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US Senate vote for sanctions on Iran was expected – expert

The US Senate vote for imposing sanctions on Iran was expected, as even during the Obama Administration, a majority of Senate and House of Representatives was against the nuclear deal in total, Cyril Widdershoven, a Middle East geopolitical specialist and energy analyst, a partner at Dutch risk consultancy VEROCY and SVP MEA-Risk, told Trend June 16.

Earlier, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to advance a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran.

The legislation would impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile development, arms transfers, support for Islamist militant groups and human rights violations

“The current vote represents the unease that the US has with the deal in place, especially when looking at the ongoing developments inside of Iran and the role Iran is playing in the region, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq and Yemen. This is not taken as positive, and most are more than willing to increase pressure on Iran,” said the expert.

He pointed out that the nuclear deal has a main fault in it, as an opening to Iran will be bringing theoretically more money to the Iranian economy and regime.

“Most of the oil-gas, energy and industrial projects in Iran are either fully in the hands of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) or linked to this group. At the same time, increased financial prowess of Iran will directly lead to a more military expansion of the Iranian forces and IRGC,” said Widdershoven.

The ongoing conflict between Iran and the West is still clear, as there are a lot of military confrontations in the Persian Gulf arena, where Iranian and US fleet are sometimes almost in direct conflict, he noted.

“As long as the Tehran government is not showing a total change in regional politics, and a more open stand towards the West-Arab world and even Israel, nothing will change in the US views. The UK and others are currently also reassessing their options,” added the expert.

Regarding the possible consequences of the US sanctions on Iran, Widdershoven said that it will directly impact all European companies with shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Most probably, Western/European companies will be talking a lot to Iran, as it holds vast oil-gas reserves and a large economy, but real deals will be put on ice for longer,” said the expert. “Main investors in Iran will come from FSU republics, Russia, China and other Asian countries, which are not afraid to confront US sanctions. European companies and countries are too interlinked with the US economy to take the chance.”

At the same time, most companies are also having major projects or investments in the Arab world, he said, adding that supporting Iran will put this also under severe pressure, especially in Saudi-UAE-Bahrain or Egypt.

20:44 16.06.2017