The Trump administration has recently demonstrated America’s economic prowess by placing sanctions on three dictatorships led by, what Italians would describe, as Bruta Figuras…or brutal figures: Turkey’s Erdogan, Russia’s Putin, and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. U.S. sanctions on Russia and Turkey may prove to be temporary, but the Iran sanctions are more far-reaching and permanent.
As the U.S. imposed sanctions and doubles tariffs on Turkey’s steel and aluminum imports, the Turkish currency, the Lira, has dropped 45% in value. The U.S. action was in response to the house arrest of American Pastor Andrew Brunson, on concocted charges of terrorism by the Turkish authorities. The megalomaniac Erdogan has imprisoned Pastor Brunson in retaliation for the U.S. refusal to extradite Pennsylvania-based Mohammed Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish religious figure, imam, and writer, who is the founder of the worldwide Gulen Hizmet movement. Erdogan blames his now bitter rival Fethullah Gulen of instigating the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.
Also, the administration imposed export restrictions against Russia in response to Moscow’s use of a nerve agent to poison a former Russian spy in Britain, sending the Russian currency, the Ruble, tumbling to a two-year low.
But the Islamic Republic of Iran poses the most potent threat to American interests, and to the security of U.S. allies in the Middle East – and Trump knows it.