India's Predicament
India Strategic|August 2018

Vis-a-vis US Sanctions On Iran

Air Marshal Ak Trikha (Retd)

As important as India’s relationship with the United States is, in the geostrategic shuffle currently underway Iran’s importance to India can also not be underestimated.

President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reimpose sanctions on Iran is fraught with such geopolitical consequences as the contours of which cannot be foreseen. The first phase of sanctions which kicked in on August 6 prohibits trade in metals, Iranian made cars, carpets etc. Licenses permitting Iran to import us and European aircraft and spares have also been revoked. the more stringent second phase designed to cripple Iran’s oil economy would be enforced in early November. While promulgating sanctions, President trump in his characteristic style has offered to meet President Rouhani without preconditions to negotiate another deal which would rectify what in his perceptions are the infirmities in the current agreement. However, demands being placed on Iran to make another deal acceptable are so onerous that chances of any reconciliation appear less than likely. if trump’s latest picks in his secretary of state mike Pompeo and national security advisor John Bolton are any mirror to the President’s thinking, it appears that the end game is nothing short of toppling the Ayatollah dominated Iranian regime. tightening economic screws through sanctions are simply a means to that end. Besides Israel and coalition of Sunni Arab states (cobbled together by Saudi Arabia) which are cheerleading us the challenge to Iran, there are few other supporters of America’s unilateral actions. therefore, whether or not united states would succeed in its quest remains a moot question.

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