David Mortlock

  • O'Toole and Mortlock Report Quoted in Bloomberg on Sanctions


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  • How Iran Will Cope With US Sanctions

    The Trump Administration’s second wave of sanctions against Iran went into effect earlier this month, directed against Iran’s vital oil and petrochemical sector, its Central Bank, and other financial institutions. However, Washington’s diplomatic isolation as a result of its unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and its desire to mitigate oil prices softened some of the intended negative impact on Iran, which is already employing a variety of coping mechanisms.

    The Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative detailed these mechanisms in a new issue brief, How Iran Will Cope with US Sanctions, co-authored by Holly Dagres, a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center, and Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative. The report highlights a number of ways Iran has used in the past to circumvent previous sanctions...

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  • A Road Map of the Re-Imposed Sanctions for Iran

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    On November 5, 2018, the United States completed the re-imposition of nuclear related secondary sanctions on Iran. US President Donald Trump had announced in May that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) with Iran. To re-impose the sanctions, the US Departments of State and Treasury have revoked licenses that authorized certain activity with Iran as well as the waivers that were issued to lift the threat of secondary sanctions against non-US persons engaged in certain transactions involving particular Iranian individuals or entities....

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  • US Sanctions: Using a Coercive and Economic Tool Effectively

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    In recent years, US economic and financial sanctions have become favored tools of US power. The centrality of the US financial system and the ubiquity of the US dollar in the global financial marketplace make sanctions a powerful tool to have on hand when confronting foreign policy challenges. The great danger is, however, that sanctions become a substitute for actual policy, rather than merely a tool of foreign policy. In “US Sanctions: Using a Coercive Economic and Financial Tool Effectively” authors David Mortlock and Brian O’Toole, who are both senior fellows at the Atlantic...

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  • Dagres and Mortlock Quoted in Houston Chronicle on Iran Sanctions


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  • The United States Snaps Back Sanctions on Iran. Will They Bite the Government in Tehran?

    By reimposing sanctions on Iran, the United States is “simply trying to squeeze more out of the Iranians using a slightly lesser tool—sanctions functionally equivalent to what we had before without the corresponding political support,” according to Daniel Fried, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council.

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration on November 5 reimposed all of the sanctions that were lifted by Barack Obama’s administration as part of a 2015 deal over Iran’s nuclear program. Trump pulled the United States out the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May.

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  • Mortlock and Dagres Quoted in Axios on US Reimposing Iran Sanctions


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  • Global Energy Center Experts Weigh In on Iran Sanctions

    At 11:59 p.m. ET on November 4, the remaining sanctions on Iran’s energy, ship building, shipping, and banking sectors that had been lifted or waived under the JCPOA came back into full effect. Iran’s oil exports and revenue are a major part of the administration’s strategy to spur change in Iran on the part of the regime. Speaking during a briefingon November 2, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed sanctions on Iran, declaring that, so far, the reduction in Iranian oil exports since the US withdrew from the JCPOA in May has far exceeded expectations because “maximum pressure means maximum pressure.”

    What effects will the official end of the 180-day wind-down period have on global markets? As sanctions against Iran come into full effect, Global Energy Center experts weigh in on the...

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  • Trump’s Election Meddling Sanctions Will Not Deter Russia

    US President Donald J. Trump on September 12 issued a new executive order (EO) authorizing sanctions in response to interference in US elections, likely as an attempt to stave off two bipartisan bills circulating in the Senate that would mandate significant sanctions against Russia. The EO is a mixed bag; it directs cabinet officials to produce reports on interference following every US federal election—a good step toward showing seriousness—but the sanctions in the EO do not substantially change the status quo, especially from the perspective of providing an effective deterrent to Russian aggression. 

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  • The Risks of the Trump Administration’s Whiplash Policy on Iranian Oil

    As the Trump Administration prepares to re-impose nuclear-related sanctions on Iran following the president’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), its treatment of Iranian oil sales could dramatically impact both the United States’ Iran strategy and the global oil market. The administration’s apparent decision to compel buyers to zero out their purchases of Iranian oil by November is likely to have dramatic consequences for both the effectiveness of the sanctions and the markets and has the potential to negatively impact both.

    On Tuesday, June 26, a senior State Department official told reporters that it was not likely to issue exceptions to US sanctions for countries that were significantly reducing its purchases of Iranian oil.

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