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Trump's delusional Iran oil gambit is decades too late

8 4 9
09.07.2018

Last week, a senior state department official announced the US' intention to cut Iranian oil exports "to zero" by November 4 this year, by threatening to impose sanctions on any company still trading beyond that date.

Hitherto, experts had predicted US sanctions would see a reduction of around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the year – barely one-fifth of the country's current export of 2.4 million bpd. Even the sanctions that preceded the 2015 nuclear deal – which, unlike today's unilateral effort, were supported by a broad alliance of world powers, including Russia and China – only succeeded in removing half of Iran's oil from the market.

This determination to destroy Iran by any means necessary has, of course, been the Trump administration's signature foreign policy since day one, with almost every member of his team harboring a long-held and well documented vendetta against the Islamic Republic. What is new with Trump, however, is not this determination as such – let's not forget that Iran has been on the official Pentagon hit list since at least 2001 – as the means used to pursue it. As I argued in 2014, the nuclear deal was not, on the part of the West, a genuine rapprochement so much as a long term program of Western infiltration, based on the 'Libya model', aimed at building a pro-imperialist fifth column within the Iranian state in order to prepare the ground for 'regime change' in the future. The Trump team, of course, has no patience for the long game, and simply wants to cut to the chase. The reason for this obsession with destroying Iran – shared by all factions of the Western ruling class, despite their differences over means – is obvious: Iran's very existence as an independent state threatens imperial control of the region – which in turns underpins both US military power and the global role of the dollar. And as South-South cooperation continues to develop, this threat grows every day, whilst the means to diminish it are reduced by the same measure.

At the same time, the US military encirclement of China – begun in earnest as Obama's 'pivot to Asia', but, like so much else, undergoing major escalation under Trump – is........

© RT.com