In our last post, we shared why the Iran nuclear deal was dumped and some of the implications. This is a follow up. Keep in mind that as this is taking place, there appears to be further evidence that North Korea has, in fact, is abandoning its nuclear program. We remain cautiously optimistic on that front but also wary of deception.
Very recently, the Iranian regime has called out America's Economic War Room. What we'd like to make clear is that the Economic War Room is something that we are developing and is not government sponsored. We know that there are many readers of this Blog in Iran. We also remember that the Iranian government borrowed my book title shortly after Secret Weapon was released. Now, they are accusing our government and Treasury Department of having created an Economic War Room. In truth, that's not a bad idea at all although we feel such a war room should be located outside of both Washington and Wall Street.
As you know, there is a new Economic War Room and it is created with you in mind, to help Americans navigate the treacherous waters of the global economic war already underway. We are in production on the first segments now. You can register at www.economicwarroom.com to be informed when the first airings will happen. We will, of course, cover Iran as part of that effort.
One thing about Iran is clear. The regime is in trouble. The (London) Times had a strong article on Friday that makes this point:
Behind the bombast and sabre‑rattling, Iran is totteringWoolfman
As tensions grow with Israel and the West, the Islamic republic faces rising resentment on the home front…. [The article can be found here (registration required)]
Of course, abandoning the Iran deal is not without risk. CNBC reported that Iran may use existing cyber weapons to retaliate in the case or reimposed sanctions. In addition, the potential use of sanctions has clear and profound implications for oil prices. Thus, when you start to look at all that is going on, it becomes increasingly clear that Iran is a serious economic warfare battleground. Even the Washington Post has acknowledged that the key to Iran is economic:
The debate over the Iranian nuclear deal has so far largely neglected a factor that potentially gives the United States leverage: the deteriorating economic and political situation in Iran. The Trump administration should integrate this factor into its strategy.
Iran's currency, the rial, has lost 25 percent of its value against the dollar in the past several weeks. Two weeks ago, Tehran decided to set up an official exchange rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar, but that move is unlikely to succeed, given that the market prices the rial at 60,000 to the dollar, some 43 percent less. Inflation is also very high.
Iranians are also struggling to contend with a severe credit crisis; several financial institutions have gone bankrupt, depriving depositors of their savings. Iranian expatriates brought a considerable amount of capital back into the country after the nuclear deal's signing, but that sense of initial optimism has long since dissipated (along with those funds). The current economic situation, combined with uncertainty about the future, are leading to capital flight, a decline in investment and high unemployment. The International Monetary Fund expects joblessness to remain above 11 percent…
We believe that economic pressure is what brought North Korea to the possibility of ending its nuclear program. Hopefully, economic moves can also push Iran that direction. The reality is that a strong undercurrent of dissatisfaction existed even before President Trump pulled out of the Iran deal. This will only worsen over time. From The Wall Street Journal:
Labor Strikes and Worker Protests Erupt Across Iran: ‘This is Slavery'
Workers turn against not only employers but also the government, over inflation, unpaid wages and failed promises of the nuclear dealAsa Fitch
Teachers went on strike in central Iran's city of Yazd. Steelworkers and hospital staff walked off the job in the southwest city of Ahvaz. Railway employees protested near Tabriz. And a bus drivers union in Tehran battled the private companies that control many city routes.
These were among the hundreds of recent outbreaks of labor unrest in Iran, an indication of deepening discord over the nation's economic troubles. Workers are turning not only against their employers but also Iran's government, piling pressure on leaders who promised but failed to deliver better times in the two years since economic sanctions were lifted in the nuclear deal…. [To CONTINUE READING at WSJ (Registration May Be Required.)]
It is important to remember that the Iran deal was forced upon us without Senate approval and amidst a very deceptive public relations program as Ben Shapiro explains.
The lies were well orchestrated and designed to fool the American people. Ben Rhodes, architect of the deal admitted as much although he would not use the term "deceptive" and later attempted to "walk back" the admission as explained in this FoxNews video. The Administration even appeared to delete video that showed its deception.
After Congress began to question why the video was deleted, the State Department appeared to return it and called the removal a "glitch."
The bottom line is this. When the Iran deal was put in place, it was heavily sold via a manipulated narrative. The Senate was not required to ratify the deal. There were numerous false statements not dissimilar to "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." The Iran deal propped up the regime for a period (there were protests but the Obama Administration did not assist despite pleas for help), but dissension re-emerged when the money ran out. While there are differing reports of just how much money was given (NPR reported $100 billion based on Treasury Department figures), the fact is that at least some of the money was used to support terrorism. The Obama Iran deal also derailed a powerful American anti-terrorism program. The Israelis have documented that Iran was cheating anyway.
Now, President Trump has made the decision to pull out of the deal. It is likely that sanctions will be reimposed and the Economic War is on. We believe this could well spell the end of an increasingly unpopular regime. We are watching the Middle East and Asia being reshaped in powerful ways. We are even seeing dramatic reform in Saudi Arabia. While everything appears to be heading the right direction, only time will tell as to how effective and conclusive these developments are. One thing is certain. The weapons being used are primarily economic.