The United States Senate recently voted overwhelmingly 92-7 in favor of moving forward on evaluating further sanctions against Iran and especially targeting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Following eight years of Obama’s appeasement, this is a significant turn of events resulting in major concerns amongst Tehran and foreign counterparts.
A key signal of Iran’s concerns and status quo in the new balance of power can be received in the somewhat conflicting and hasty remarks heard from senior officials and media outlets across the board in Iran.
“They held the Riyadh summit and claimed of isolating Iran. What isolation was this when such a large number of states stood alongside the Iranian people and the country following the recent terror attack?” said Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Iran’s IRIB state TV station.
“The most repulsive of such measures was the recent US Senate initiative in support of terrorists and establishing new sanctions against Iran. Exactly when the Iranian people are the target of terrorists in the parliament, sensing no shame the US Senate passed a bill against the Iranian people in support of terrorists. This shows how the US Senate enjoys no emotions at all… in this bill, packed entirely with support for terrorists, they went the distance and issued sanctions on Iran’s missile program, IRGC and Quds Force…The US should not think differences of opinions in Iran will provide any window of opportunity for their devilish maneuvers,” he added.
Iranian MP Alaedin Borujerdi, Chair of the Security Commission in the Iranian Parliament, resorted to unorthodox comments in regards to the new US Senate measure.
“It is unacceptable to consider Congress separate from the US government. This is a clear and specific violation of the Iran nuclear deal (known as the JCPOA) and is unacceptable… If this bill is ratified the Trump administration must veto it, or else it should ready itself for the consequences of such flagrant JCPOA violations,” he said according to Akhareen Khabar website.
The terms “the US Senate on the same day that” or “the US Senate precisely hours after the ISIS attack” are common codes seen in the outlets of both factions of the Iranian regime. This is a clear reference to the failed attempt of a number of appeasement advocates seeking to halt the US Senate from evaluating the new Iran sanctions bill.
The state-run Iran Jib webiste ran a piece on June 10th titled, “Senate passes measure to review anti-Iran sanctions,” shedding interesting light into the mentality of Iranian regime officials.
“On the day that Tehran, after being the target of an ISIS terrorist attack, was receiving waves of condolences and sympathy from various countries, the US Senate was accusing Iran of terrorism, and under this pretext launched a review of new harsh sanctions… by sending a late and unfriendly message of sympathy to the Iranian people, the US, by establishing its place in the regional triangle of consensus-building against Iran, proved it has no intention of decreasing regional instability and fighting terrorism,” the piece reads.
Resalat daily, the outlet associated to the ultraconservative ‘Motalefe’ faction, went as far as accusing the US of being allied with ISIS.
“What are the recent measures taken by the US Senate? The alliance of America and ISIS against Iran. The US Senate has agreed to impose new sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran… this decision came exactly when ISIS, with the support of the US and Saudi Arabia, launched a terrorist attack in our country… Although the supporters of imposing new sanctions against Iran under the pretext of human rights violations and terrorist activities claim this bill will not hinder the JCPOA, various analysts believe this paves the path for violating the nuclear deal and are already issuing warnings…” the articles reads.
These sanctions have also become fuel for factional disputes.
Iranian MP Mostafa Tajzadeh, a member of the so-called “reformist” faction in Iran, warned the IRGC not to impose further pressure on the faction of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“I have been and currently am completely against military officers entering the political spectrum and elections, and I first consider it against the interests of the IRGC and the paramilitary Bassij… I know and believe such meddling will significantly damage our unity, security and national interests… IRGC commanders should understand we are undergoing a very sensitive time period. The recent US sanctions are signs of anti-IRGC measures, and it appears they will be seeking to target the IRGC itself with sanctions,” he said according to the state-run Bahar website.
And to add insult to injury, “Western manufacturers are shying away from supplying equipment for an Iranian port that India is developing for fear the United States may reimpose sanctions on Tehran, Indian officials say,” according to Reuters.
As a result, the sanctions triggered by the US Senate can be signs of a new horizon and a very dangerous outcome for Tehran, especially since the Trump administration continues to weigh its comprehensive Iran policy.