The US has slapped new sanctions on Iran’s construction industry, targeting a number of “strategic” materials – like steel tubes and foil – and making sure the MSM amplify their vague hints of nuclear weapons and terrorism links.
The State Department announced the new penalties on Thursday, stating Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) – blatantly branded a terrorist group by Washington earlier this year – controls the country’s entire construction sector.
One might think that the State Department deliberately refrained from listing those “strategic materials” in its initial announcement, while implying heavily that these mysterious supplies might somehow be used “in connection with Iran’s nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs.” But why would they do such a thing?
Of course a separate fact sheet, conveniently swept under the rug and largely ignored by the mainstream media, does list the four materials, but names only mundane construction supplies with questionable dual-use utility – such as anti-corrosion brazing foils, premium grade stainless steel alloy, and steel tubes – far from plutonium.
Ironically, it wouldn’t even be the first time Washington confused metal tubes with potential A-bomb parts; during his infamous speech to the UN seeking authorization for the US invasion of Iraq, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell insisted Saddam Hussein’s purchase of high quality “aluminum tubes” proved his quest for nuclear weapons, a claim later discredited by experts at the Department of Energy.
Despite a raft of crippling US sanctions already imposed on vital economic sectors, first and foremost oil, Iran continues to rely on foreign imports of high quality steel and iron, machinery parts, raw materials and other intermediate goods for construction and manufacturing. The latest sanctions, while supposedly restricted to affect only the ‘Tehran regime’ and its ‘terrorist IRGC’, are sure to deliver another blow to Iran’s struggling economy, bringing yet more pain and suffering to the civilian population.
In addition to merely existing independently from the US-led ‘liberal order’ – a cardinal sin in Washington – Tehran has also come under fire by American officials for its involvement in the Syrian civil war, where the IRGC and Iran-backed militias have helped to beat back a jihadist insurgency. The new sanctions might potentially hinder Iran’s ability to join reconstruction efforts in the country, ravaged by over eight years of intense fighting.
American sanctions on Iran were suspended under the 2015 nuclear accord signed with world powers, however all previous penalties were reimposed – and then some – after US President Donald Trump abrogated Washington’s end of the deal last year. Tensions have soared since, coming to a head this summer amid a torrent of suspicious tanker attacks, drone shootdowns and ‘defensive’ US military deployments in the region.