THE TRUMP administration imposed its long threatened sanctions against Iran yesterday – a move that was greeted with dire warnings from market analysts that it would drive the price of oil up to $80 dollars a barrel by the end of the year with $100 a barrel being reached soon after.
The effect of such an increase would be to dramatically drive up inflation and push the price of essentials even further beyond the reach of workers and their families already forced onto the breadline through years of Tory pay caps and austerity cuts.
US imperialism boasts these sanctions are ‘the toughest regime ever imposed’ and has made no secret that its intention is to drive Iran’s national oil exports down to zero and collapse its economy.
What has got the analysts worried is that the effect of Trump’s war on Iran is being underestimated, with a failure to appreciate just how determined the US administration is to destroy Iran even at the risk of causing a worldwide economic crash.
A false sense of security was engendered by Friday’s announcement that some countries would be exempt from the draconian sanctions the US will impose on any nation or company that defies its unilateral sanctions on Iran.
Waivers were granted to eight countries allowing them to import a reduced amount of Iranian oil for a further 180 days, with this waiver being cut by 50% every 180 days until the US achieves its goal of a total ban on all oil exports from Iran.
India, China, South Korea, Japan and Turkey are amongst the world’s largest importers of Iranian oil which US imperialism has generously allowed to keep trading with Iran. Significantly, and worryingly for the capitalist class of Europe they were not included in Washington’s list – they are certainly not the ‘friends’ of US imperialism any more.
The effect of these temporary concessions was to induce a feeling amongst sections of the world capitalist class that Trump is bluffing and not serious in pursuing an economic war to crush Iran to the limit. Helima Croft, an analyst with the investment bank RBC Capital, speaking to the Telegraph explained that the money markets were mainly worried about Trump’s trade war with China to the extent of ignoring the risk from his war against Iran saying: ‘But we have another Trump policy which is really to try to economically crush Iran through very coercive sanctions.’
Croft went on: ‘A lot of hedge fund guys can’t wrap their heads around the fact that there is another part of the White House, and in the policy apparatus around Trump, which believes that they have an historic opportunity to create fundamental change in the Middle East.
‘They believe conditions have never been so perfect for either causing the Iranian regime to completely capitulate or exit the stage. Iran is a first principle in terms of what is important to him.’
Trump represents that section of the US ruling class that realises the game is up for capitalism and is rapidly heading for an almighty world economic crash, and they are determined to survive it by waging war against their capitalist rivals – a shooting war against the people of the Middle East to dominate their oil resources and a war against the working class at home.
Workers are already rising up against capitalist austerity, and with this new stage of the unfolding world economic crash will place on the agenda the necessity of smashing this bankrupt capitalist system that can only survive through this war on two fronts.
It is clear to every worker in the US, Europe and across the world that the Iranian people are not their enemy – the enemy is at home and the working class must stand with the Iranian people who are determined never to submit to US imperialism.
The US and British trade unions must take action to stop imperialism’s war of conquest by calling general strikes to bring down imperialist governments and go forward to workers’ governments and socialism. Only socialist revolution can put an end to imperialist war against the working class at home and the people of the world.