December 17, 2015
On December 17, 2015, as part of a conference co-hosted by the Atlantic Council, Baker & McKenzie and the Iran Project, Adam Szubin, the Treasury Department’s Acting Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, served as the first representative from the Department of the Treasury to address the Iran deal at the Atlantic Council.

  • Mr. Szubin described the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as “one of the most effective sanctions programs in history" and "our best method of preventing what we all feared as a nightmare scenario". Mr. Szubin added that the ultimate goal and succes of any sanctions program is its demise. 

  • During the discussion, Mr. Szubin tackled the JCPOA’s “snapback” provision, by which the United States government would reinstate sanctions against Iran if Iran violates the JCPOA. However Mr. Szubin clarified that if there is a "smaller deviation" in iran's follow through, the Treasury's “first impulse is to see if Iran can fix it, not snapback the sanctions”.

  • Finally, Mr. Szubin declared that Iran's missile test did not violate the JCPOA, although it might have violated a UN Security Council resolution.