According to the WSJ, at least three Democratic presidential candidates have announced their intentions to return the U.S. to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if they win in the 2020 elections. Despite the controversy surrounding the U.S.’s departure from the Obama era treaty it would be a terrible mistake to end such sanctions in their entirety.
First and foremost, the Iranian government has demonstrated a willingness to skirt around the restrictive measures put in place by the JCPOA to prevent nuclear weapons development on numerous occasions. In addition the agreement has several measures scheduled to expire in the coming years that will make it easier for Iran to develop nuclear weapons if they so choose.
Beyond the nuclear weapon concerns, there are legitimate civil rights abuses going on in Iran that under normal circumstances would garner severe global outcries for condemnation and sanctions, yet have gone largely ignored by Western powers due to the blinding desire to have a nuclear deal in place.
There is still more Trump can do to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapons program or advancing research in intercontinental ballistic missiles. According to the FDD, experts on sanctions, stronger legislative sanctions would be harder for the next president to repeal. In addition the administration can continue to up the pressure on our allies by making the punishment for doing business with Iran more severe. Learn more about the FDD here.
President Trump could direct the Treasury to put the Central Bank of Iran on the list of terrorist funding organizations for its role in providing weapons and training to Hezbollah, a sworn enemy of Israel and ruthless terrorist organization. Sanctions are affecting groups like Hezbollah according to the New York Times. Now is not the time to restrict sanctions. The government could also specifically label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization and impose sanctions specific to their actions, according to Jonathan Schanzer, an expert on the Middle East.
In essence, it’s essential for the president to create a wall of sanctions tied to as many individual parts of the Iranian government as possible to prevent future administrations from repealing them all, according to Fox News, If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that removing restrictions on Iran would be a terrible mistake. Learn more about the leading experts at FDD.