President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of Barack Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, which lifted sanctions and gave the rogue Islamic regime pallets of cash, already is having an impact.
A new Congressional Research Service report found the original sanctions “had a substantial effect on Iran’s economy and on some major strategic decisions.”
“During 2012-2015, when the global community was relatively united in pressuring Iran, Iran’s economy shrank by 9 percent per year, crude oil exports fell from about 2.5 million barrels per day to about 1.1 mbd, and Iran was unable to repatriate more than $120 billion in reserves held in banks abroad.”
The JCPOA negotiated by John Kerry for Obama in 2015 turned that around.
It “provided Iran broad relief from the international and U.S. secondary sanctions as the U.S. administration waived relevant sanctions, revoked relevant executive orders, and corresponding U.N. and EU sanctions were lifted,” the nearly 100-page CRS report said.
What remained in effect at that time was a general ban on U.S. trade with Iran and sanctions on Iran’s support for regional governments and armed factions. Also there were bans on deals involving military equipment.
Iran was supposed to face restrictions on development of its nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and a binding ban on its importation or exportation of arms, the report said.
“However, Iran has continued to support regional armed factions and to develop ballistic missiles despite the U.N. restrictions, and did so even when strict international economic sanctions were in place during 2010-2015,” the report said.
Obama’s JCPOA, an executive agreement that never was approved by Congress, also gave Iran relief to increase its oil exports nearly to pre-sanction levels, regain access to foreign exchange reserve funds and move into the international financial system again.
Growth in the economy was 7 percent annually, foreign investments were being attracted and new passenger jets were on order.
However, when Trump said the U.S. would withdraw from the deal and all U.S. secondary sanctions would be restored, things started deteriorating again.
“The administration has indicated it will not support requests by foreign governments or companies for exemptions,” the report said. “U.S. licenses for the sale by Airbus and Boeing of commercial aircraft to Iran Air and other Iranian airlines have been revoked, causing cancellation of sales.
“The reimposition of U.S. sanctions has begun to harm Iran’s economy as major companies exit the Iranian economy rather than risk being penalized by the United States,” the report said. “Iran’s oil exports are decreasing and difficulties paying Iran for oil with hard currency are evident.”
Further, the value of Iran’s currency “has sharply declined and economic-based unrest has continued, although not to the point where the regime is threatened.”
“But it remains uncertain whether Iran’s economy will be damaged to the extent it was during 2012-2015, because the European Union and other countries are trying to keep the economic benefits of the JCPOA flowing to Iran in order to persuade Iran to remain in the JCPOA.”