For the first time sanctioning Irans space agency, US extreme pressure is counterproductive.

 For the first time sanctioning Irans space agency, US extreme pressure is counterproductive.

On August 27, in Tehran, Iran, President Ruhani addressed the event. (Tuyuan: Xinhua News Agency)

According to Russian television today, the United States recently imposed sanctions on Iranian civil space agencies and two research institutes, which have proved to be advancing Irans ballistic missile program. Iran denies this and believes that it has the right to develop conventional missiles for defensive purposes and has no intention of deploying nuclear weapons. This is the first time that the United States has sanctioned Irans space program. This decision interrupted the rhythm of the improvement of U.S. -Iraqi relations once again, and the relationship between the two countries tended to deteriorate.

Contradictions are difficult to resolve and deadlocked

The U.S. sanctions against Iran are steadily increasing. The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on Iranian shipping companies following sanctions on Irans civil space program, Reuters reported Wednesday. There will be more sanctions in the future, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hooker, said at a State Department press conference that day. Our strategy is very clear, that is, to exert maximum pressure on Iran. Hooker also said that the U.S. -Iran talks are still viable and the purpose of pressure is to force Iran back to the negotiating table.

One of the characteristics of the Trump administrations sanctions against Iran is to target precise strikes in key areas. In June 2019, Irans Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Corporation and overseas sales network, closely linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, were sanctioned, Reuters reported. This time it was the space agency associated with Irans space forces.

The sanctions decision came after Iran failed to launch a satellite in recent days. According to Reuters on August 31, US President Trump released a picture of Irans rocket launch failure on August 30, saying the United States had nothing to do with it. Reported that the United States has warned Iran not to launch rockets, fearing that the technology may help Iran develop ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. Iran denies this.

Iran is strongly dissatisfied with the new round of sanctions imposed by the United States. On September 4, Irans Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Mohamed Jahrumi, shouted at President Trump on Twitter, comparing him to the super villain in the American cartoon Destroy Hegemony. Today, Russia said Jahrumi was condemning the U.S. sanctions against Irans space agency.

Previously, there were signs of easing relations between the two countries. Lu Jin, an expert on Iran at the West Asia and Africa Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: Iran has no intention of withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear agreement, nor has it completely closed the door of the US-Iran negotiations. During the G7 summit at the end of August, French President Mark Long expressed his desire to facilitate a meeting between Ruhani and US President Trump. Trump released a reconciliation signal that he would not rule out meeting with Iranian President Ruhani. The recent sanctions imposed by the United States on Iranian civil space agencies have once again disrupted the pace of improvement in U.S. -Iranian relations.

New sanctions against the Swordfing Space Project

Since the unilateral withdrawal of the Iranian nuclear agreement in 2018, sanctions have been part of the Trump administrations escalation of economic and diplomatic measures against Iran. At present, the United States has adopted comprehensive and three-dimensional sanctions against Iran, including comprehensive sanctions against Irans Islamic Revolutionary Guard, the Supreme Spiritual Leader and the financial system.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran in many ways in order to achieve the strategic goal of containing Iran in the Middle East in an all-round way. Sun Degang, a researcher at the Middle East Research Institute of Shanghai Foreign Studies University, said in an interview with this newspaper that the purpose of these extreme pressures is to press for change and force Iran to compromise with the United States, so as to achieve the goal of the Trump government giving in without fighting.

The military significance of Irans space program is the focus of this debate between the United States and Iran, and both sides hold different opinions on it.

Lu Jin pointed out that the space program itself has both military and civilian uses, but Irans ballistic missile-related space program is under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Space Force. In April 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard was listed as a terrorist organization by Trump. In the view of the United States, this space program is naturally of military significance.

In addition, the United States believes that the launch vehicle and ballistic missile technology are interlinked, has repeatedly expressed its opposition to Irans satellite launching activities, and has consistently claimed that Irans multiple launches of launch vehicles violate United Nations resolution 2231. The resolution identifies the details of the entry into force, implementation and supervision of the comprehensive agreement on Irans nuclear issue, and calls on Iran not to engage in activities related to ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons, but it does not explicitly prohibit them.

However, Iran denies that satellite launches violate international conventions on the grounds that such activities do not have military attributes.

The United States is concerned that once Iran has mastered satellite launching technology in the future, it will turn civilian into military, and the radius of military attack will become larger, which will pose a serious threat to American allies and global interests. Sun Degang analyzed, At present, Irans space program is still in its infancy and exploratory stage, while thecivilian-to-militaryneeds more time and technology, which has no military significance in the short term.

Limit pressure has little effect.

Iran has always insisted that it has the right to develop conventional missiles for defensive purposes, and has no intention of deploying nuclear weapons, ignoring U.S. missile reduction requirements. According to the Wall Street Journal, Iran launched a medium-range ballistic missile in July 2019, taking another step to intensify tensions between Iran and the Trump government. Analysts say the test shows that Iran does not intend to yield to U.S. demands for a reduction in its missile program and is determined to maintain a strong ballistic missile capability.

For a long time, Irans defense industry has been subject to military sanctions and export restrictions from the United States and other Western countries, and has been based on independent research and development. Sun Degang pointed out that this action will prevent Iran from international cooperation in civil aviation and space, delay Irans research and development of civil space projects, and make Iran face more challenges to become a space power. At the same time, it will also make Iran determined to take an independent path in the research and development of civil space projects.

The effect of extreme pressure in the United States is negligible. The new sanctions will not have a substantial impact on the development of Irans ballistic missiles and space programs, Lu Jin said. Irans ballistic missile program is the core content of national deterrence and defense forces. Iran will not only not be used to negotiate and trade with the United States, but will also accelerate the development of ballistic missile projects.

Irans president responded by lifting restrictions on nuclear research and development in response to increased sanctions imposed by the United States. Reuters said that since May, Iran has begun to gradually reduce its obligations under the Iranian nuclear agreement, aiming to increase pressure on the European parties to the agreement and protect its economic interests under sanctions imposed by the United States. On September 4, Ruhani said Iran would no longer abide by the R&D restrictions in the Iranian nuclear agreement and would develop new centrifuges.

Sun Degang predicted: Given that the United States unilaterally withdraws from the nuclear agreement, defaults are in the first place, and has imposedextreme pressureand comprehensive sanctions on Iran, Iran is more determined to promote the development of ballistic missile technology, and will even go head-to-head, break through some provisions of the Iranian nuclear agreement, and even restart its nuclear program. (Yang Ning Hu Ruining)

Source: Overseas Network Responsible Editor: Li Zaixing_NBJS9026