Severe Sanctions on Iran – is it too little and too late?
Iran has been working on its nuclear weapons program for years. The west has been trying to convince Iran to back off its nuclear intentions for years. Through diplomatic efforts and through increasingly severe sanctions, the west has been trying to make its point.
But defiant Iran is not getting the point and is refusing to stop its nuclear program. Now Washington and Europe are trying to up the stakes with the EU move to impose an oil embargo and sanctions on Iran’s central bank.
With the new sanctions in place, no EU member state can sign a contract to import crude oil or refined petroleum from Iran. In addition, the EU has introduced a range of financial restrictions, including freezing assets held in Europe by the Iranian Central Bank.
Israel has been calling for such measures for more than 2 years. Even now with the new embargo it will take another 6 months for it to be fully enforced. Prime Minister Netanyahu said yesterday that by the time the embargo will be enforced Iran will possess a nuclear bomb.
Iran is likely to turn to other countries to cover up for the loss of sales of almost 600,000 barrels of oil per day to the EU, 24% of its total exports. In anticipation the US is now looking at Africa to help increase the pressure on Iran.
US diplomats and lobbyists are stepping up pressure to reduce African commercial ties to Iran as part of a growing global push to squeeze Tehran. The US is talking to its allies in Africa in Uganda, in South Africa, in Angola and more to join the embargo and cut ties with Iran.
Now, African countries that once were viewed as distant from the conflict with Iran are getting drawn into the sanctions effort.
President Obama said in regard to EU’s sanctions that it “demonstrate once more the unity of the international community in addressing the serious threat presented by Iran’s nuclear program”.
The rise of Islam across the Arab world is a blessing and a curse for Iran. As an Islamic regime it welcomes the rise of Islam. In the quest for Islamic global domination Iran is putting aside the differences between its Shiite version of Islam and Egypt’s Sunni’s version. But on the other hand an Islamic regime in Egypt is a threat to Iran’s leadership position in the region.
While the west is constantly offering a way out for Iran through talks and negotiation, Iran is not likely to choose that option. The question is will Iran take severe action as a result of these sanctions, one that could escalate the situation dramatically?
The radical Islamic regime in Iran armed with one nuclear weapon is a threat to the whole world. Iran has become a martyrdom-obsessed state run by religious fanatics bent on spreading Shiite Islam throughout the world.
The religious belief in Iran calls for chaos before the arrival of the hidden Imam, also known as the 12th Imam. Difficult as it may be for Western leaders to comprehend, Ahmedinejad believes he is on a messianic mission to create the apocalyptic chaos necessary to lay the foundations for the Coming of the 12th Imam or Mahdi and the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate. A nuclear weapon will serve this purpose.
This threat can be contained only if the world works together to do it. From the US to Europe and Africa, from Uganda to China, for these economic sanctions to work they must cripple the Iranian economy and bring the end of the fanatical Ayatollahs regime. Let’s hope it’s not too late.