Tabnak - As it was anticipated from the start, the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States gave the republican hardliners in the congress a new impetus to devise a roadmap for a more aggressive foreign policy and to push the administration toward such direction. Now, after taking tough positions against Iran’s ballistic missiles program during about the last two weeks, the GOP senators are preparing the ground for the new phase: Imposing a new round of sanctions against Iran.
According to a recent Washington Post report, a number of high-ranking US lawmakers are mulling the ways to increase the pressure on Iran over its ballistic missile program. They apparently believe that Trump’s recent move to extend the existing sanctions over some more people and companies in reaction to Iran’s last missile test and also the warnings issued against Iran by the members of his administration, are not enough to stop Iran from pursuing its activities and much more should be done in this respect.
"I want a lot more to happen – a lot more to happen,” Washington Post quoted Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker as saying, adding that at the same time, he credited Trump administration for at least acting "quickly, instead of waiting and dilly-dallying around” after the announcement.
Based on the same report, the US lawmakers "want a more across-the-board approach that targets Tehran with mandatory sanctions aimed at not only its missile program but also for cyber threats, espionage, and the activities of the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps”.
It should be noted that in parallel to recent claims raised by the US officials against Iran’s ballistic missile program, there also have been some speculations about the possibility of labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist group” by Trump administration, an unprecedented move which could mean a direct confrontation with one of internationally recognized parts of Iran’s regular armed forces.
If we have a deeper look to the issue, we could clearly see that those who are favoring a fresh round of sanctions against Iran, are exactly those who were for long against Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA) and tried hard to stop the agreement from taking shape.
Indeed, during his electoral campaign, Donald Trump himself harshly criticized the nuclear agreement and even talked about the possibility of tearing it up once he becomes president. However, it is now proved that in his fight against the deal, he could only count on his hardline GOP fellas in the congress and neither the democratic lawmakers nor the other parties of the deal – namely the three European countries, Russia and China – won’t accept any revision, referring that Iran has so far kept its commitments according to the deal.
In such circumstances, it seems that the US republicans have diverted their efforts to developing a new strategy, namely increasing the pressure on Iran with excuses other than the nuclear issue itself, until Tehran chooses to quit the deal. Thus, actions such as raising new sanction legislations and talks about black-listing the Revolutionary Guard are nothing but parts of this new strategy.
This is while the Iranian officials have long declared that Iran won’t be the first party who quits the deal, but if the other party does so, the Islamic Republic has its own options to react. All in all, given the fact that the other parties of the deal are strongly supporting it and while the nature of the recent anti-Iran moves in the US is clear for all, Trump has a very hard path ahead to realize its goals through such measures.