US Sanctions on Iran Losing Effect Day by Day: Finnish Economist

News ID: 1537828 Service: Politics
JON Hellevig

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Finnish political economist and author said as Western countries, including the US, are losing their share of the global economy, the sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran are getting "weaker and weaker in effect".

"The sanctions - like those on Russia, too - are becoming weaker and weaker in effect as the West’s share of the global economy is shrinking," Jon Hellevig said in an interview with Tasnim News Agency.

Jon Krister Hellevig is a Finnish lawyer and businessman who has worked in Russia since the early 1990s. Hellevig was a candidate in the European parliament election in 2014. He is the managing partner of the Moscow-based law company Hellevig, Klein & Usov. Hellevig has written several books, including Avenir Guide to Russian Taxes (2002, 2003, 2006 English and Russian editions); Avenir Guide to Labor Laws (2002, 2003, 2006 English and Russian editions). Expressions and Interpretations, a book on the philosophy of law and the development of Russian legal practices; Hellevig takes actively part in public discussion of current affairs and social structure contributing with articles and commentary in the media. He regularly lectures at international seminars on various topics.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Tasnim: As you know, US President Donald Trump, in his first address to a session of the UN General Assembly, claimed that Iran’s “support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing.” In your opinion, what are the reasons behind such harsh remarks and what geopolitical objectives is Trump pursuing? Is it Iran the one that supports terrorism?

Hellevig: Unfortunately, Donald Trump, cannot anymore be considered as a president in full capacity, as the American Deep State has the real power in the United States. Therefore, we should not consider anything Trump says in regards to foreign relations as his genuine policy initiatives as he is rather reading from the script provided by the true regime behind his back. The Deep State consists of the wealthiest members of the plutocracy and the leaders of the military-intelligence complex, and the US mainstream media which is owned by the plutocracy and used it as a propaganda tool. Those interest groups are closely allied with Iran’s self-proclaimed enemies among those neighboring countries, most notably Israel and Saudi Arabia. It is very well known that on the contrary those countries guided by the US are precisely the ones that have been spreading terrorism in the Middle East of which the latest tragic example are the mercenary terrorist armies that they have financed and coordinated to unleash an invasion of Syria. And on the contrary, it is Iran who has consistently been the responsible country that has committed vast resources to fight the terrorist threat, including that in Syria.

There is no reason whatsoever to think that Trump, the palace hostage, would not know how things actually stand. Therefore, I would not refrain from saying bluntly that his statement does not amount to anything else than a giant propaganda bluff, made in the interest to promote the geopolitical interests of Iran’s enemies and the US Deep State.

Tasnim: According to media reports, the US has recently 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 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the Group 5+1, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? What would the move signal to the public opinion on Washington’s commitment to its international agreements?

Hellevig: Obviously the sanctions are in violation of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; there is no question about that. The US and its allies are known to impose arbitrary sanctions on countries, corporations and people for political reasons without even any attempt to justify them, there simply exists no system of rule-of-law, which could possibly impede them from taking this extra-judicial actions. The latest sanctions on those Iranian people and the corporations are just more of the same. However, the sanctions - like those on Russia, too – are becoming weaker and weaker in effect as the West’s share of the global economy is shrinking.

Tasnim: US House of Representatives recently 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?

Hellevig: In addition to the US House of Representatives vote the measure would also have to be approved by the US Senate, therefore it is too early to say if this actually would become law. But obviously it is harmful as it is because it casts dark clouds on the deals that have already been signed or could be signed. There is a constant risk that the US could any day actually prohibit such sales, even after payment has been done. The situation is made worse by the fact that unfortunately, the European aircraft makers – as they use American supplies – will also have to abide by US restrictions.

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