- The International Monetary Fund has forecast a 9.5 per cent contraction for Iran this year and Inflation is clocking 36 per cent
- Crude oil exports on which Iran relies for much of its hard currency earnings have fallen to about 250,000 barrels per day, from a peak of 2.5 million barrels
Iran's 'only crime is we decided not to fold' said Javad Zarif the foreign minister of Iran as reported by the Asia Times' Pepe Escobar. Zarif evoked secretary Mike Pompeo [who is apparently trying to parachute himself out of the State Department and back to Kansas - Ukraine: “Today the secretary of state of the United States says publicly: ‘If Iran wants to eat, it has to obey the United States.’
Since 1979 and except for a brief interregnum during the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, the US has been determined on a collision course with the ''Velayat-e Faqih'' [Velayat-e faqih also known as Islamic Government (Persian: , Hokumat-i Eslami), is a book by the Iranian Muslim cleric, faqīh, and revolutionary Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, first published in 1970, and probably the most influential document written in modern times in support of theocratic rule] Regime in Tehran.
The End of the brief interregnum to which I referred was pronounced and of course theatrically when Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear deal, a pact which had traded limits on Iran’s nuclear fuel program for a relaxation of international sanctions.
Trump has been a big proponent of coercive, financial, currency and sanction warfare and his Policy of ''maximum pressure'' on Iran is that Policy's apogee. The Shia crescent is burning from Syria through Lebanon, from Iraq to Yemen but Tehran has always been the Prize. Bloomberg asked last week ''Iran Unrest Raises a question: Is 'Maximum Pressure' Working?'' @Bpolitics.
Anti-government protests in Iran left buses and banks burned, hundreds under arrest, the internet blocked and an unconfirmed number of people dead. The unrest was sparked by Tehran’s decision last week to both rations. and raise the price of gasoline.
But there was ready tinder to be lit, consisting of the sorts of frustrations that have stoked violence around the globe in recent months, from Bolivia, Chile, and Venezuela, to Hong Kong, Iraq and Lebanon.
Crude oil exports on which Iran relies for much of its hard currency earnings have fallen to about 250,000 barrels per day, from a peak of 2.5 million barrels per day in April last year.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast a 9.5 per cent contraction for Iran this year and Inflation is clocking 36 per cent.
Clearly, we are witnessing a Global Phenomenon from Latin America to the Middle East to Hong Kong and the wave of protests shaking the World resembles ''a global uprising against neoliberalism'' [MiddleEastEye] and it does behoove us to diagnose the disease otherwise we will be prescribing the wrong medicine.
For example, take Bolivia and Latin America in general where the Prescription of the likes of Jeanine Áñez and Jair Bolsanaro [’You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free’’] is to take neoliberalism to the ultimate extreme ["They're Killing Us Like Dogs" - Common Dreams] China and even India are seeking to ''Xinjiang'' the Periphery. This is a global phenomenon and Iran is similarly reaping a whirlwind.
However, what is also clear is that team Pompeo is seeking to accelerate the Iranian situation towards a denouement. Of course, the origins of the protests are spontaneous. However, Pompeo has some very curious bedfellows.
Marc Owen-Jones tweeted [Thread] 1/ Mike Pompeo tweeted on the 21st November a request in Farsi for Iranian protesters to send in videos of the regime's crackdown in order to 'expose' and 'sanction' the abuses both tweets, including the translation, got a lot of retweets, but by whom? I download the retweets of each tweet.
For the translated tweet, I analysed around 3,600 individual accounts that retweeted itInterestingly, the most cohesive community, and most commonly biographical detail was once again "MAGA".
Indeed, 825 of the accounts retweeting it as we've come to expect, many of these MAGA accounts were created in January 2017 and January 2018. This is the same type of profile we've seen accounts on accounts tweeting for a Hard Brexit (among other things - especially related to Iran).
Pompeo has allied himself with the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and its Cult-Like Leader @Maryam_Rajavi who tweeted ''The whole issue is that the Velayat-e Faqih regime is on its last leg this alliance of Pompeo, the ''MAGA'' Tweet Army, Maryam Rajavi and the MEK is just not credible its incredible.
Of course, ''ARAB'' NATO which includes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the GCC and Israel is a lot more credible and they are surely guiding the Inferno. However, if a civil war is ignited in the Shia crescent and the nature of the hybrid warfare indicates this is the direction of travel, the implosion will engender catastrophic consequences which will be impossible to manage and which surely will imperil ''ARAB NATO'' itself.
Oil is the Purest Proxy and is at an eight week high.