US sanctions will push Tehran’s hardliners to the fore, Iranian American council warns 


Iranians walk by a mural painting of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, on the wall of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on August 7, 2018.

The reimplementation of U.S. sanctions on Iran will benefit the hard-line faction within the Middle East country, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

The non-profit group — which aims to represent Iranian Americans — added that the sanctions could also isolate the United States and increase its reliance on Saudi Arabia in the region. Policy Director Ryan Costello told CNBC Monday that the current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is a moderate figure who may have to adopt a tougher stance if he is retain control of the country?

“Rouhani really has had the rug pulled out from in terms of sanctions … When you look at the forces who have benefited from this decision it is the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) who have benefited,” Costello said in a phone call.

“You are kind of likely to see a rally around the flag with this and the moderate wing of the Rouhani government will also have to move more in line with the hardliners,” he added.

The Trump administration has reinstated all sanctions removed under the 2015 nuclear deal, targeting both Iran and states that trade with it. The policy director said the sanctions “snapback” will allow the Iranian government to shift blame on the U.S. as the cause of domestic suffering, especially should shortages of food and medicines become more acute.

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