Results for Category: Iran
Smuggling became a lucrative business, with 20 to 40 million litres being smuggled across the border per day. In addition, because Iran borders 15 countries, it is almost impossible for the government to control all its borders on a permanent basis. To overcome fuel smuggling, the government resorted to another policy: reducing subsidies.
Iran’s strategy following the US’ withdrawal from the JCPOA has focused on two objectives. The first is to push back against the maximum pressure policy with the aim of proving its irrelevance in bringing Iran to the negotiating table on US terms. The second is to drive a wedge between the US and its regional allies, especially Iran’s Arab neighbours.
Salami will also oversee the activities of the Quds Force, an IRGC unit responsible for extraterritorial operations, giving him a significant say in the way Iran’s network of regional alliances work. However, as organizations under new management usually take time to stabilize, it is too early to say how the change at the top will ultimately affect Iran’s strategy, particularly towards its foreign enemies.
Although Washington claimed the designation is aimed at confronting the IRGC’s destabilizing activities in the region, many in the US consider it as an unnecessary provocation. Given that the IRGC was already under a huge amount of pressure, including from sanctions, it is hard to see how the FTO designation will curb its regional influence and reach. In other words, the IRGC has successfully furthered Iran’s regional agenda and priorities, and it is expected to continue doing so under the new designation.
But to replace Iran’s exports to Iraq, the US and its allies need to have Iraq’s ruling elites on board, which is highly unlikely given that many of them are backed by Tehran; and provide real alternatives for Iraq’s need for Iran’s electricity and gas, which is also highly unlikely in the next two years at least. Therefore, it seems that the US anti-Iran policy in Iraq is facing a deadlock.