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Sanctions Take Toll on Iran Despite its Bluster

Sanctions Take Toll on Iran Despite its Bluster Read Transcript

- [Chris] President Trumpsays Iran is on the ropes.

- The first day that I got to office,

or let's look at it differently,

a day before I got tooffice, everybody was saying

Iran would be taking over the Middle East,

it was just a question of when.

Now they're just looking to survive.

- For months, demonstrators on the streets

of Tehran and other citieshave defied the regime.

Protestors blame theirleaders for the crumbling

economy by spendingIran's treasure on foreign

wars throughout the Middle East.

Iran's currency is plummeting and reached

its lowest rate on record.

- There is no glimmering of hope that's

the situation changes.

Up till now have seen no kind of practical

and effective way, the practical solution

on behalf of the governmentto solve this problem.

- [Chris] It's part ofthe administration's plan.

- I get the logic of itand there is a logic to it.

Is it through economic sanctions that then

produce internal unrest, and therefore,

pressure on the regime.

The regime has to start thinking twice

about its ability tomaintain these far flung

commitments against the region.

- [Chris] The US fannedthe flames by pulling

out of the Iranian nuclear deal,

reimposing sanctions,and there's more to come.

- Remember that in November,we have the beginning's

of oil sanctions on Iran.

The intention to endIran's ability to export

oil, so we have very major new blow.

So we're just at the beginning of this

to a certain degree.

The beginning of realWestern pressure on Iran.

- [Chris] Iran's President Rouhani

promises further defiance.

- We will continue by all means to produce

and export our oil, oil is

in the front line of confrontation.

- [Chris] Iran also warned it could shut

down the straits of Hormuse,

to which of the world's oil passes.

Another front line is this ongoing war

in Israel's regularaerosol on Iran's growing

military presence inside Syria.

The Ideav says it has hit more than 200

Iranian targets in the past two years.

- So there's a whole bunch of potential

tools in the books soto speak, to continue

to put pressure on the regime.

Economic, political, and military.

From what we're gonna beseeing in the month's ahead

is an increase in usage of those,

and an increase in the coordinated uses

of those to try to rollback Iran across the region.

- And Chris Mitchell is withus live from Jerusalem now.

Chris, what is the Trumpadministration's plan

to deal with Iran?

- Well, Charlene, Secretaryof State Mike Pompeo

outlined that earlier this year on May,

he had a speech at the HeritageFoundation in Washington DC.

He talked about unprecedentedeconomic pressure

against Iran, we saw that in the peace.

Working with the Defensedepartment to halt

and stop Iran's aggression in the area.

And also work with theIranian people and that

goes back to say anattempt in the Cold War

when the United Stateswould speak to the people

on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

So I think there's a definite pressure

to try to speak to the Irani people.

We see that playing out rightnow in the streets of Tehran.

- [Charlene] Indeed, and howwould you compare the way

that the Trumpadministration has dealt with

Iran the way that the Obamaadministration dealt with it?

- Well, Charlene, it's nightand day, day and night.

You could argue that theObama administration's

Middle East policy was Iranian centric,

and I think the crown jewel of that was

the Iranian Nuclear Program.

But that really upset a lot of people

here in the Middle Eastand many people thought

that was a very dangerous plan.

The Trump administrationhas really reversed

that dramatically, wherethey have confronted Iran

rather than appeased Iran.

And that has made such adifference here in the Middle East.

- And what kind of reactionhave Israeli leaders

and leaders in theregion had to the new way

that the Trump administrationhas dealt with Iran?

- Well I think they're relieved,

and I think gratified forthe first time in well

eight years of the Obama administration

when the Iranian Nuclear Position

by the Obama administrationwas probably the main

sticking point betweenthe Netanyahu government

and the Obama administration.

Now they're on the same page,

if you talk to Iranian leaders right now

you'd talk about the three main dangers

or enemies to Israel,they'll say Iran, Iran, Iran.

So finally they seethemselves on the same page.

The other thing is thatmany of the nations in

the region, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt,

many of the Gulf states as well,

they see for the first time in a long time

that the United States isstanding with them as well.

And that goes directly to one of the main

divisions here in the Middle East which

is the Sunni Shiitedivide and many of these

Sunni nations see Shiite Iranas their number one enemy.

And actually, they'regrowing closer to Israel,

so you see that maximhere in the Middle East,

the enemy of my enemy is my friend,

and you see that playing out right now.

And also I would just add this, Charlene,

that many here in the Middle East saw

Obama, they perceivedhim as a weak leader.

They perceive Trump as a strong leader,

and that really makes a differencehere in the Middle East.

- Huge difference, Chris Mitchell,

Middle East Bureau Chief, thank you

so much for joining us today.


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