Iranians fear war, deprived of life-saving medicines — Washington satisfied

The Obama administration’s definition of diplomacy with Iran is that it does not talk about “regime change.” Instead it talks about “tightening the noose.”

As the rial collapses and Iranians die because they can’t afford life-saving medicines, no doubt they feel deeply grateful for America’s kind attention.

The Washington Post reports: At a time when U.S. officials are increasingly confident that economic and political pressure alone may succeed in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the mood here has turned bleak and belligerent as Iranians prepare grimly for a period of prolonged hardship and, they fear, war.

This stark contrast has been evident in the Iranian capital this week as a top military commander declared a “critical point” in the country’s long feud with the West and ordinary Iranians stocked up on essential supplies. Merchants watched helplessly as the Iranian currency, the rial, shed more than a third of its value, triggering huge increases in the prices of imported goods.

“I will tell you what this is leading to: war,” said a merchant in Tehran’s popular Paytakht bazaar who gave his name only as Milad. “My family, friends and I — we are all desperate.”

The sense of impending confrontation is not shared in Washington and other Western capitals, where government officials and analysts expressed cautious satisfaction that their policies are working.

Former and current U.S. government officials did not dismiss the possibility of a military confrontation but said they saw recent threats by Iranian leaders — including warning a U.S. aircraft carrier this week not to return to the crucial Strait of Hormuz — mainly as signs of rising frustration. U.S. officials say this amounts to vindication of a years-long policy of increasing pressure, including through clandestine operations, on Iran’s clerical rulers without provoking war.

“The reasons you’re seeing the bluster now is because they’re feeling it,” said Dennis Ross, who was one of the White House’s chief advisers on Iran before stepping down late last year. With even tougher sanctions poised to take effect in weeks, the White House had succeeded in dramatically raising the costs of Iran’s nuclear program, he said.

“The measure, in the end, is, ‘Do they change their behavior?’ ” Ross said.

The Obama administration is readying new punitive measures targeting the Central Bank of Iran, while leaders of the European Union took a step this week toward approving strict curbs on imports of Iranian petroleum in hopes of pressuring the nation to abandon what they say is a drive to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy production.

State Department spokes­woman Victoria Nuland deemed as “very good news” the E.U.’s commitment to shutting off the flow of Iranian oil to Europe.

“This is consistent with tightening the noose on Iran economically,” Nuland told reporters Wednesday. “We think that the place to get Iran’s attention is with regard to its oil sector.”

In Tehran, that tightening is being felt by millions of people. Economists and independent analysts say the sanctions have aggravated the country’s chronic economic problems and fueled a currency crisis that is limiting the availability of a broad array of goods, including illegally imported iPhones and life-saving medicines.

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Comments

  1. Frigga Karl says:

    This handful of rich and white US Imperialists never had any cosideration about people, wether abroad or on its own soil, Indians, Afro-Americans, Haitians, Puertoricans, Hawaians, Indonesians, Afhganis, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Libyans, “lets slaughter them all, in order to get what we want” is their slogan! I think that those 50 people in the White House and their thousends of mignons gravitating around are the mass murderers and their abettors of our planet. They are frightening! Such Monsters we have between us. They are preparing and playing with high frequency weapons (HAARP) without knowing the consequences for our earth! Humanity never had such monstruous criminals because of their excessive wealth, power and new technology, this makes them completely crazy. They play the ‘Sorcerer’s Apprendice’. And we are looking helplessly to their monstruous game.

  2. rosemerry says:

    I just feel so frustrated and angry that Zionist “americans” like Dennis Ross and Victoria Nuland can so glibly talk of treating a sovereign, nonthreatening, non-aggressive important Muslim country in this shocking way. 75 million people, mainly young, well educated, cultured, forced into this situation by lies from Israel and the USA, (“wiping Israel off the map” etc) and by the USI pushing its allies (“EU”) into further sanctions. The disgraceful AIPAC sponsored attack on Iran’s central bank and exports, passed by the “lawmakers” of the supine US Congress, then signd by Obomber, has no validity and is leading to suffering on a greater scale than Iraq, for reasons just as spurious. USA, solve your own problems; you have plenty.

  3. Iranians fear…

    “The measure, in the end, is, ‘Do they change their behavior?’ ”

    A review of the ‘sanctions’ route in regards to past uses as foreign policy is well worth a read as an answer:
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/for_once_lets_just_leave_iraq_alone_20120105/
    Barry Landow reminds that the sanctions imposed on Iraq from 1990 -2003 and the results to the county and it people during that time during to have been a “crime against humanity.”
    Early on, it became evident that for the United States and England, the real objective of the sanctions was not the elimination of Saddam Hussein’s WMD but of Saddam Hussein himself, a goal went far beyond anything authorized by the Security Council.
    At a time when U.S. officials and Obama are increasingly confident that economic and political pressure alone may succeed in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the mythical cover for the real reason, regime change that Israel and the US really want
    The Iraq sanctions did not stop the WMD (there wasn’t any) nor more than the Iran sanctions will succeed in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions( there isn’t any there either).
    The sanctions in Iraq ended by the invasion and occupation in 2003- Mr. Ross will the US change it’s behavior?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf83udJfbMs