Sanctions 2.0:Tightening the noose, but around whom?

By Andrew Korybko

The US’ new sanctions against Iran, Turkey, and, Russia appear to be coordinated and designed to tighten the noose around Eurasia but risk backfiring by sending American interests to the gallows instead. The US’ new sanctions against Iran, Turkey, and Russia appear to be coordinated and designed to tighten the noose around Eurasia but risk backfiring by sending American interests to the gallows instead.

Washington wants to punish all three of these countries for what are ostensibly separate reasons, but a deeper reading of the strategic situation reveals that the common thread connecting each of them is the progress that they’ve collectively made on advancing multi-polarity through the Astana framework in Syria and the related bilateral cooperation that sprung up between them as a result.

None of this was ever really about Iran’s alleged violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement; Turkey’s imprisonment nearly two years ago of a suspected spy masquerading as a pastor, or the ridiculous assertion that Russia poisoned the Skripals, but about cold, hard geopolitics.

The US thought that it could turn the economic screws on each of these multipolar Great Powers in order to divide them from one another and consequently make it easier to pick them off one-by-one by pressuring their governments into foreign policy concessions, but the proverbial “law of unintended consequences” suggests that the opposite might actually happen and all three of them could emerge stronger as a result, though provided that they have the political will to withstand this structural onslaught and the severe destabilization that it might provoke for some of them.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that the US’ promised imposition of new sanctions against his country by the end of the month would predicting that some of Moscow’s asymmetrical responses could target its airspace, outer space, energy, and titanium cooperation with its rival.

Iran and Turkey plan to deepen their economic relations, which could be regarded as a “declaration of economic war”, and RT published an insightful piece even see the emergence of a trilateral trading network between them and Russia given the former’s interim free trade agreement with the Eurasian Union and the latter’s desire to clinch something similar.

It goes without saying that they’d all prioritize the use of national currencies in order to avoid using the dollar, while Russia and Turkey would continue to economically disengage from the US. The success of this “master plan” would greatly diminish American influence in Eurasia, but it’ll take some years to implement and reap tangible results, during which time the US will certainly devise ways to undermine their multipolar efforts.

Andrew Korybko is joined by Pouya Sharif, Iranian student activist from Germany and Rostislav Babyak, adjunct professor of History and Political Science at University of Texas at El Paso.

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