US Sanctions Aim to Erode Tehran's Clout

US Sanctions Aim to Erode Tehran's Clout

The US keeps imposing sanctions on Iran because its allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, want to put pressure on Tehran to prevent it from expanding its power in the region, said Kaveh Afrasiabi, a former advisor to Iran's nuclear negotiations team.
The US envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said earlier the US is not beyond abandoning the Iran nuclear deal, RT reported.
Tehran "cannot be allowed to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage", she said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that new US sanctions were not related to the nuclear deal.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said if the US imposes more sanctions on Tehran, "Iran would certainly return in a short time—not a week or a month but within hours—to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations".
The UN insists the international community must do everything in its power to ensure the agreement holds.
According to Kaveh Afrasiabi, it would not be wise for Washington to give up the nuclear deal at this point.
"It is in US's interest to make sure Iran does not retract itself to industrial scale nuclear activities, which was a major concern for the US and other western nations," he said.
"Iran, as you know, is able to produce 20% enriched uranium, and has the capability to do even more than that. So it is up to Washington basically to avoid such unnecessary escalations," he told RT in a recent talk.
Afrasiabi said there are several reasons to explain why Washington keeps introducing new sanctions against Iran, despite acknowledging Tehran's compliance with the nuclear deal.
One of them is that US allies in the region, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia, "want to pressure Iran and to prevent it from establishing its power in the region", he explained.
In other words, Afrasiabi said, the sanctions have become a kind of "channel" used to downgrade Tehran's power in the region and to up pressure on Tehran over activities that "the US deems destabilizing in countries such as Afghanistan and Yemen".
At the same time, these are exactly the areas where the US and Iran could have worked together "to resolve the regional crises", he said.
"It depends basically on from which point of view you're looking at the situation."


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