The Success of Sanctions Refutes a Key Argument in Favor of the Nuclear Deal with Iran

When arguing in favor of the 2015 agreement with the Islamic Republic, Barack Obama and members of his administration insisted that European nations would not cooperate indefinitely with the U.S.-led sanctions regime. If a deal was not concluded promptly, they warned, Tehran would obtain economic relief elsewhere, without having to restrict its nuclear activities. The events of the past year prove otherwise, writes Tzvi Kahn:

[T]he Trump administration has reinstated the sanctions that President Obama lifted and then gone farther, most notably by ending the waivers that allowed some Iranian oil exports and by putting new sanctions on the industrial-metals sector. The impact on Iran has been substantial. On May 11, [Iran’s President Hassan] Rouhani likened current conditions to the country’s economic plight during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the most traumatic period of the Islamic Republic’s 40-year history. . . .

The latest economic indicators underscore Iran’s distress. In April, the twelve-month point-to-point inflation rate hit 51.4 percent, according to the state-run Iranian Statistical Center. As of Tuesday, the rial traded at 143,000 per U.S. dollar. . . . By contrast, when President Trump withdrew from the deal on May 8, 2018, the rial was trading at 64,500 per U.S. dollar. The International Monetary Fund forecast in early April that Iran’s GDP will contract by 6 percent in 2019. . . .

U.S. sanctions have [in fact] led most European companies to exit the country. Meanwhile, efforts by European governments to establish an alternative payment system that would bypass the sanctions have foundered. This reality remains inconsistent with warnings from senior Obama administration officials. . . .

[W]hile most foreign governments oppose the reinstated sanctions, international corporations have proved unwilling to risk losing access to America’s $20-trillion economy in order to conduct business with Iran’s $400-billion economy. Firms also do not wish to jeopardize their access to the U.S. dollar, which remains indispensable as a medium of trade. . . . The Trump administration should keep up the pressure by fulfilling its recent pledge to impose even more sanctions.

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories free

Register Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in now

Read more at FDD

More about: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Iran sanctions

The U.S. Tells the Truth about the Jewish Residents of the West Bank, and about International Law

Nov. 19 2019

Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his department’s conclusion that the “establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per-se inconsistent with international law.” He stressed that the decision would not prejudice any future agreements, and pointed to the imprudence of reducing Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians to a matter of international law, instead affirming the long-held U.S. position that only negotiations between the parties could bring about a solution. Caroline Glick comments:

Sign up to read more

You've read all your free articles for this month


Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Caroline Glick

More about: International Law, Settlements, US-Israel relations, West Bank