Economic Sanctions Initiative

  • Oil and Iran: How Renewed Sanctions Will Affect Iran and World Markets


    On July 18, the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative in the South Asia Center, Global Energy Center, and Global Business & Economics Program co-hosted a panel discussion on the likelihood and effect of renewed US sanctions on Iran. The event featured five panelists: Anna Borschevskaya, Ira Weiner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Amos J. Hochstein, senior vice president of marketing at Tellurian Inc.; Robin Mills, CEO of Qamar Energy; Brian O’Toole, non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program; and Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International. Barbara Slavin, director of the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative, moderated.


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  • US Sanctions Options against North Korea if Diplomacy Succeeds or Fails


    On June 26, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program, in partnership with the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), hosted a lunch roundtable discussion on US sanctions options against North Korea. The event featured Daleep Singh, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and adjunct senior fellow at CNAS; and Peter E. Harrell, adjunct senior fellow at the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at CNAS. Elizabeth Rosenberg, senior fellow and director of the Energy, Environment, and Security Program at CNAS, moderated and Ambassador Daniel Fried, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center, gave opening remarks.
  • How to Increase Pressure if Diplomacy with North Korea Fails

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    The uncertain results of President Trump’s June 12 summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un underscore the fact that the United States needs to keep developing tools to intensify the “maximum pressure” campaign that helped bring North Korea to the negotiating table. If North Korea proves unwilling to denuclearize and diplomacy breaks down once again, the Trump administration will need game-changing options in its sanctions arsenal. In “How to Increase Pressure if Diplomacy with North Korea Fails” authors Daleep Singh, a senior fellow at...

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  • Forrer Quoted in CNBC on Iran Nuclear Deal Sanctions


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  • Dropping the Hammer

    The Trump administration, acting through Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), has wasted no time in setting a harried pace of Iran-related designations to up the pressure after the president announced the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8. In the seven business days following that fateful announcement, OFAC has issued four sets of Iran-related designations targeting Iran’s support for terrorism in what seems to be an attempt to replicate the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea that helped spur a leadership summit to negotiate denuclearization (albeit one that seems less certain than a week ago). These actions have come alongside a concerted effort by the administration to pressure foreign companies, especially in Europe, to cease business with Iran prior to the expiration of secondary sanctions waivers in August and November. 

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  • Secondary Economic Sanctions: Effective Policy or Risky Business?

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    Economic sanctions have proven to be an important foreign policy tool for the Trump Administration. In less than a year, it has expanded existing economic sanctions in response to disputes with North Korea, Russia, Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela. In Secondary Economic Sanctions: Effective Policy or Risky Business, author John Forrer, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program, explains that one specific strategy used to increase the effects of US sanctions is referred to as “secondary sanctions.” This type of sanction is adopted in...

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  • US Sanctions’ Global Impact - A Case Study of RUSAL’s Supply Chain

    On April 6, 2018, the Trump Administration imposed stiff economic sanctions on37 Russian oligarchs, oligarch-owned companies, Russian government officials, and state-owned companies.

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  • Dicussion on Venezuela Sanctions with the Hon. Marshall Billingslea

    On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, the Atlantic Council's Economic Sanctions Initiative hosted a private roundtable breakfast on US sanctions towards Venezuela with the honorable Marshall Billingslea.

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  • O'Toole Quoted in i24 News on Trump's Nuclear Deal Pullout


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  • The Iran Deal: Withdrawal Symptoms

    US President Donald J. Trump’s May 8 announcement that he would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal was broadly consistent with what many observers expected from the administration. However, because the sanctions component proved tougher than most predicted, the full scope of economic and political ramifications remains unknown.

    While the United States gears up for the reimposition of broad secondary and narrower primary US sanctions on Iran for its nuclear activity, there will be a wind-down period for ceasing business, allowing for at least some transition time. 

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