January 14, 2020

Trump Has Made Sanctions a Path to Strikes

Economic measures can de-escalate tensions, but not if used crudely.

By Elizabeth Rosenberg and ​Neil Bhatiya

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to kill the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, the architect of Iran’s political and military influence in the Middle East, and the Iranian response represent grave escalations in hostilities between the United States and Iran. While both sides have signaled a desire to pull back since these strikes, the world should not exhale too deeply. Trump has offered fresh threats of “punishing economic sanctions” on Iran, which he followed through with on Friday, imposing sanctions on more Iranian officials who had a direct role in the missile attacks, as well as more important economic sectors such as steel, aluminum, copper, and iron.

The continued use of U.S. sanctions, in the absence of negotiations and with a heightened military posture, means that the United States and Iran are locked into a confrontational stance with no plans for de-escalation.

In his speech on Jan. 8 addressing Iran’s attack on U.S. targets in Iraq, Trump said he wanted a new deal to replace the Iran nuclear accord. He refrained from announcing fresh strikes on Iranian targets. Many relieved observers have praised the move as a critical pause in hostilities.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy.

  • Reports
    • May 4, 2021
    Sanctions by the Numbers

    Cyberattacks pose a serious threat to U.S. national security and the integrity of the global commerce and financial system, especially when state-sponsored actors conduct and/...

    By Jason Bartlett & Megan Ophel

  • Podcast
    • April 28, 2021
    The Myths and Realities of China’s Digital Currency

    Yaya Fanusie joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman for a conversation about what China’s digital currency is and what it’s not. Listen to the full conversation from World Politics Revie...

    By Yaya J. Fanusie

  • Congressional Testimony
    • April 15, 2021
    China’s Pursuit for Leadership in Digital Currency

    Submitted Written TestimonyI. Strategic Assessment Vice Chairman Cleveland, Commissioner Wessel, and distinguished members and staff of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Re...

    By Yaya J. Fanusie

  • Podcast
    • April 9, 2021
    Returning To The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Essential For Biden's Foreign Policy Agenda

    Ilan Goldenberg speaks with Franco Ordoñez about the importance of returning to the Iran nuclear deal for President Biden's foreign policy agenda. Listen to the full conversa...

    By Ilan Goldenberg

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia