TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A former US government adviser slammed Washington for imposing new sanctions on a number of Iranian individuals and companies under false pretexts, saying the move is in breach of the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.

“The sanctionsare certainly in violation of the spirit of the agreement,” Paul Larudee from San Francisco said in an interview with the Press Shia Agency News Agency.

“They are intended to harm Iran and provide pretexts for increased future harm, as well as to prepare the US public for addition hostile US actions against Iran,” he added.

Larudee is an Iranian-born American political activist and human rights volunteer, who works with the International Solidarity Movement. He is a former contracted US government adviser to Saudi Arabia and a founder of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements.


Following is the full text of the interview:

Press Shia Agency: On Thursday, US President Donald Trump once again denounced the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany), as “one of the worst deals I've ever seen” and pledged to act on it later in October. As you know, as a candidate, Trump repeatedly slammed the deal as “horrible”, pledging to “tear up” the accord if elected. In your opinion, what are the reasons behind such harsh remarks and what geopolitical objectives is Trump pursuing?

Larudee: Trump is being influenced by Israel and Saudi Arabia, and by the neoconservative movement in the US that has dominated US policy for decades. The neoconservative view is that any country that doesn't welcome US economic exploitation, as well as US political domination and foreign policy control, must undergo regime change.  This usually involves the use of force, and often extreme force, as we have seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and the attempt in Syria. The next is Iran because they want their "allies" in control of the region, including Iran. Part of their concern is with Hezbollah and its lifeline through Syria, Iraq, and Iran.  Once again, it is all about Israel, the only state in the region that the US has no desire to control because Israel exercises so much control over the political process in the US, and especially its foreign policy.

Press Shia Agency: According to media reports, the US agreed to continue for now to exempt Iran from nuclear-related sanctions but imposed new embargoes on 11 Iranian people and companies, accusing them of trumped-up charges like involvement in cyber-attacks against the US financial system. Do not you think that the new sanctions are in violation of the spirit of the JCPOA? What would the move signal to the public opinion on Washington’s commitment to its international deals?

Larudee: The charges are certainly in violation of the spirit of the agreement. They are intended to harm Iran and to provide pretexts for increased future harm, as well as to prepare the US public for addition hostile US actions against Iran.  It is warfare by other means, seeking surrender.  The US wants Iran to end its support of Hezbollah and of the Palestinian resistance to Israeli ethnic cleansing.  Most treaties and agreements are intended conclude or at least advance peace.  In this case, Trump and the US foreign policy cabal are using the JCPOA as a means to advance war.

Press Shia Agency: On September 8, US House of Representatives voted to block sales of commercial aircraft to Iran. This is while, a number of Iranian airlines, including Iran Air and Iran Aseman Airlines, have signed deals with US plane-maker Boeing to buy nearly 180 airplanes. What problems can the decision by the US House of Representatives create for the agreements?

Larudee: This is another form of low-intensity warfare which, like all warfare, causes destruction to both sides. The US clearly gains by selling its aircraft, and Iran gains by acquiring the means to expand its civil and commercial aviation.  The nullification of the deal causes problems for both, although Iran can probably find alternatives from other suppliers of commercial aircraft. It also potentially ties up Iranian funds in US banks, that were released or unfrozen under the JCPOA, and slows the use of those funds. It is clearly a hostile act.