Iran Sanctions

  • Trump Sanctions Iran’s Supreme Leader

    US President Donald J. Trump on June 24 signed an executive order that he said would place “hard-hitting” sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader.

    “The Supreme Leader of Iran is one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime. He’s respected within his country.  His office oversees the regime’s most brutal instruments, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” Trump said before signing the order in the White House. “These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions,” he added.

    The executive order allows US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to impose sanctions on officials appointed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and those who provide material support to his office. “These sanctions will deny Iran’s leadership access to financial resources,


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  • Hezbollah’s New Drug Rehab Unit Points to Limits of US Sanctions Policy

    Up an untarmacked road, high above the Mediterranean Sea, the Shifa' Speciality Hospital (SSH) sits behind half-built apartment blocks in the suburban town of Aaramoun just south of Beirut.  

    The new hospital opened officially on May 1 and is managed by Hezbollah’s Islamic Health Unit, a social service provider falling under the group’s Executive Council—one of five branches into which Hezbollah’s political, social and military activities are divided. There are few signs of the Iran-backed Lebanese group at the opening event:...

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  • Iran Looks to Chabahar and a New Transit Corridor to Survive US Sanctions

    The Trump administration has exempted the Chabahar port from US sanctions as a gesture toward India, which sees the outpost as a means of facilitating trade with Afghanistan. However, its true potential requires more integration between Iran and among Central Asian states.

    Muddassir Quamar, associate fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, a New Delhi think tank, told this author that trade with any country—not just Afghanistan—through Chabahar port is not under sanctions.

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  • INSTEX: More About Politics Than Economics?

    Ever since the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, the European Union (EU) has emphasized its sovereignty regarding both commercial and political relations with Iran, insisting that it could continue trade under the framework of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Despite that, trade has cratered and a mechanism—the Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX)—expressly created to keep up commercial ties has not yet been implemented.

    When INSTEX was announced on January 31, Per Fischer, the former head of financial institutions at Commerzbank, was appointed as its president. The INSTEX supervisory board includes Simon McDonald, the UK Permanent...

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  • How Bank Fees Can Help the Iranian Economy

    Since the 1979 revolution, Iran’s banking system and the government-dependent central bank have not undergone any major reforms. 

    Working in tandem with parliament, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani aims to finally instill much-needed reforms in the ailing Iranian banking system. 

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  • US Sanctions Are Causing Medicine Shortages, According to Iranians

    The re-imposition of US sanctions since President Donald Trump abandoned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018 has had a devastating effect on the Iranian economy and has especially impacted the lives of those who struggle to provide medicine for themselves and their families. 

    Medicine is supposed to be exempt from the sanctions. Yet Europeans companies and banks have refused to participate in financial transactions involving pharmaceuticals out of fear of US secondary sanctions.

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  • How US Sanctions Hinder Iranians’ Access to Medicine

    The United States has over the past four decades imposed a wide range of economic sanctions to punish Iran for a number of undesired policies. While Trump administration officials continue to insist that food and medicine are exempt from US sanctions, and that sanctions do not hurt the Iranian people, evidence suggests that unilateral sanctions are collectively punishing the Iranian population by denying them adequate and reliable access to medicine. 

    The US has nominally exempted humanitarian goods from its economic sanctions. However, limitations on trade, the unwillingness of financial institutions to process transactions related to Iran, as well as the Iranian government’s misguided policies, have resulted in staggering prices and shortages of medicine. Compounded together, these issues...

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  • Slavin Joins Al Jazeera to Discuss US-Iran Relations

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  • Mixed Reactions in Iran to Trump’s Maximum Pressure Policy

    Harsh measures by the Trump administration against Iran have largely united Iranian political factions against the United States but have triggered a variety of reactions from ordinary Iranians.

    Some have expressed hope for a more open environment as the government seeks to shore up popularity despite rising prices and diminished economic opportunity. Others believe Iran should stand up to US “bullying” despite the costs.

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  • Iran’s Private Sector: Stuck in the Middle

    The Iranian economy and population are every day feeling the painful effects of US-driven financial pressure aimed at blocking any kind of economic interaction between foreign and Iranian banks and businesses.

    The sanctions’ political aim is to make it harder for the Iranian government to govern and reach its political, military and economic ambitions. But in reality, the sanctions do more harm to the already struggling private sector, which employs a large part of the Iranian workforce, and consequently to average Iranians.

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