1) What is your opinion about the Iranian regime’s decision to stop complying with some parts of the nuclear deal?
After President Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Nuclear Deal, the Iranian regime, despite its initial threats that it would also exit the deal with 5+1 as soon as the US did so, continued to remain in the deal in order to a wedge between the US and its European partners with the intention of preventing a regime change in Iran. However, as that strategy failed, and as the European countries eventually sided with the US, the Iranian regime is now resorting to threats of escalation. President Rouhani announced on Wednesday that the Iranian regime would start to enrich uranium up to the levels banned by the nuclear deal. However, the truth is, the regime always maintained the capability to enrich uranium. It only kept a low profile for a while so that it could wait the Trump Administration out. Now that the regime sees that strategy is not working, it hopes to deter the US and her allies in the Middle East through escalation and threat of all-out war. Soon that will also become a failed strategy.
2) Can the Iranian regime close the Strait Hormuz?
Technically speaking, it can. The strait is a narrow waterway, and the Iranian regime has strategic advantages in that area. However, even if the regime closes the strait, I don’t believe it will be able to keep it closed for an extended period of time. That is because the US will not stand aside, and will certainly force-open the strait. A large US task force with aircraft carries and strategic bombers is already in the Persian Gulf.
3) After Pompeo’s visit to Iraq, how can America control Iran’s economic investments in Baghdad?
The Iraqi government, so to speak, has been pressed between a rock and a hard place for the past couple of decades. On the one hand it wants to keep its good relationship with the US; on the other, it does not want to alienate a belligerent and interventionist Iranian regime. As such, it has had to steer the narrow waters between the two powerful enemies for close to two decades after the fall of Saddam Hussein. However, as the balance is tipped towards the US and against the Iranian regime in the Middle East, the Iraq government will eventually land on the side of the US. That will give the US the power to crack down on the Iranian regime’s investments in Iraq, not only in the financial sector but also in the political and military spheres.
4) Do you expect the United States to issue further sanctions on the Iranian regime, including on the Iranian natural gas?
Yes. It has indeed become difficult to keep track of the sanctions on the Iranian regime, as the US government virtually keeps issuing sanctions on a daily basis. As such, I believe the gas as well as other natural and industrial resources and assets can also be placed under sanction soon. However, in my opinion, it is mandatory that the Iranian Army be put on the terrorist list as soon as possible. That is because the army commanders have been strongly advocating for the Revolutionary Guards and their confrontational stance towards the United States. They have also indicated that they would crack down on domestic protests if they broke out across Iran.
5) After putting the IRGC on the terrorist list, do you expect the Houthi militias to also be banned؟he s Iran can n w can America ?
Yes. I expect all the militias affiliated with and supported by the Iranian regime across the Middle East to be put on the terrorist list. That includes the Houthis in Yemen, the Hash al-Shabi in Iraq, the Fatemiyun and the Zaynabiun in Afghanistan, and a host of others. That is because these militias act as the arms of the Iranian regime across the region. If the regime is to be confronted, its arms in the region must be cut off first.