The US sanctions imposed on Iran on Monday are an additional, vital step in the West’s long struggle to curb the ayatollah regime’s nuclear, territorial, and religious aspirations.
This battle has been going on for more than two decades at a changing pace, combining a variety of economic, diplomatic, operational, and media-oriented measures. Throughout this period, Iran has repeatedly defied and defrauded the international community and has only suspended its nuclear work twice: after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, and with the formulation of the nuclear agreement in 2015.
In both cases, Iran’s leaders felt the noose was tightening around their necks and sought to ensure the regime’s survival. In 2003, Iran believed that after the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it would be next; and in 2015, it really only agreed to the nuclear deal when the vast economic sanctions threatened to completely overwhelm the Iranian economy.
This is also the undeclared goal of the current round of sanctions: to push the Iranian leadership into a corner and force it to make different decisions.