by WorldTribune Staff, April 24, 2019
“Iran will make the U.S. regret its decision to sanction us,” Iranian President Hassan Rohani warned on April 24 after the Trump administration’s decision not to renew sanctions exemptions granted to several countries who buy Iran’s oil.
Despite economic hardships imposed by the sanctions, Iran is pressing its strategic gains in the region in Syria, Iraq and Yemen according to a report in the current edition of Geostrategy-Direct.com
The White House said in a statement on April 23 that “The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, the three largest energy producers in the world, together with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring the world’s oil markets receive all supplies, including the deficit created by the non-use of Iranian oil.
“The Trump administration and its allies are determined to continue and expand the campaign of economic pressure on Iran to put an end to the destabilizing activities of the regime, which is a threat to the United States, its partners, and its allies in the Middle East.”
Rouhani responded by saying that Iran had “no choice but to resist.”
“The U.S. is not ready to hold negotiations at all and its measures are aimed at breaking up the Iranian nation,” Rouhani said. “We have to make the U.S. regret its decision.”
Rouhani said that Iran is open to renewing talks with Washington, but only if the U.S. dismantles its sanctions regime against Iran as a precondition – and apologizes.
“We have always been men of negotiations as we are men of war. But negotiations are possible if [the U.S.] lifts all restrictions, apologizes for all wrongdoings and practices mutual respect. In practice, we have to prove that Americans have made a mistake and miscalculated,” Rouhani said.
Though the U.S. sanctions have had a devastating affect on Iran’s economy, the Islamic Republic continues to implement its plan to increase its sphere of influence in the Middle East, Geostrategy-Direct.com reported on April 23.
Analysts say Iran is currently working to complete its land bridge from Teheran all the way to the Israeli border and the Mediterranean Sea. This would be done by using the Iranian-founded Hashd al-Shaabi umbrella organization of predominantly Shi’ite militias in Iraq to seize control over the northern part of the country and by continuing its entrenchment in Syria.
Much of Iran’s current focus is on Syria, the report noted, adding that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force is supplying cash, food, Iranian ID cards, public services, and free education to Sunni Muslim Arabs in Syria while trying to win over converts to Shia Islam.