i think le drian is only pretending to be anti-american

Pindostan Enraged After 6 More EU Nations Join INSTEX
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Nov 30 2019

On Friday six European countries issued a bombshell joint statement declaring their intent to join INSTEX, or the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, a European special-purpose vehicle serving as a ‘SWIFT alternative’ to bypass Pindo sanctions on Iran. Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark & Finland released a joint statement asserting:

It’s of the utmost importance to the preservation and full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) on Iran’s nuclear program by all parties involved. In light of the continuous European support for the agreement and the ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, we are now in the process of becoming shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (Instex) subject to completion of national procedures/

Instex is an initiative set up by France, Germany and the UK in Jan 2019 to provide humanitarian and sanctions relief to Iran after in Nov 2018 the SWIFT network suspended Iranian banks under Pindo pressure. Though the new alternative financial device had shaky beginnings amid further aggressive threats from the Pindo administration, it continued through a trial phase even though Tehran officials had complained it appeared ‘too little, too late.’ But now as this latest six country statement announces, it will serve as the European vehicle to “facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran,” while also providing incentive for Tehran to return to its commitments under the JCPOA, specifically to recently breached uranium enrichment limits. Pindo Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell lambasted the move, specifically calling out a tweet by Norway’s ambassador to Iran hailing the news of multiple Scandinavian countries joining the nuclear deal-saving initiative:

The White House is using the latest weeks-long protests and government-ordered internet blockage inside Iran to keep up the pressure and focus on a ‘human rights’ narrative amid the security forces crackdown. Despite the criticism and what will no doubt be a continued flood of official Pindo anger in response to the news, France said it asserts European autonomy amid an overreaching Faschingstein administration. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian called it an “important decision” that will show “Europe’s autonomy of action.”

Imperialist powers intensify pressure on Iranian regime in wake of protests
Jordan Shilton, WSWS, Nov 30 2019

French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian announced this week that Paris is considering triggering a mechanism in the Iran nuclear accord that would facilitate the imposition of UNSC sanctions on Tehran. The provocative declaration is the latest example of a concerted drive by the imperialist powers to intensify pressure on the bourgeois nationalist Iranian regime following the outbreak of protests against fuel price hikes earlier this month. Le Drian said during a parliamentary hearing:

Every two months, there is another dent, to the point where today we ask ourselves, and I’m saying this very clearly, about the implementation of the dispute resolution mechanism that exists in the deal.

The French foreign minister was referring to steps taken by the Iranian regime to reduce its compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord, in response to the abandonment of the deal by Pindostan and the refusal of the Euro vassals to abide by trade and investment commitments they made as part of the agreement. Le Drian also cited unsubstantiated claims that Iran has sponsored attacks on Toad interests in the region, a reference to the unexplained attacks on a series of oil tankers in the Persian Gulf this past summer, and the firing of missiles by Houthis in Yemen at Toad oil infrastructure. The reality is that the escalation of tensions with Iran arises from Pindo imperialism’s reckless drive to consolidate its control over the world’s most important energy-producing region. Over the past 30 years, Pindo imperialism has laid waste to entire societies across the Middle East and Central Asia, from Iraq to Syria and Afghanistan, in a desperate effort to offset its global economic decline with military force. Far from being a peaceful move, the Obama administration’s support for the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 was aimed principally at bullying Tehran into submission while maintaining Faschingstein’s right to launch provocations and outright military attacks at any time. Obama himself admitted that the only alternative to the agreement was war. Trump’s abandonment of the nuclear deal last year has been combined with the increased deployment of Pindo forces & equipment to the region. At the same time, Trump has strengthened Faschingstein’s support for the despotic Toads, the Gulf states and the right-wing Israeli government, with the aim of pushing back Iranian influence in the Middle East and preparing for military conflict.

