The sound of mullahs whining

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning” is one of the great lines in Apocalypse Now. Can we adapt the line to Trump foreign policy? In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I love the sound of mullahs whining all day long.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran’s oil exports are dropping faster than expected before the Trump administration’s new sanctions are scheduled to kick in on November 4. “The developments reflect in part a reluctance of tanker companies to ship Iranian oil,” according to the Journal.

The Trump administration has formulated the zero option for Iranian oil exports. Now that’s audacity. It’s all part of the great undoing. Thank you, President Trump.

The Iranian economy is going to hell. The rial is collapsing and unemployment is surging. The pitiful performance of the Iranian economy is roiling Iranian politics. Iranian President Rouhani blames the country’s economic problems on President Trump. Once again, thank you, President Trump.

The pitiful performance of the Iranian economy is roiling Iranian politics. Yesterday Iranian lawmakers launched impeachment proceedings against the education minister. According to this excellent Reuters update, “the move came only three days after lawmakers sacked the minister of economy and finance blaming him for the collapse of the plight of the rial and mounting unemployment. They had, weeks earlier, dismissed the labor minister. Another motion, signed by 70 lawmakers, aims to impeach the minister of industry, mines and business.” Let’s keep it going!

This week Iranian military authorities are making threatening noises about its control of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz in particular. Fox News has a good roundup of the related news here. They seem to think they can intimidate the Trump administration into the docile behavior to which they grew accustomed under President Obama.

My favorite of instance of the mullahs whining is the case they have brought against the United States in the International Court of Justice at the Hague. According to the mullahs, the administration’s sanctions violate the 1955 Treaty of Amity. Who knew? The mullahs have a sense of humor that is a killer.

Reuters takes up the mullahs’ lawsuit here. Elaine Chachko takes up the lawsuit in a hilariously understated Lawfare post.

Readers with a long memory may recall the mullahs’ fraught relationship with the International Court of Justice if not the Treaty of Amity dating. They didn’t seem to be big fans of the treaty or the court after they took power in 1979. When the Carter administration brought suit against the mullahs at the ICJ in 1980 over the seizure of Americans our embassy in Tehran, the mullahs were not impressed. In one of the great “triumphs” of Carter administration foreign policy, the court held the seizure to be illegal.

I seem to recall that the mullahs ignored the lawsuit and the judgment. I trust Secretary Pompeo will draw on the precedent of the mullahs’ 1980 response in the event of an adverse outcome in this lawsuit at the Hague.

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