Last week Iran met its commitments under the July nuclear agreement after filling the core of its heavy water nuclear reactor in Arak with cement, and over the weekend U.S. lifted sanctions in place since 2006 allowing Iran to reconnect to the global banking system. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called it a “golden page” in Iran’s history.
“An end of an era for Iranians” hails PRI’s The World, “who can begin to emerge from years of punishing economic sanctions that have kept Iran’s national economy locked out of the global financial system.”
BBC reports the effects of the lifting of the sanctions:
Iran can now return to the oil market, and is expected to start exporting an estimated 300,000 barrels per day immediately. This, in an already oversupplied market, will contribute to the falling price of petrol for consumers across the world.
Iran will also have access to more than $100bn (£70bn) of money that was frozen overseas. However, it can only spend about $30-50bn, as the rest is thought to be been locked into previous commitments.
The money may be used to import goods and services to renovate and modernise many of Iran’s economic sectors. Already, Tehran is in talks to buy Airbus passenger aircraft by the dozens. The lifting of banking sanctions also means Iran is reconnected to the world financial network.
Critics of the deal say Iran will have more money to buy arms and bankroll its client militias locked in wars in the region…..
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the day the sanctions were lifted as a “golden page” in his country’s history and something that could transform its economy.
A prisoner exchange took place between the U.S. and Iran the same day, but no sooner than the plane carrying released prisoners had left the tarmac in Iran, the U.S. Department of Treasury slapped new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile testing last fall, breaking the spirit of the agreement with Iran.
On Sunday, the Treasury’s Press Center published Treasury Sanctions Those Involved in Ballistic Missile Procurement for Iran, targeting “11 individuals and entities responsible for supporting Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program.”
When the UN endorsed the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 (China, France, Russia, UK, US and Germany) they passed a resolution requiring Iran to refrain from testing missiles designed to carry nuclear weapons. Iran says their missile program is not designed to carry nuclear weapons, nor capable of carrying them.
Iran condemned the new sanctions and their Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan stated the new US sanctions would have no effect.
BBC reports, Iran condemns new US sanctions over missile test:
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said on Monday: “Iran’s missile programme has never been designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.”
He said: “The US sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile programme… have no legal or moral legitimacy.”
Mr Ansari added: “America sells tens of billions of dollars of weaponry each year to countries in the region. These weapons are used in war crimes against Palestinian, Lebanese and most recently Yemeni citizens.”…..
On Saturday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had verified that Iran had restricted its sensitive nuclear activities, as required by the agreement……
[Obama] said the US would “remain steadfast in opposing Iran’s destabilising behaviour elsewhere” – such as its missile tests.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday of the new sanctions: “Any action will be met by a reaction.”
Now that the sanctions have been lifted, the U.S. will be holding talks with Israel on a new “military aid framework” as part of the “compensation package” because of the Iranian nuclear agreement, upgrading their quantitive military edge. Seems U.S. aid to Israel will be notched up and extra billion a year to 4.1 billion.