Iranian General Calls for Tehran Adopting 'Sea-Oriented Strategy' to Tackle US Sanctions
Donald Trump reinstated strict economic sanctions against Tehran in May 2018, following Washington's exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
High-ranking Iranian General Yahya Rahim Safavi underscored the importance of adopting a sea-oriented strategy to bypass sanctions on Sunday, pointing out the value of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to global trade.
Speaking to reporters after a visit to Iran's southern port of Shahid Rajaee, Safavi said that "considering the strategic position of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Oman Sea in trade exchanges, the adoption of a sea-oriented strategy has a defining role in the process of exports, transit and economy of this region."
The general, who is the top military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also referred to the possible strategies that he said Iran could "employ" to counter the harsh US sanctions, especially those related to the maritime industry.
His comments come after Khamenei welcomed developing foreign trade and new regional contracts in March, with the supreme leader stressing that the country's economy should not be tied to US sanctions.
The developments come amid on-going tensions between Tehran and Washington that have persisted since 8 May 2018, when Trump announced his government's exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The former US president also reinstated strong economic sanctions against Iran.
One year later, Tehran declared that it would be scaling down its commitments in the deal, which involved limiting the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme in exchange for sanction relief.
The Vienna talks held to revive the Iran deal broke down this March, after Tehran demanded that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be declassified as a terrorist organisation. The IRGC was blacklisted by Trump in 2019.
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