Iran Sanctions Are Already Crumbling

March 27 2015

In accordance with the November 2013 interim agreement known as the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which is still in effect, Iran was granted some limited relief from sanctions. But ever since then, write Emanuele Ottolenghi and Saeed Ghasseminejad, Iran has been circumventing the remaining sanctions with abandon. This does not augur well for any prospective deal premised on the idea that sanctions will “snap back” if Iran fails to uphold its obligations:

Iran’s [recent] economic windfall . . . goes well beyond the monthly cash transfers and temporary easing on trade stipulated in the JPOA. . . . [Tehran’s] gains are only partly due to sanctions relief: its improved position also results from lax sanctions implementation by its neighbors, reluctance by European authorities to discourage their own economies from trading with the Islamic Republic, and Tehran’s fine-tuning of its talent for bypassing sanctions. As a result, the interim nuclear deal looks increasingly like a slow-motion funeral procession for the sanctions regime. . . .

Direct trade [with Iran] is also getting a push from the new psychological environment that the interim deal has created. Few in Europe believe the sanctions will remain, and many are exploring future commercial opportunities. Meanwhile, Europe’s bilateral trade with Iran is climbing back to pre-sanctions levels—further evidence that banking sanctions are no longer effective. . . .

The Obama administration may still believe it is able to snap sanctions back at any time if Iran cheats on its commitments under a final agreement. Developments thus far under the interim deal suggest otherwise.

Read more at Business Insider

More about: European Union, Iran sanctions, Iranian nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy


President Biden Should Learn the Lessons of Past U.S. Attempts to Solve the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Sept. 21 2023

In his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Joe Biden addressed a host of international issues, mentioning, inter alia, the “positive and practical impacts” resulting from “Israel’s greater normalization and economic connection with its neighbors.” He then added that the U.S. will “continue to work tirelessly to support a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians—two states for two peoples.” Zach Kessel experiences some déjà vu:

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and review how past U.S.-brokered talks between Jerusalem and [Palestinian leaders] have gone down, starting with 1991’s Madrid Conference, organized by then-President George H.W. Bush. . . . Though the talks, which continued through the next year, didn’t get anywhere concrete, many U.S. officials and observers across the world were heartened by the fact that Madrid was the first time representatives of both sides had met face to face. And then Palestinian militants carried out the first suicide bombing in the history of the conflict.

Then, in 1993, Bill Clinton tried his hand with the Oslo Accords:

In the period of time directly after the Oslo Accords . . . suicide bombings on buses and in crowded public spaces became par for the course. Clinton invited then-Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat and then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to Camp David in 2000, hoping finally to put the conflict to rest. Arafat, who quite clearly aimed to extract as many concessions as possible from the Israelis without ever intending to agree to any deal—without even putting a counteroffer on the table—scuttled any possibility of peace. Of course, that’s not the most consequential event for the conflict that occurred in 2000. Soon after the Camp David Summit fell apart, the second intifada began.

Since Clinton, each U.S. president has entered office hoping to put together the puzzle that is an outcome acceptable to both sides, and each has failed. . . . Every time a deal has seemed to have legs, something happens—usually terrorist violence—and potential bargains are scrapped. What, then, makes Biden think this time will be any different?

Read more at National Review

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Joe Biden, Palestinian terror, Peace Process