Iran’s deteriorating economic situation will likely bolster the power of the country’s most reactionary forces
The Independent Voices
Donald Trump’s reintroduction of sanctions on Iran – overwhelmingly deplored by the international community with the exception of Israel and a Saudi-led bloc – has now come into force making the world, in many ways, a more uncertain and dangerous place.
Tehran marked the fateful day with air defence drills and military manoeuvres with President Hassan Rouhani saying, “We are in a war situation.” An armed conflict is not about to break out, but the punitive US measures can certainly be seen as a declaration of economic war against his country.
“We are confronting a bullying enemy. We have to stand to win,” Rouhani stated. Trump has been called a bully and far worse many times. It is, however, unclear who will emerge as the winner from this bitter confrontation. There is the possibility that in Iran President Rouhani and his reformist government are among the casualties, with the hardliners and conservative clerics emerging as winners.
The constant charge those of us covering the last parliamentary and presidential elections in Iran heard from the hardliners was that the west, and especially the US, could not be trusted. The Rouhani administration, ran the accusatory narrative, betrayed national security by curtailing the nuclear programme in return for empty promises.
As the economic situation in Iran continues to deteriorate, there is every chance that popular unrest, which has already been in evidence, will grow, strengthening the hand of the reactionary factions as the next elections come.