Robert Fantina

How has Iran continued to thrive despite U.S. sanctions and warmongering?

Sanctions, support for rebels and violating the JCPOA are just some of the actions the U.S. has performed over the four decades of Iranian independence from its brutal dictator to punish the Iranian people for daring to be the masters of their own destinies.


          By Robert Fantina*


This year marks the thirty-ninth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that overthrew the brutal, repressive United States-supported regime of Pahlavi, and replaced it with one chosen by the people of Iran. For generations, the Iranian people were forced to adhere to Western standards in opposition to the religious beliefs of the majority of the population. In addition, they were subject to the cruelty of the Shah, who took his instructions not from the people he was in power to serve, but from the U.S. government—, which was only interested in Iranian oil and any other economic benefit it could accrue from controlling Iran.

         Nevertheless, a proud people cannot be oppressed forever. As one author expressed it, “All revolutions are impossible until they happen; then they become inevitable.”[1] And so it was with Iran. Although surrounded by a powerful military force, the Shah was unable to withstand a popular people’s uprising, and in just a few short months, he fled the nation in disgrace, allowing a responsive government, selected by the people, to come to power.

          Yet the U.S. will never let the nations it controls leave its influence without a fight, and the brutal U.S. has been opposing the Iranian government since the successful revolution. It supported Iraq when it attacked Iran in 1980, and has issued economic ‘sanctions’ for years. While these sanctions restrict Iran’s ability to engage in commerce in a number of areas around the globe, the country has managed to thrive despite them.

          The United States, under the incompetent and clown-like President Donald Trump, is on the verge of violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an international agreement that regulates Iran’s nuclear program. In reality, no such agreement is necessary, since Iran is a signatory of the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. If the U.S. is so concerned about nuclear weapons in the Middle East, perhaps it should turn its attention to the Zionist regime, which, unlike Iran, has nuclear weapons, and also unlike Iran, has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

          Moreover, while the U.S. relaxed some sanctions as agreed to in the JCPOA, under Trump’s administration additional sanctions have been issued. He has—through his equally incompetent Ambassador to the United Nations—accused Iran of violating the ‘spirit’ of the agreement. Has not the U.S. done exactly that by issuing new sanctions?

          Earlier this year, when some protests erupted in Iran, the U.S. supported them, and its spokespeople said it would support any group that worked toward ‘regime change’ in Iran. Last week, hundreds of thousands of women demonstrated against the U.S. government, yet one did not hear Iran’s leaders saying they supported ‘regime change’ in the U.S. Rather, they have no interest in interfering in the domestic policies of the U.S., as the U.S. should have no interest in interfering in theirs.

          Yet the U.S. acts against Iran in vain. As Ayatollah Khamenei said recently:

“All actions that the enemies have waged against us, during the past forty years, are counter-attacks against the Islamic Revolution. The Revolution uprooted the enemies’ political position in the country; now, they (the enemy) launch counter attacks, frequently, and are defeated each time. The enemy tries, yet cannot advance because of powerful resistance: by a strong popular and national fortress.”

          While this quotation doesn’t specifically single out the U.S., there can be no doubt about whom Ayatollah Khamenei referred to. Sanctions, support for rebels and violating the JCPOA are just some of the actions the U.S. has performed over the four decades of Iranian independence from its brutal dictator to punish the Iranian people for daring to be the masters of their own destinies.

          One may ask why this is. Why does the U.S. continue to harass Iran with sanctions, and war-mongering rhetoric? Clearly, the U.S. wants to continue to support the apartheid regime of Israel, mainly because of pro-Israeli lobbies in the U.S. Israel has one of the most dismal human rights records in the world today, and yet the U.S. continues to support it. Moreover, with Iran growing in power and influence, the U.S. will continue to attempt to weaken it in any way possible.

          However, as inevitable as the success of the revolution that began thirty-nine years ago was, the continued success and prosperity of the great nation of Iran is also inevitable. Its citizens are loyal; its army powerful; its government secure; its allies strong. As the U.S struggles with its own, highly dysfunctional government, creating and careening from one international crisis after another, expending its taxes on weaponry rather than people, it, not Iran, will eventually fall.

          It has been said that a world power in decline is dangerous, far more dangerous than one that is ascendant. The United States led by Trump, astounding the common sense of the rest of the world, threatening North Korea and Iran, sanctioning Russia and making international decisions against the will of the global community, sees its influence waning. No one knows the limits it will reach to cling to its fading power.

Iran, increasing in strength and influence in the Middle East and throughout the world, threatens no one, yet the U.S. accuses it of that which it, itself, is guilty: exporting terrorism around the world.

The Iranian people, and everyone globally who respects the very basic human right of self-determination, celebrates this revolutionary anniversary with Iran. It is hoped that that great nation will continue to thrive, and that its people will serve as an example to the world that proud, dedicated people can, indeed, take control of their lives.




[1] Sachs, Albie (1990). The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter. University of California Press. p. 164. ISBN 9780520959446.





* Robert Fantina is an author and peace activist. His writing has appeared on Mondoweiss, Counterpunch, Trutout and other sites. His latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy

The views, opinions and positions expressed on Op-Ed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of


  • democracy
  • Iran
  • Islamic Revolution
  • Revolution
  • sanctions