Iran Focus

London, 22 Sep - In May, Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear between Iran and six world powers and sent the foreign-policy establishment into overdrive with opposition.

They warned that Trump’s promise to bring back sanctions – specifically on Iran’s oil exports - would fail because America’s allies and the other signatories to the nuclear deal would continue to do business with Iran. Then, as if they were dealing with Schrödinger’s sanctions, they said that if the sanctions worked, then the US would be dealing with increased oil prices that would bite the American people and possibly even cause a recession.

But neither forecast has happened. Instead, many businesses have pulled out of Iran (or announced plans to do so before the second round of sanctions comes into force on November 4) and plenty of countries have already cut their ties to Iranian oil, because they don’t want to risk being cut off from the US financial market. And because of the US’s encouragement for other countries to increase their oil production, oil costs are basically flat.

These sanctions will bring the despotic Iranian rulers to their knees, which should be met with bipartisan approval. Not only will it keep the US from appeasing a country that they named as the top state sponsor of terrorism, but it will also stop another costly American war in the Middle East.

The US doesn’t need to make concessions to Iran, thanks to the power of the US economy, and this is something that Trump’s cabinet of Iran hawks - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton – agree on. This means Trump’s proposed new nuclear deal likely won’t allow for sunset clauses or continued development of ballistic weapons, especially given that Iran’s oil offers them little leverage now, thanks to a major shift in energy markets.

Jonathan S. Tobin, editor in chief of and a contributor to National Review, wrote: “Far from a hopeless quest, the US determination to force Iran to renegotiate the nuclear issue, cease its illegal missile program and desist from terror is a realistic goal… The success of oil sanctions should not only encourage the United States to push Tehran harder. It’s also one more reason to ignore the so-called experts’ contempt for Trump’s unconventional but clearly spot-on approach to the region.”

This is correct. The US needs to push Iran further and encourage its allies to do the same, in order to stop this dictatorship from starting a nuclear war.