KT edit: Iran could wilt under US pressure

Reining in Tehran's aggressiveness is therefore a necessity for maintaining stability in the region.

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Published: Sun 4 Nov 2018, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 4 Nov 2018, 8:44 PM

Starting today, Iran faces harsher and tougher sanctions. Its shrinking economy will be further undermined as the US reimposes sanctions targeting its oil sales, and sectors like energy, shipping, banking and insurance. The controversial secondary sanctions - provisions that force companies in other countries to comply with US sanction policies - will strike a more serious blow with the rial already touching rock bottom. US President Donald Trump had decided to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and reimpose the sanctions because, according to him, Iran could be on the brink of acquiring a nuclear weapon though it had agreed to significantly cut its pile of key nuclear components. Iran has also been accused of destabilising the Middle East through its proxies in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. The Houthis have been procuring weapons from the country since the militant group staged a coup against the government in Yemen in late 2014. And it is with Iran's support that they have been able to prolong the war to its fourth year. "By addressing Iran's nefarious policies, we have a rare opportunity to achieve real stability in the region and not just the management of its crises," Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweeted on Saturday.
Trump's call for a new, tougher deal could bring Iran back to the negotiating table, apply maximum pressure on the country to change its aggressive behaviour, and force Tehran to curb its support to its proxies in the Middle East. Finding themselves besieged, both militarily and politically after the re-imposition of the sanctions, the Houthis have already begun engaging more in the peace process. Even as Tehran's aggressive approach remains a major source of instability in the region, Trump's strategy has made it clear to Iran and its proxies that meddling in the region will not be tolerated. And a shrinking economy means choking the funding of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for conducting Iran's operations abroad. Reining in Tehran's aggressiveness is therefore a necessity for maintaining stability in the region.

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