Le Drian’s latest comments underscore that the European powers are prepared to resort to no less ruthless means to achieve their interests. Although they opposed Trump’s departure from the nuclear agreement and pledged to create a financial mechanism that would permit Iran to trade with Europe, the pledge was quickly shelved. Iran has responded, as it is entitled to do if the other parties to the JCPoA fail to fulfill their obligations, by reducing its compliance with the restrictions on its nuclear activities. Tehran is now operating 60 IR-6 centrifuges, which were prohibited under the deal and can enrich uranium 10 times faster than other centrifuges. Pres Rouhani has also indicated that Iranian scientists will soon start injecting uranium gas into 1,000 centrifuges at a secret facility. Not to be outdone by its French counterpart, Pindo imperialism has seized on the recent protests in Iran to further intensify tensions. On Tuesday, Pompeo seized on the protests to accuse the bourgeois-clerical regime of “human rights” abuses. Pompeo asserted that the Pindo government had received some 20,000 messages documenting the violent suppression of the protests, but avoided commenting on details. He went on to threaten the imposition of further sanctions on Iran for “human rights abuses.”

It is indubitable that the imperialist powers led by Pindostan are endeavouring to foment violent right-wing opposition to the Iranian regime to advance their own reactionary agenda, which includes the economic crippling of the Iranian regime and preparations for war. That being said, the opposition of growing numbers of workers and poor to the Iranian government is being driven by mounting social tensions. While chief responsibility for the deepening social and economic crisis in the country of 80 million people lies with the brutal sanctions imposed by the imperialist powers, the crisis also underscores the reactionary character of the bourgeois nationalist regime, which is stepping up its attacks on the working class as it seeks to manoeuvre for a deal with the major powers. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli acknowledged this week that around 200,000 people joined the protests, which led to the shutting down of internet service for close to a week. Some 7,000 protesters were detained by the regime. According to Amnesty International, at least 143 protesters were killed by the authorities’ violent crackdown on demonstrations. Tehran has challenged this figure, alleging that only a dozen or so people were killed in what they characterized as violent clashes between thugs and security forces. It is also alleged that over 700 banks and 50 military bases were attacked across the country. Anger at privately owned banks has reportedly increased due to a series of corruption cases in which customers have lost money. The hiking of fuel prices by 50% has had a ripple effect on prices for other commodities. Rice, oil, bread and dairy products have increased by between 5% and 10%. The country’s official news agency reported that costs for transport, messenger services and moving goods have jumped by 50%. The Iranian rial has tumbled from 32k/$ when the nuclear agreement was struck to 126k/$ today, making costs for basic necessities even more unaffordable.

When the protests initially broke out, officials including Pres Rouhani acknowledged that people had a right to be angry at the price hike and to protest. Seeking to quell the opposition, the government began making payments into Iranians’ bank accounts, stating that up to three quarters of the population would be eligible for financial support to help offset the increased cost of fuel. However, the regime appears to be retreating on this pledge, with Minister of Labour and Welfare Mohammad Shariatmadari declaring that the government will have to review the bank accounts, assets and trips abroad of all Iranians to determine eligibility. While implementing attacks on workers and the poor, the Iranian regime is also responding to the stepped-up pressure of the imperialists by deepening its strategic and military cooperation with Russia and China. Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, commander of the maritime branch of the Iranian army, recently announced:

Iran, Russia and China will conduct joint military drills in the Indian Ocean in the near future. Planning meetings for the exercise were completed in October. A joint war game between several countries, whether on land, at sea or in the air, indicates a remarkable expansion of cooperation, (which will) carry the same message to the world, that these three countries have reached a meaningful strategic point in their relations, (which will) help secure collective security in the region..

There can be no doubt that Pindo imperialism and its allies are chiefly responsible for the tense stand-off in the Persian Gulf and the mounting threat of war across the region, through their provocations and bullying. But the claim made by the Iranian regime that “collective security” can be achieved by establishing a closer military alliance with Beijing and Moscow is reactionary through and through. Such a development merely increases the likelihood that a Pindo-instigated provocation could rapidly escalate into a region-wide conflagration that would quickly draw all of the major powers into a catastrophic war fought with nuclear weapons.

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