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Iran Action Group Product of New US Psychological Campaign

Iran Action Group Product of New US Psychological CampaignIran Action Group Product of New US Psychological Campaign

The United States is in a weaker position than it was before the conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal and its decision to create a special group on Iran is meant to strengthen the US hand through psychological war, says a senior lawmaker.

"The US secretary of state is more an intelligence guy than someone who is specialized in the field [of diplomacy] and has decided to form an action group at the state department to deal with issues related to Iran as part of psychological warfare," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA in remarks published Friday.

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state and former CIA boss, on Thursday announced the formation of the so-called ‘Iran Action Group’ to coordinate the US pressure campaign on Tehran as the Donald Trump administration moves ahead to force changes in Iran’s policies after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, AP reported.

Falahatpisheh said the move, among other things, is aimed at giving the impression that the US is strictly monitoring compliance with the illegal sanctions.

In order to enforce the sanctions, the Americans need public diplomacy and close allies and should be able to afford it in economic terms, he added.

"But in our view, they are in a weaker position in all three areas than they were before the JCPOA was signed," the MP said, using the abbreviation for the nuclear accord's official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Pompeo is obviously trying to make up for US shortcomings through psychological operations, Falahatpisheh said.  

  Unlikely Plan

Krishnadev Calamur, a staff writer at the Atlantic magazine in the US, says it is very unlikely that the new group would lead to Iranian government caving in to earlier conditions set by Pompeo if there were going to be any lasting agreement between the two estranged sides.

Barbara Slavin, the director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and a critic of Trump’s  Iran policy “Told me it’s just an example of the tone-deaf Iran policy of this administration,” Calamur wrote for the magazine on Friday.

“The goal is to weaken Iran in the hopes that it will pull back in the region, suddenly become more amenable to the policies of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel,” Slavin said.

That is unlikely to happen, however, as Iran views the region as part of its sphere of influence, just as the Saudis and Emiratis do.

“Anyone who knows anything about Iran knows that there’s no way the government can agree to talk to the United States under these kinds of conditions,” Slavin said.

In May, Trump demanded Iran make sweeping changes—from dropping its nuclear program to pulling out of the Syrian civil war—or face severe economic sanctions as the his administration hardened its approach toward Tehran.

 

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