Cornered: Sanctions cost Iran ‘$200 billion surplus income’, proxies storm U.S. compound in Iraq

by WorldTribune Staff, December 31, 2019

Since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions, Iran has lost 90 percent of its oil exports, the value of its currency has fallen sharply and inflation has surpassed 40 percent.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani. / Wikimedia Commons

“Iran would have earned $200 billion surplus income…if the country were not involved in an economic war” over the past two years, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on Dec. 31 while launching a railway project in Teheran.

As Rohani spoke from Iran’s capital, terror proxies backed by Iran were storming the U.S. embassy compound in Iraq.

“The scenes here show Hizbullah flags being flown by the Jihadis assaulting the embassy. Make no mistake: this is an Iranian operation. The Iranians keep doing this because they always get away with it,” Center for Security Policy vice president Chris Holton wrote in a Facebook post.

Jihadists on Dec. 31 stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to protest U.S. airstrikes which killed at least 25 members of the Iran-backed Kataib Hizbullah militia on Dec. 29.

The Associated Press reported that the embassy’s gate door was broken down, and gunshots were heard as demonstrators entered the compound, while video emerged showing protesters setting fire to a wall outside the compound.

Trump tweeted on Dec. 31: “Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible.”

Trump added that “we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy.”

The U.S. Defense Department said it is planning to deploy about 100 Marines to secure the embassy. Additional security was being provided by Apache helicopters from an air weapons team.

Rohani also questioned arguments from the Islamic Republic’s hard-line conservatives who criticize him and who say that the sanctions have not affected Iran.

“What should we do? When there is no food and water, you are still in danger no matter how strong you are,” Rohani said.

Rohani’s comments came just weeks after millions of Iranians protested against economic hardships, inequality, financial corruption, and discrimination following a gas price hike in November.

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