May 04, 2018

The Challenge of Reinstating Sanctions Against Iran

It’s Not as Simple as Withdrawing From the JCPOA

By Peter Harrell

U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be on the brink of withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. He faces a May 12 deadline to renew waivers of key U.S. sanctions on Iran, and despite pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to do so, Trump seems set to deliver on his January threat to stop waiving sanctions and to kill the deal.

JCPOA critics inside and outside the administration assume that the simple act of letting U.S. sanctions waivers lapse will result in crippling economic pressure on Iran. This pressure, they argue, will give Washington leverage to renegotiate the deal’s limits on Iran’s nuclear program and to press Tehran to curb its support for Syrian Hezbollah and other malign activities throughout the Middle East.

The reality of how sanctions work, however, is far more complicated. It took the combined efforts of Congress and two U.S. presidents—George W. Bush and Barack Obama—nearly a decade to cripple Iran’s economy. Rebuilding economic pressure after Washington pulls out from the JCPOA would be an even greater challenge, given international opposition to the U.S. withdrawal and scant international support for renewed sanctions. The result could be a “win-win” situation for Iran, in which it is both freed from the JCPOA’s constraints on its nuclear activity and able to retain at least part of the sanctions relief for which it bargained.

Read the Full Article at Foreign Affairs

  • Video
    • October 13, 2021
    Bloomberg Markets: The Close

    Caroline Hyde, Romaine Bostick & Taylor Riggs bring you the latest news and analysis leading up to the final minutes and seconds before the closing bell on Wall Street and tac...

    By Yaya J. Fanusie

  • Podcast
    • October 13, 2021
    Economic Crisis in Afghanistan

    Alex Zerden, founder and principal of Capitol Peak Strategies discusses the economic crisis in Afghanistan. He spoke with Bloomberg's David Westin. Listen to the full convers...

    By Alex Zerden

  • Commentary
    • October 6, 2021
    Sharper: Supply Chain Security

    The pandemic has shown that the resilience of America's global supply chains—the interconnected movement of goods and services from creation to consumer—is a national security...

    By Anna Pederson

  • Podcast
    • September 29, 2021
    Afghanistan's Economy Has Worsened Since The Taliban Took Power

    Center for a New American Security Adjunct Senior Fellow Alex Zerden speaks to NPR about Afghanistan's struggling economy under Taliban rule. Listen to the full conversation ...

    By Alex Zerden

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia