image Photo: Reuters

Syria denounces EU & renewed US sanctions

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem accused the European Union and the United States of imposing sanctions against his country as a blatant attempt to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

While the crippling punitive economic measures have long been enforced against Damascus, Washington initiated a new series last week against 39 specific individuals and entities; while also authorizing the freezing of assets of anyone dealing with Syria regardless of nationality. The latest U.S. campaign effectively ratcheted up pressure on the Arab Republic’s few-remaining allies – in a move Moualem charged was tainted by U.S. Donald Trump’s reelection bid in November.

“President Assad will stay as long as the Syrian people want him to stay; and if I want to be accurate, the goal of this act is to affect the upcoming presidential elections – and whoever says anything else is mistaken,” proclaimed the top Syrian diplomat at a press briefing in the capital.

Moualem nevertheless voiced confidence in Syria’s capacity to persevere, saying, “The challenges are not easy but I say they are not difficult or impossible. We started procedures that aim to face these sanctions and we started a dialogue with our friends and allies who refused to implement this act in order to deepen the bilateral relations between us.”

One of Syria’s most steadfast patrons is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which repeatedly condemned the United States and Europe for the slapping of sanctions on both Syria and itself. Despite the harsh effects of the campaign, the Ayatollah regime continues to deploy the limited resources at its disposal to support its proxies across the region, including numerous militias fighting for the survival of the Assad regime.

In related developments, Iran’s national currency has descended to a new all-time low against the U.S. dollar, despite efforts by the regime’s central bank to stem the decline. The Rial has lost 70% of its value this past year, primarily due to Tehran’s unrelenting efforts to advance its expansionist regional policy, ballistic missile and nuclear programs – which consequently forced the United States to impose crippling sanctions on the country of 80 million residents.

As Tehran continues to blame Washington for refusing to alleviate the “maximum (economic) pressure campaign” aimed at forcing the Ayatollah regime to immediately change its course of action – the ones suffering the most are the Iranian people.

“The rise of the dollar is based on supply and demand – and as dollar rises, prices of the products increase,” Tehran resident Murtaza Vahazade told Reuters. “When everything is expensive, people could hardly make both ends meet. The rise of the dollar affects the prices of all products. People cannot buy everything they need,” he added.