With US sanctions biting deep into Iran’s economy, country’s theocratic leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has admitted that European countries cannot to save the 2015 nuclear deal, Reuters news agency reported.

“There is no problem with negotiations and keeping contact with the Europeans, but you should give up hope on them over economic issues or the nuclear deal,” Khamenei told President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet on Wednesday.

In early May, President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement, imposing new economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Last month, Trump slapped the regime with stiffer sanctions, which he described as the ‘most biting ever’, promising to ‘ratchet them up to yet another level’ in November.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed the US President for abandoning the agreement, vowing to stick to the pact made with the Islamic Republic. Despite promises of keeping the deal alive, The European Union, mainly Germany and France, has failed to stop the exodus of European companies ceasing commercial activity in Iran. France’s oil company Total, Germany’s engineering conglomerate Siemens and Denmark’s shipping giant Maersk are among the top investors to fleeing the country. Even the EU’s own lending arm, European Investment Bank, has refused to back Franco-German efforts to bankroll European business operations in Iran.

Meanwhile, Tehran’s growing economic woes are stirring further discontent against an already unpopular regime. Since January, ten cities—including the capital Tehran—have been hit by anti-government protests, with demonstrators explicitly calling for an end to the Islamic rule of the clerics who took power almost 40 years ago.

Faced with deteriorating economic situation, the Mullah regime has formed a circular firing squad, ‘firing’ one functionary after another. Reuters reported the regime’s efforts to scapegoat its top brass for the failing economy:

Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian lawmakers launched impeachment proceedings against the education minister, adding to the pressure on Rouhani.

The move came only three days after lawmakers sacked the minister of economy and finance blaming him for the collapse of the plight of the rial and mounting unemployment. They had, weeks earlier, dismissed the labor minister.

Another motion, signed by 70 lawmakers, aims to impeach the minister of industry, mines and business. (…)

Iran’s official unemployment rate is 12 percent, with youth unemployment as high as 25 percent in a country where 60 percent of the 80 million population is under 30. The rial has lost more than two-thirds of its value in a year.

The latest statement from Iran’s Ayatollah shows that the grim reality may finally be dawning on Iranian ruling class. While the Trump administration is making concerted efforts to isolate the regime, the Franco-German duo of Merkel and Macron is failing on its promises to salvage the faltering economy, a precondition for Tehran’s supposed compliance.

It’s not that Europeans haven’t tried hard enough to come to the aid of the regime. Merkel flew to around the world scrambling for support to save the deal, courting China and warming up to the arch-rival Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The German Foreign Minister even proposed creating an independent European payment system to shield sanction-busting companies from the US Treasury. “That’s why it is indispensable that we strengthen European autonomy by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States, a European Monetary Fund and an independent SWIFT system,” Maas said. “Every day the deal is alive is better than the highly explosive crisis that would otherwise threaten the Middle East.”

All this hasn’t stopped the hemorrhaging of foreign investment from the country. As Germany’s state-run DW News admitted this week: “Europe has been scrambling to persuade Tehran to remain in the 2015 accord. But with European firms wary of far-reaching US financial penalties, it’s proving to be a challenge.”

The windfall from the 2015 Obama-Kerry deal has long subsided. Instead of investing those proceeds in the future of its people, the regime has been spending billions on military adventures in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. But the time for ‘fun and games’ may be coming to an end for the clerics in Tehran. Just three months after President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, the Mullah regime finds itself politically destabilized and economically on the ropes.

Video: ‘Death To The Dictator,’ Protests Spread To Several Iranian Cities [August 2018]:

[Cover image via YouTube]


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