Amid growing tensions in the Middle East, including speculation about a possible Israeli attack on Iran, a key US Congressional committee passed two bills last Wednesday that would impose sweeping new economic and diplomatic sanctions on Tehran.
The legislation, which includes sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank and strict curbs on official diplomatic contacts between Washington and Tehran, was approved unanimously by voice vote of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives.
Without a doubt, such legislation making headway in Congress is likely to further tensions in the region, particularly in the wake of US accusations last month that “elements” of Iran’s government plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington DC and word of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu actively considering an attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.
My personal opinion on this new round of HARD sanctions and its impact is the following:
a) Israel is done waiting for the International community to make up its mind in how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions and would rather take its chances now rather than later when Iran becomes nuclear with capabilities that as stated by President Ahmadinejad could “wipe Israel off the map”.
b) The United States has finally come to the conclusion that the current regime in Tehran is incapable of engaging in a constructive dialogue with the free world simply for the fact that it is inherently in opposition to liberal democratic ideals and is hellbent on its own version of how the “new world order” should look like based on expansionist Islamic laws. And
c) By putting a choke-hold on the oil and banking sector controlled by the IRGC, the free world will certainly increase the chances of an internal revolt that is secular and democratic (the green movement).
It will be interesting to see how the regime in Tehran reacts to this round of hard sanctions.