Iran Pulse

Iranians deride US 'gaffes' in sanctions list

Article Summary
While reimposed US sanctions on Iran must be biting economically, defiant Iranians, including their foreign minister, found relief of sorts in a US Treasury list that banned a sunken oil tanker.

"Sanchi sank 10 months ago. It is more than obvious that they copied and pasted the names from the older list of the sanctions," an Iranian Twitter user wrote. "Trump who won presidency thanks to 'fake news' is now using 'fake sanctions' by naming a ship that sank already … only to be the front-runner of unilateralism," another tweeter said of the reimposed US sanctions on Iran that went into effect Nov. 4. "God chooses our foes from among the stupid," read a third post that was part of a seemingly endless stream of comments about the US government "gaffe."

The Sanchi was a Panama-registered tanker hired by Iran's oil shipping operator. On Jan. 6, the South Korea-bound vessel collided with the CF Crystal about 160 nautical miles off the coast of China near Shanghai, leaving its entire crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis dead.

But the US government was not just mistaken about the tanker. The list also included Bank Tat, which was closed six years ago and emerged later as Bank Ayandeh, a structurally and managerially different entity. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spotted both in the US list, describing the mistakes as a desperate psychological operation "to amplify the list of sanctioned Iranian entities." In a video message, Zarif also addressed the nation, stressing that the sanctions are meant to target ordinary Iranians, as yet another sign of "US frustration," and the fact that the world, "except for a few small regional countries and the Zionist regime," is against the US moves on Iran.

Javan, a newspaper close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, echoed the same official line of defiance in its coverage of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Nov. 5 press conference on Iran. Javan referred to Pompeo as a "paper tiger" and said his speech was just about reimposing sanctions that had never been lifted in reality. It also hinted at what it called the US "defeat" in placing an overall ban on purchases of Iranian oil.

Iran continued the battle at the United Nations. The country's UN envoy, Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, wrote a letter of complaint to the UN chief, demanding collective action from the international community over the "illegal US sanctions."

And in one of his most hectic days ever, Zarif had to go on the floor of parliament Nov. 5 to face questions from hard-line lawmakers, who have used every occasion to attack his negotiating team. However, the members of parliaments were officially "convinced" by Zarif's answers, an indication that perhaps that President Donald Trump's "worst sanctions in history" will rally Iranians around the flag regardless of their partisan differences.

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Found in: Iran Deal

Al-Monitor Staff

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