Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami (File)
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have converted comprehensive US sanctions, threatening to break the Islamic Republic’s fragile economy, into “perfect opportunities for progress”.
The Guards’ deputy commander, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, said Iran has risen to rebuff far more serious challenges in the past and has turned threats into strengthening of its defense power, political and regional influence, scientific growth, and economic independence.
“Today, the situation is in favor of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and there is no reason for concern,” he declared.
The Revolutionary Guards, through their firms and access to funds, control much of Iran’s economy. Some analysts argue that they benefit from sanctions through black market operations and currency manipulation as well as their advantage over private concerns.
The Trump Administration, which withdrew in May from the 2015 nuclear agreement, imposed the full range of American sanctions on Monday. Focusing on the energy and financial sectors, the Treasury added more than 300 individuals and entities to a sanctions blacklist.
The Administration says it will completely eliminate Iran’s oil exports. In the first stage, it has issued waivers to eight countries — including Tehran’s largest customers China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Turkey — if they reduce purchases through March.
Oil sales provide about half of the Government’s revenue.
Before the imposition of the sanctions, Iran’s top officials maintained that it is the US which will be isolated and weakened. The Supreme Leader argued last week, “In this 40-year-old challenge, the American side has been defeated and the side of the Islamic Republic has been victorious.”