As Iranian regime attempts to grapple with hard-hitting international sanctions and widespread domestic unrest, a report was released on prospective oil imports from Iran by India, revealing that India has developed a mechanism to evade the penalties for continuing to do business with Iran by using public refiners. However, it is not clear how this would evade sanctions, as Trump has threatened to crack down on countries that continue to do business with Iran.
Nourhan Ahmed Anwar, an analyst at The Arab Forum on Analyzing Iranian Policies (AFAIP), advises that the Iranian regime has perfected the art of evading sanctions since 1979 often through the use of front companies established in the names of Iranians living abroad who are connected to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). If they are ever discovered by a foreign country’s intelligence entities, then the company is simply closed and another one is opened up to replace it. He cites that the Iranian regime may well do this with shipping companies making tankers, for example, stop at several ports to manipulate data and blur the lines.
Moreover, many countries are attempting to fight US sanctions and they have sought sanctions waivers, but the U.S. is reluctant to give any. Nevertheless, they continue their somewhat profitable trade with Iran being aware of the U.S. advise that it would still result in penalties.
While many countries have yet to agree to the sanctions, many companies from countries that have not agreed to these sanctions – particularly in Europe – have pulled out of Iran ahead of sanctions. These companies include Total, British Airways, and Siemens.
The IRGC also operates a smuggling operation in Europe, smuggling drugs, sand, and even humans across the border. This is something that should encourage Europe to increase its sanctions against Iran, especially in the light of two recent terrorist plots by Iranian regime in Europe.
Iran appealed to the UN’s International Court of Justice over the sanctions, claiming that they are harmful to the country, but the UN ruled that sanctions would stay, except for those on food and drugs, humanitarian aid, and civilian aeroplane parts.
Strike and Protests
Of course, the economic crisis in Iran is deeply affecting the Iranian people and bringing them out in droves to protest against the regime. Many strata of the society including Truckers, Bazaar merchants and shopkeepers, teachers and educators and now retired government employees are in parallel strike. They explain that the mullahs are responsible for all the corruption and country’s wrongdoings and ills.
While Iranians live in poverty, facing unemployment rates of 40 per cent, the mullahs have spent billions of dollars to export terrorism and fundamentalism abroad including propping up the Bashar Assad dictatorship in Syria, funding and supporting the Houthis in Yemen and the terrorist Hezbollah in Lebanon, and sectarian violence and conflict in Iraq by backing and inciting Iraqi militias and IRGC affiliated groups in that country.
The Iranian regime has cracked down violently on protesters, arresting them and threatening with death penalty, but they have also attempted to shift the blame by claiming that the protests were sparked by foreign enemies. This shows that the regime does not care about the Iranian people’s concerns and uses all means available to it to crackdown on protests in order to stay in power and to continue plundering Iranian people’s wealth.