Trump’s decision will likely strain Washington’s ties with its European allies who had urged him to remain in the deal.
Indeed, there is only one waiver scheduled for renewal by a May 12 deadline. That provision is Section 1245 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Section 1245 had a much larger impact on Iran than most other statutory provisions levied by the United States between 2010 and 2016. It was ostensibly a banking sanction, requiring the president to prohibit the opening of correspondent or payable-through accounts by a foreign financial institution (FFI) the president determined to have knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction with the Central Bank of Iran or another designated Iranian financial institution—or to impose strict conditions on the maintenance of such accounts.
Here’s a quick look at the history of sanctions on Iran.
Check out the timeline at the New Atlanticist.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned on May 6 that if the United States were to leave the deal it would face “regret of historic proportions.” The United Kingdom, France, and Germany have publicly urged Trump not to abandon the JCPOA.
Here’s where the signatories stand on the JCPOA.
The United States’ European and Asian allies would strenuously complain and seek ways to protect oil imports and other trade and investment with Iran if Trump refuses to renew sanctions waivers by May 12. But many companies would be unlikely to risk the hefty fines that violating US sanctions could entail. Already, major multinational firms are putting Iran plans on hold.
Influencing the debates over Iran’s nuclear program, regional influence, ballistic missile program and other Iranian policies are members of the US Congress and traditional US allies in Europe as well as regional powers such as Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Israel and Mohammad bin Salman’s government in Saudi Arabia.
Apart from the destruction it would wreak, an Iran-Israeli war would consume Syria, bring the United States back to the Middle East in a big way, and force Russia to choose between the two states against its own preferences. In other words, this war could wipe out all of Russia’s recent gains from its intervention in Syria.
To understand the significance of the information acquired for the nuclear deal, however, we must first review the steps necessary to build nuclear weapons. For Iran to go nuclear, it must complete three steps: (1) enrich significant quantities of uranium to weapons-grade levels; (2) develop a functioning nuclear warhead; (3) and possess a ballistic missile or other means to deliver the device to an enemy. Step 1 is the most difficult technical hurdle and the subject of the most contentious debates on the Iran nuclear deal. But all of the revelations in Netanyahu’s presentation were about Step 2.
I agree with the student’s concerns about the map, with which I was not totally comfortable. However, on the more important issue of whether Iran’s Sunnis face systemic discrimination, I disagree with the student’s arguments, many of which echo the Islamic Republic’s official line.