week President Rouhani announced that “even if 10 other Trumps are created in the world, the deal is not reversible,”vowing an “appropriate and proportional” response. So it is basically back to square one with the continuous failures of the US sanctions against Iran and its Hezbollah counterparts in Lebanon.