The U.S. Is Considering Sanctions Relief for Iran That Will Endanger Israel

May 28, 2021 | Richard Goldberg and Mark Dubowitz
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In a May 6 press briefing, Rob Malley—the White House’s top envoy to Iran—indicated that Washington might abandon sanctions on Tehran for its support of terrorism and its human-rights violations in exchange for its agreeing to abide by the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Richard Goldberg and Mark Dubowitz explain:

[During the original nuclear negotiations], then-President Barack Obama made one important promise: no matter what, the United States would retain the right to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic to stop the flow of money to its missile program, sponsorship of terrorism, and abuse of human rights.

According to Malley’s interpretation of the JCPOA, the entities provided sanctions relief under the 2015 deal did not just receive “nuclear sanctions” relief. They were given blanket immunity to finance terrorism, missile proliferation [in violation of international law], and human-rights abuses in perpetuity. Any attempt to impose terrorism sanctions on an Iranian bank that is actively financing terrorism, for example, would be a violation of the JCPOA, according to Malley, if that terror bank was initially granted nuclear sanctions relief in 2015.

That is most certainly a shift in U.S. policy—toward Tehran. . . . The danger of a policy that grants Tehran’s largest banks and companies full immunity from terrorism and missile sanctions is on full display today in Israel. Giving a green light to terror and missile finance will vastly expand the terror budget for terrorist groups in Gaza and Lebanon—putting Israel in even greater danger.

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