Ever since US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out from the nuclear deal with Tehran and reinstated the most draconian sanctions ever imposed, many have wondered whether Iran can withstand the pressure aiming to bring it to its knees. Although Iranian leaders are assured that they will resist stubbornly, and have vowed to beat the sanctions, their country faces an uncertain future as it slides into a deep recession.
While Iran is no stranger to intense economic pressure — it has lived under US sanctions for decades and survived harsh UN sanctions from 2010 to 2015 — there is no doubt that the impact of the latest imposition will be severe. Over the years, the US has also learned how to become more effective in cracking down on its arch foe in the Middle East.
According to Richard Nephew, a senior researcher at Columbia University and former lead sanctions expert for the US team negotiating with Iran, neither the Iranian nor the international economies have changed much in the three years since American sanctions were last fully in force. “The economic reality of the choice between doing business with the United States versus doing business with Iran remains as it was,” he told MEMO. “So, the idea that we would see people stop doing business with Iran and that this would harm Iran should not be considered controversial.”
Read the full article and more in Middle East Monitor.