The United States is beginning to feel the effects of its shifting policy on Iran, mostly due to the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. The State Department’s Director of Policy Planning, Brian Hook, addressed reporters this week and spoke about the decreasing value of Iranian currency. He elaborated that the rial rose to an “all-time high,” versus the U.S. dollar and it was “trading at 85,000 to a dollar on the unofficial market,” which is twice the market exchange rate.

On August 6th, the United States will impose sanctions that will be “targeting Iran’s automotive sector,” as well as its rare minerals trade. Then on November 6th, the rest of the planned sanctions will be put into effect “targeting Iran’s energy sector and petroleum-related transactions,” and any transactions done by the Central Bank of Iran. Director Hook affirms that the United States intends to shift the actions of Iran’s leadership while leaving the regime intact. The United States ultimately seeks to affect the vast array of Iran’s current activities as well as the regimes support of extremist militia groups.

Director Hook also touched on the 1989 assassination of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, in that regard. Considering that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was presently traveling to Europe in an effort to oppose the coming sanctions, Director Hook said that the president’s trip to Vienna was ironic considering that “Iranian operatives, using diplomatic cover,” murdered the Kurdish leader.

It was made clear that a large majority of international businesses would be withdrawing from Iran “particularly in the energy and financial sectors.” Despite this, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said that Turkey would not halt their business relations with Iran. Director Hook touched on this saying that, “We are not going to cut off our trade ties with Iran because other countries told us so. We are not looking to grant licenses or waivers,” he replied, “because doing so would substantially reduce pressure on Iran.”

Feature image: Assistant Secretary Brian H. Hook visiting a World Food Program distribution site in the West Bank. By the end of 2009, the United States will provide over $5.5 billion to fight against global hunger – more assistance than any other country. | By DOS