Trump on Iran: Wrong Again
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
A CubaNews translation edited by Walter Lippmann.
The United States’ intention to turn the protests in Iran between December 28, 2017 and January 3, 2018 into an “Iranian spring” failed miserably.
Washington’s expressions of support harmed a movement that, perhaps, arose spontaneously, but that did not last. It lost all its support due to the unwanted backing from Washington that made it offensive to the nation’s identity.
Trump took several days to figure out what was happening in his own country in August of 2017, with the social unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia. However, the US President saw the protests in Iran as an appetizing sweet served on his plate. He tried quickly to gobble it up. He issued half a dozen tweets in support of the protests, but it was obvious that his true intention was to fan the flames and not put them out.
There is no evidence that the protesters followed a script produced by Trump or that they paid any attention to what he wrote. It cannot even be assumed that the protesters were receiving instructions from outside.
For most Iranians, Trump is just a source of animosity toward their people. He had shown that from the moment he became President. While joyfully hugging the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional rival, Trump included Iranian nationals among the excludables in his anti-Muslim immigration rules. This, despite the fact that there has never been an Iranian involved in terrorist acts against the United States.
At the end of 2017, demonstrations and protests began to take place in several Iranian cities. These were apparently motivated by mass popular discontent. Among their demands: broader political and social freedoms, insistent denunciations of corruption in public administration. They rejected price increases in gasoline, eggs and other consumer goods and services. Added to this was dissatisfaction with the approval of a budget that projected the reduction of various social benefits and an increase in expenses related to military investment.
In an act of astonishing intervention into the internal affairs of another nation, Washington announced its support for the protests. White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, called them “real popular uprisings led by brave Iranian citizens”. Trump posted his already-mentioned tweets and praised the Iranian protesters as “hungry for food and freedom” that Washington should assist. He even promised them support.
Since his arrival in the Oval Office, Trump has systematically opposed the Nuclear Agreement that the G5 + 1 group (USA, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and Germany). It had been negotiated with Iran for 18 months, until it was signed on July 14. The historic agreement with Iran requires the limitation of certain aspects of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program on terms accepted by Tehran.
“The United States will not repeat the shameful mistake made in our past when others stayed on the sidelines and ignored the heroic
resistance of the Iranian people who were fighting against their brutal regime, ” said Vice President Mike Pence, who criticized Barack Obama’s Administration for staying out of the protests that took place in Iran in 2009.
Once the July Agreement was announced, President Barack Obama signed the executive order lifting economic sanctions on Iran. The official in charge of the European Union’s policy, Federica Mogherini, confirmed a similar decision by the EU after a long day of diplomatic negotiations. “All parties believe that this historic agreement is as strong as it is fair,” said Mogherini, who coordinated the negotiations of the six great powers with Iran.
The Iranian people had great hope that the nuclear agreement would serve not only to prevent a war with the United States, but to get their country out of political isolation and the financial situation imposed by Washington.
The agreement opens the door for the release of the Iranian assets frozen in several world banking institutions valued at between 45 and 90 thousand billion Euros. Iran plans to increase its oil exports by no less than half a million barrels when the sanctions are lifted.
Despite the failure of their plans to produce a self-destructive “Iranian spring” in Tehran, Washington keeps going ahead with its basic purpose. Now it is working toward calling a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to examine the situation.
Taking advantage of the widespread US media coverage of the Iranian protests and its wide impact on the global media, the US delegates are trying to put on the meeting’s agenda “a dangerous problem that harms the human rights of the Iranian people” in order to create a false image of Iran and promote its destabilization.
January 8, 2018.