‘Iran opposes US hegemony’
“The problem is that the US is pushing this conflict, this confrontation, in a direction which is becoming dangerous,” said Marandi of the University of Tehran. “In the eyes of many Iranians the Americans really do not want the nuclear issue to be resolved. They simply do not recognize Iran as an independent state, because Iran opposes American hegemony.”
“The maneuvers in the Persian Gulf are basically to show the United States that Iran is strong and can protect itself,” Marandi added. “And it is basically the only way in which to force the United States to recognize that certain lines just should not be crossed.”
With the naval drills Iran has proved it has enough resources to carry out its threat and close the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil export route linking the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean, he believes.
“The Iranians are far stronger than the Americans would like to admit,” Marandi said. “Just recently they brought down and captured the most sophisticated drone in the US military, the Iranians have blinded CIA’s satellite.”
A meeting of EU foreign ministers at the end of January will decide whether to implement an embargo on Iranian oil imports to punish Tehran for its controversial nuclear work. But what the West is basically trying to do is to “prevent ordinary Iranians from living like ordinary human beings,” Marandi believes.
“It is really the Americans that are being provocative,” Marandi said. “They want people in Iran to suffer. That’s what they did in Gaza, and that’s what they are doing in Syria too, that is what sanctions in Syria are all about.”
But despite all attempts to hurt the Iranians, the country’s economy is actually growing, according to Marandi.
“If you look at recent IMF reports, the Iranian economy is growing faster than European economies and the American economy,” Marandi said. “So far the sanctions have not had the effect that the Americans wanted them to.”