By BO Staff Writer
The following statement was first published on the Black First Land First website and is now reissued on Black Opinion:
Black First Land First (BLF) is appalled by the escalation of United States (US) aggression towards Iran that has seen the US withdrawing on May 8 this year from the Iran nuclear deal and imposing severe sanctions on the country.
The nuclear deal which was adopted in October 2015 as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) had at least provided a relaxation of US sanctions – which had deterred ‘European and other companies’ from trading with and investing in Iran – in exchange for the Iranian government curtailing its nuclear program and submitting to international inspectors.
BLF condemns the actions of the US amid empty allegations (by itself and Israel) that Iran had reneged on the nuclear deal. This is a war led by the US against Iran to consolidate imperialist power. We applaud the efforts of the Iranian government and its people to defend the sovereignty of the country and to advance the commitment to peace, security and economic independence.
US imperialism, in cahoots with counter revolutionary forces within the country, is hellbent on effecting regime change by removing the democratically elected President Hassan Rouhani from power and replacing him with a US puppet via a Brazilian like coup. To achieve this the US has withdrawn from the nuclear deal which had been adopted by Germany, the European Union, Britain, France, China and Russia over and above the US and Iran. Furthermore, imperialism has imposed sanctions and conducted economic terrorism which has led to inflation levels increasing and ultimately the Iranian currency being attacked.
It must also be stated that imperialism has in cahoots with certain political parties, civil society organizations and other entities created political instability in Iran. To this end society has been mobilized via the captured mainstream media to create hostility against President Rouhani and to effect regime change. In this regard President Rouhani has been deliberately and wrongly projected by imperialism as the real enemy of the Iranian people. BLF is anti imperialist. We stand with the government and people of Iran in the struggle against US aggression and imperialism in general.
We condemn the audacity of the US to rally against Iran acquiring nuclear capabilities which in turn provides a significant measure of independence against the thieving imperialists. We remember the many crimes of the US and other imperialist nations against Iran including Britain’s fight for Iran’s oil, the US led coup in 1953 that ousted Mohammad Mossadeq from power, and the striking down of Iran Air flight 655 by the US Navy in July 1988 which resulted in 300 innocent people dying.
We further recall that in 1995 the the Clinton administration barred US entities from trading with Iran and investing in the country’s oil as well as gas; and in 1996 the US legislated on the imposition of penalties on foreign firms having significant investments in the said sector. We also note the intensification of sanctions during the Obama tenure including to this end legislating the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 and escalating sanctions in terms National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
The nuclear deal of October 2015 has served to relax the monstrous sanctions that were imposed by the US, the European Union and the United Nations and thus give it a measure of independence. It further enabled Iran to gain access to its foreign frozen assets to the tune of $30 billion. We note that even though Iran increased its oil exports substantially through the nuclear deal, the deal didn’t address the fact that many of the western companies, particularly those relating to banking, were dissuaded from investing in the country.
BLF supports the decisions and commitments of the ministerial level meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA which was held on 6 July this year in Vienna at the instance of the Islamic Republic of Iran to pave the way ahead so as to guarantee the effective implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and the review of unresolved challenges resulting from the withdrawal of the US from the said deal and its reimposition of sanctions that were previously lifted. We applaud the commitment of the participants to devise and implement practical solutions in relation to inter alia the following: ‘the maintenance and promotion of wider economic and sectoral relations with Iran’; ‘the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran’; ‘the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas condensate, petroleum products and petrochemicals’; ‘the continuation of … (all) transportation relations’; ‘the promotion of export credit cover’; ‘clear and effective support for economic operators trading with Iran, particularly small and medium sized enterprises which are the backbone of many economies’; ‘the encouragement of further investments in Iran’; ‘the protection of economic operators for their investment and other commercial and financial activities’ regarding Iran in or in relation to Iran’; ‘the bringing together of private and public sector experts’; ‘the practical support for trade with and investment in Iran’; and ‘the protection of companies from the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions’.
We call for an end to all sanctions against Iran and for all the progressive nations and forces of the world to defend Iran against any attack by the US and its partners. President Rouhani is problematic to imperialism. He has consequently been deliberately and wrongly made to be the enemy in a bid to distract the people of Iran with side issues and to this end effect regime change in imperialist interests.
BLF calls on all to stand in solidarity with the Iranian government and its people. We say “hands off President Rouhani”, “no to regime change” and “fight imperialism, take back the economy”.
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
3 September 2018
Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Facebook: Black First Land First
International Relations Secretary: Shantha Balakrishna
Cell number: +27 72 114 3670
Deputy President: Zanele Lwana
National Spokesperson: Lindsay Maasdorp
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Head of Media & Communications: Brian Tloubatla
Cell: +27 82 216 7664