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Global Perspectives on the Renewed Sanctions Against Iran
Nov 5, 2018 at 03:15 PM

The Quick Facts

  • Today, November 5th, the Trump administration’s tough new sanctions against Iran take effect.
  • The new sanctions target Iran’s energy, financial, and shipping sectors in an effort to weaken the Iranian economy.
  • President Trump said in a statement on Friday night: “Our objective is to force the regime into a clear choice: either abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster.”
  • U.S. sanctions against Iran had previously been eased under the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. President Trump withdrew from the deal in May of this year.
  • 8 nations will receive U.S. sanctions waivers for Iran oil imports, allowing them to continue purchasing Iranian oil. Those nations are China, Greece, India, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

Food For Thought

Are the renewed sanctions against Iran a good idea? What is the best strategy for the U.S. to adopt concerning the Iranian political regime?

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The New York Times

The Wrong Way to Punish Iran

Henry J. Farrell and Abraham L. Newman
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This New York Times opinion article by Henry J. Farrell and Abraham L. Newman makes these types of points:

  • Renewing sanctions against Iran will have disastrous consequences for the United States. This move will “undermine America’s influence over the international financial architecture and diminish its power over allies and adversaries alike.”
  • The Trump administration’s plan will be characterized as American overreach, which will threaten the stability of international economic networks.
  • “The United States needs European cooperation with its approach to pressuring Iran,” and this unilateral approach will force the EU to “test America’s dominance” and further push the U.S. into economic isolation.

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The Japan Times

Why the latest American sanctions on Iran will fail

Seyed Hossein Mousavian
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This commentary by Seyed Hossein Mousavian from The Japan Times includes these kinds of opinions:

  • The Trump administration’s strategy when it comes to Iran is destined to fail. It will be impossible to eliminate Iran’s oil exports, as there is “there is no viable replacement for Iran’s 2.5 million barrels per day.”
  • The renewal of sanctions against Iran will damage the relationship between the EU and the United States, and this will eventually weaken the U.S. economy. Other states will simply use the Euro to trade with Iran, “diminishing U.S. domination of global markets.”
  • America’s increasingly isolationist policies, combined with its withdrawal from the 2015 Iran deal, will shift international power politics from “an American-led system to a multi-polar world.”

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The Telegraph

The Iran nuclear deal did not work. Let us hope sanctions bring Tehran to the table

Telegraph Editorial Board
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This analysis from The Telegraph editorial board includes these sorts of opinions:

  • The renewal of U.S. sanctions on Iran will force European countries to halt trade with Iran, essentially making the Iran nuclear deal a “dead duck.”
  • Although the “collapse in the international common front on Iran is regrettable,” the Iran nuclear deal was flawed to begin with. It was supposed to represent a diplomatic triumph and a harbinger of peace, but it has in all likelihood made the Middle East more dangerous, and it is highly unpopular among Iranian citizens.
  • Everyone must hope that the sanctions will hit the Iranian military and financial sector hard enough to drive Iran back to the negotiating table. “This is now the only way forward.”

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Haaretz

Thanks to Trump, the Entire Mideast Now Knows: You're Either With America, or Against Us

Elliott Abrams
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This Haaretz opinion piece by Elliott Abrams makes these kinds of arguments:

  • President Trump and his administration have vastly improved the situation in the Middle East. The reimposed sanctions and the withdrawal from the “deeply flawed Obama nuclear agreement” are wise, practical decisions.
  • The new U.S. policies in the Middle East have strengthened the U.S.–Israeli relationship and have better preserved Israel’s safety. Rising hostility between Iran and the United States is simply “a reflection of reality, and will not change unless Iran’s conduct does.”
  • Diplomatic strategies in the Middle East will never prove successful if they do not reflect “the real balance of power on the ground.” The Trump administration has achieved a “reassertion of the American presence, diplomatic in some cases and military in others,” which is an important step toward successful negotiations with Iran.

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