U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage That Is Deadly, Illegal, and Ineffective | OpEdNews
While the mystery of who is responsible for sabotaging the two tankers in the Gulf of Oman remains unsolved, it is clear that the Trump administration has been sabotaging Iranian oil shipments since May 2, when it announced its intention to “bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue.” The move was aimed at China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, all nations that purchase Iranian oil and now face U.S. threats if they continue to do so. The U.S. military might not have physically blown up tankers carrying Iranian crude, but its actions have the same effect and should be considered acts of economic terrorists.
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The Trump administration is also committing a massive oil heist by seizing $7 billion in Venezuela’s oil assets — keeping the Maduro government from getting access to its own money. According to John Bolton, the sanctions on Venezuela will affect $11 billion worth of oil exports in 2019. The Trump administration also threatens shipping companies that carry Venezuelan oil. Two companies — one based in Liberia and the other in Greece — have already been slapped with penalties for shipping Venezuelan oil to Cuba. No gaping holes in their ships, but economic sabotage nonetheless.
Whether in Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea or one of the 20 countries under the boot of U.S. sanctions, the Trump administration is using its economic weight to try to exact regime change or major policy changes in countries around the globe.
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The U.S. sanctions against Iran are particularly brutal. While they have utterly failed to advance U.S. regime change goals, they have provoked growing tensions with U.S. trading partners across the world, and inflicted terrible pain on the ordinary people of Iran. Although food and medicines are technically exempt from sanctions, U.S. sanctions against Iranian banks like Parsian Bank, Iran’s largest non-state-owned bank, make it nearly impossible to process payments for imported goods, and that includes food and medicine. The resulting shortage of medicines is sure to cause thousands of preventable deaths in Iran, and the victims will be ordinary working people, not Ayatollahs or government ministers.