The regime is backing the supreme leader’s words with action. Days after Mr Khamenei spoke, Tehran announced the setting up of a “high council for economic co-ordination” to harmonise the republic’s response to the reimposition of US nuclear sanctions.
“With the formation of this council, Iran’s ‘economic war room’ has officially started working,” said an Iranian executive close to the regime. “We can and will resist the US.”
Tehran’s new council includes the heads of the executive, the parliament and the judiciary, a centre of hardliners’ power, another sign of the regime closing ranks despite the deep rivalries between political factions.
“Now the fate of Iran, the ruling state and the government [of Mr Rouhani] are all tied up,” said Eshaq Jahangiri, a vice-president and leading reformist.
The first decision the new economic council made was to accelerate the implementation of an action plan the country adopted in 2016 under the Financial Action Task Force, the Paris-based body that aims to shield the world’s financial system against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
That met an important demand of European states that are battling to save the deal, but also believe that Tehran has to do more to address some of the US’s concerns, including that the regime sponsors regional militant groups.
Mr Khamenei has said he views the US Treasury, rather than the defence department, as Mr Trump’s “war room”, highlighting the widespread Iranian belief that Washington hopes to destabilise the country through punitive economic measures.
Tehran is now desperate to keep open financing lines with European banks to help cushion the impact of US sanctions. The regime also wants to safeguard its oil exports, currently about 2.5m barrels a day and the lifeline of the struggling economy.
“As long as we can sell oil — even if [it is] 600,000 barrels less — and have access to petrodollars, we can survive,” said Saeed Laylaz, a reform-minded expert on Iran’s political economy. “We will be fine with these third-and fourth-tier European banks and companies that are working with Iran now.”
...Iranian analysts expect Tehran to stay in the deal, even as the regime harbours concerns that the three European states will align with Washington in pressuring the regime over its regional influence and ballistic missile programme.
Both regime hardliners and reformers are united in the belief that Iran’s presence in countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Iraq is a matter of national security.
“We will continue to be a good boy and stay in the nuclear deal, but without making any compromise on regional and defence issues,” said the executive close to the regime.
The North Korean model
(or build a bomb, any bomb, it doesn’t have to go off, as long as it is radioactive)
Iran has never needed nuclear energy. It’s been the Mollafia’s aim to build a bomb to preserve the regime. Later it also served as a ruse to make it a national issue with the same strategic purpose. Those who oppose the regime must disabuse themselves of nationalistic arguments about nuclear capability. Moreover the Mollafia has been following its ally’s playbook. If you build it you will get the respect you don’t deserve.
The Islamic Republic’s problem is that it does not have the strong sponsor that North Korea has, namely China. North Korea having developed what it needed - detonating an atomic bomb 15 times the power of the bomb that destroyed
Hiroshima - having succeeded to lob missiles over Japan and having caused a geological disaster in its nuclear test site came under pressure by China to back off.
If the Trump administration can claim any success it would be its persuasion of China to bring its lackey to heal as part of the trade negotiations. The outcome of Turmp Singapore sleep over with Rocket Man will be keenly watched by Tehran.