The sanctions are back on the Iranian door-step, and they are being defied en-masse by thousands of young Iranians.
The occasion was the 39th anniversary of the Students’ Day. It commemorates the historic siege of the US Embassy in Tehran by pro-Khomeini students who gate-crashed the Embassy and took fifty-two hostages in a prolonged, 444-day international crisis.
That was in 1979. The 2018 annual demonstration was fired up by renewed anger against the US for a fresh round of sanctions.
Back in 2015, an international team of diplomats had worked laboriously to lift the-then sanctions on Iran which sponsors terrorism and continues to attack the only democracy in the Middle East – Isreal. This is now being undone by poignant unilateral sanctions on Iran, masterminded by Donald Trump.
Some people believe the real reason Obama wanted to prop up Iran was so that Iran could attack the Saudi oil fields. Obama is a known environmentalist and environmentalists want to get people out of the cars and into public transportation knowing this would severely curtail peoples’ freedom and would undermine the quality of life of a billion people, for example, drastically. The way this can be done is to increase the cost of fuel and the way to do this is to destroy the Saudi oil fields but let’s get back on topic here.
Death to America – The Chorus Gets Louder
The reinstatement of the sanctions will be serious for Iran. The country will be barred from freely selling its most precious economic asset – oil, in the international markets.
Reeling under the impending effects of this ban which will cripple the country’s economy, participants of the Students Day demonstration chanted their favorite slogan, “Death to America.”
Addressing a gathering of thousands of charged-up demonstrators, military commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari sent a stern message to the “weird” American President, to never threaten Iran which continues to subjugate woman and center their government around a flawed religion.
Jafari reminded Trump of the plight of the American soldiers in the Iranian desert during the previous confrontation, implying that this time around, their condition will be worse if the US embarked on yet another military misadventure. Many people believe this is comical since Saddam underestimated US military might in 1991 and his army was routed.
The military general used the occasion to say that Trump was desperate to ruin Iran economically, but his evil designs will fail once again as if Iran was a beacon of hope for the world.
However, Jafari’s mass rhetoric is in visible contrast with the ground situation. In the last year or so since the current US sanctions resumed, the country’s economy has gone from bad to worse. The national currency has devalued steeply.
Several of the country’s ministers have been sacked in an attempt to revive the fledgling economy. And there have been street protests against burgeoning retail inflation.
Brimming Contempt for the US
The mass sentiment against the US seemed to overflow at the demonstrations. For once, some Iranians put aside their disappointment at the country’s leadership for mismanaging the economy and directed their ire at the Americans but many more know that their own government is the real reason they are suffering.
As many protesters voiced, Trump was the real villain and the damage that he had inflicted upon Iran would be impossible for many succeeding American presidents to undo.
An anonymous female protester said that several preceding US presidents had sanctioned Iran, and several others had laid down ‘options on the table’ in the past, but no real progress had been made in mainstreaming Iran with the rest of the world.
Point of no Return
Iran was so disillusioned by the US’ conduct that many protesters said the two countries’ relations had been irreparably damaged. The overarching sentiment was that US and Iran can never be friends or allies again.
Clearly, there is little hope for the two countries’ relations to revive any time soon, at least according to the Students’ Day demonstrators.