Is Pompeo’s Iran Action Group Admission to Defeat?
US Forms ‘Iran Action Group’ to Cooperate Anti-Tehran Policies
Alwaght- The US Department of State has recently formed the so-called “Iran Action Group”, to more seriously continue its decades-long unceasing campaign of pressure against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave the news to the media on Friday, during a press conference that saw him unveiling the head of the group. He told the media that Brian Hook, who serves as Director of Policy Planning and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State, will be in charge on top.
Pompeo added that the task of the body, directly operating under his supervision, is coordinating all of affairs in relation to Iran.
“The Iran Action Group will be responsible directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity,” he was quoted as saying.
The American diplomacy chief continued that the US will press ahead with its policy of putting strains on Iran until it sees signals of substantial change in the Iranian behavior both at home and abroad.
Iran Action Group created on 1953 coup anniversary
US announced formation of the anti-Iran action group on the 66th anniversary of the US and Britain-orchestrated military coup against the democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Dr Mohammad Mossadegh.
In 1953, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sent to Iran suitcases full of dollars asked for by Department of State’s Dulles Brothers, John Foster and Allen, and the Kermit Roosevelt, who at the time served as the CIA’s Near East and Africa chief, for a secret operation, with the final aim being toppling the popular Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and restoring to the rule the fugitive monarch Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi who fled the country to Italy three days before Mossadegh was ousted. The coup, codenamed Operation Ajax, was launched on August 16, 1953, against the prime minister but it failed at the first attempt, only to succeed three days later.
In 2013, the CIA for the first time in six decades declassified the documents, admitting that Washington secretly planned the operation and supported the coup plotters. To date, the coup remains a bitter pattern of the foreign intervention in the memory of the Iranian people.
After 65 years on the anniversary of the ousting the popularly-elected PM, the US appears to play the old game as the State Department has decided to launch its Iran Action Group for pressing Tehran. The group appears to have a mission similar to the 1953 operation: to break Iran’s resistance to the West’s excesses and neo-colonialist meddling. But Iran of 2018 is way different from that of 1953. Political, social, and structural differences between two periods of Iran makes the American group’s plan stillborn.
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted criticism of Washington's anti-Iran move, saying "Now an action group dreams of doing the same through pressure misinformation and demagoguery -- never again."
Iran Action, two years after Trump took office
From another aspect, the Action Group is created in the second year of the Trump administration. This issue, the analysts suggest, is expressive of the White House’s inability to press Tehran to change its policies. Despite the anti-Iranian threats and warnings, over the past two years, the only practical steps the White House could take were pulling out of the nuclear deal, reached between Iran and six world powers in 2015, and forming the Iran Action Group whose job is never new to the American foreign policy.
Trump during his campaign-time speeches only threatened that he will withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), once he is elected president of the US. In early May, he signed a law moving the US out of the JCPOA and re-imposing the sanctions. And now and three months later, he has formed an expert body at the State Department, announcing that the sanctions are to reach their peak in November. So, until the embargo is fully reinstated, two years of the Trump presidency life had gone. In the remaining two years, he will throw his maximum weight behind the accurate implementation of the anti-Tehran sanctions.
Trump said he wants to reduce the Iranian oil exports to “zero.” But he faces practical obstacles. The European Union top members, France and Germany, along with China and Russia, four of which are signatories of the nuclear deal, said they oppose the US sanctions and work to keep the deal running. Iran’s neighbors Iraq and Turkey said they are not committed to the renewed ban and will continue trade with Tehran. All these make the White House find it a trouble implementing the embargo to get the desired results.
Clear enough, the group is formed to create a milieu of psychological pressure against Tehran using a fierce media campaign. So, at least in the first term, Trump will not do anything but verbal threats. The Action Group comes a few days after Iran’s Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei asserted Iran will not talk to the “treacherous” Trump administration.
The new group is never new to a string of anti-Iranian measures taken by the US, and is believed not to be the last. Former President Bill Clinton formed “Special Iran Desk”. His successor George W. Bush created “Iranians’ Affairs Office”, and Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama formed “Network for Communication with Iranian Elites.” All of these pursued a single objective: Changing Iran’s behavior. Pompeo also set the similar goal for his group, perhaps unconsciously signaling in advance that this is a failed attempt tried by the past administrations.
Therefore, founding the expert body in the second year of the Trump administration, the most anti-Iranian of all, is an admission of failure of the past attempts to obtain Iran-related goals.