Monday, March 24, 2008

US Declares War on Iran

Washington is now making the most ruthless use of its dollar hegemony against Iran. It just declared war on the entirety of Iran's banking system and will blackmail China, Europe, Japan, et al. to cut off Iran financially.
(1) the March 20 advisory [of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a unit within the US Treasury Department] represents a US declaration of war by sanctions on Iran and a sanctions threat to the international banking community, (2) the US has various unilateral financial sanctions measures at its command in the form of executive orders and Patriot Act Section 311 and (3) the BDA-North Korea sanctions were, at least in retrospect, a test run for Iran.

If the US succeeds, an international quarantine on Iran's banks would disrupt Iran's financial linkages with the world by blocking its ability to process cross-border payments for goods and services exported and imported. Without those linkages Iran is unlikely to be able to engage in global trade and commerce. As 30% of Iran's GDP in 2005 was imports of goods and services and 20% was non-oil exports (World Bank and other data), a large chunk of Iran's economy would shrivel up. The repercussions will be painful and extend well beyond lost business and profits. For example, treating curable illnesses will become difficult. According to an Iranian health ministry official, Iran produces 95% of its own medicines but most pharmaceutical-related raw materials are imported. (John McGlynn, "The March 20, 2008 US Declaration of War on Iran," MRZine, 24 March 2008)
Make no mistake: this economic war is a strategy pursued by both Democrats and Republicans, realists and adventurists alike: Daniel Dombey, "Senators Urge Formal Sanctions," Financial Times, 6 March 2008.

The dollar hegemony is declining (cf. Jeffrey Frankel, "The Euro Could Surpass the Dollar within Ten Years," Vox, 18 March 2008; Wolfgang Münchau, "This Crisis Could Bring the Euro Centre-stage," Financial Times, 23 March 2008), but will it decline fast enough for the Iranians?

The ruling clerics of Iran are able leaders who have run their country with a surer hand than leftists would have, but this presents them with the greatest challenge since Saddam Hussein, backed by the West, invaded Iran -- perhaps even a greater challenge, since at least the richest third of Iranians are not made of the same stuff as those who made the revolution and defended Iran's sovereignty in the eight-year-long war.


Unknown said...

Iran met with FATF bod Daniel Glaser in mid Feb at IRI's request and they expected to meet again April, yes this is a sign of something changing, a hardening in position, shit. And as others have observed the point of sanctions is to weaken your target prior to military action. The N. Korea history shows that the only thing that deters such an attack is actually having the nukes they accuse you of and Iran doesn't have those. Busy little news dump easter bunnies, they stick the knife in while no ones looking so any counter move by Iran can be portrayed as an offensive action, not a reaction.
Are you going to cross post at STNH?

Naj said...

Yes they are pushing Iran, aren't they?

But I think what they are really trying to do is to arm wrestle with China!

I think Israel lobby is pushing hard for a war. But I also think Cheney's looking for a new mess. There is no way these dirty humans will concede power CLEANLY. They will live the upcoming president enough shit to feed these flies.

I think what is going to happen is that Iran is going to sustain itself through black markets. America doesn't do business with Iranian banks? Screw America! They'll smuggle things in and out as they did during the Iran/Iraq war.

Joshi, you are right, the richest of Iran cannot be trusted with keeping it safe. But, hey, we are here; and we are not potatoes exactly!

I maintain faith that America will loose this war; and will loose it for good!

Ya Boi said...

That's America for ya so caught up in living the American dream that we can't even wake up long enough to see that the powers that be are playing us like puppets. I try so hard to tell people about these things but they seem to be too blind to listen. God don't like the ugly he has a way of dealing with the nations and i know our time has come to reap what we have sown. We are not all bad this I know but I guess we all have to answer to the sins of our fathers. I love my country but I do hate what it has become.