Non-public report to Congress shows sanctions drained nearly $18 billion from Iran’s coffers
trump The administration’s sanctions on Iran ended the hardline regime’s trade with the world’s largest economies, rising from $46 billion in 2019 to $46 billion in 2020, according to a non-public report sent to Congress by the Biden administration earlier this month. to $28 billion.
The nearly $18 billion loss in trade was a significant blow to Iran’s efforts to gain access to the hard currency amid an ongoing cash crunch that has ravaged the country’s economy and sparked nationwide protests. All told, the re-imposition of sanctions that began in 2018 reduced Iran’s trade by more than $70 billion.
The extent of the damage caused by the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran was disclosed this month in an unclassified but non-public mandated report to Congress, a copy of which was reviewed. Washington Free Beacon. It showed that sanctions imposed on Iran by the former administration prevented the Iranian regime from making profits, even as critics of the GOP-led sanctions claimed such measures were ineffective.
The revelations come as the Biden administration is negotiating with Iran and aims to sign a new version of the 2015 nuclear deal, which provided Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Iran is pressuring US officials to lift former administration sanctions, which would provide a cash lifeline to the harsh regime. The Biden administration has signaled it is ready to waive the most crushing economic sanctions on Tehran, criticizing the GOP hawks in Congress and others who say the United States is taking its advantage over the regime.
The latest report was submitted to Congress under Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, which requires the president to inform lawmakers about Iran’s trade with major global countries known as the Group of 20. The significant reduction in trade came after the Trump administration in August 2020 implemented a mechanism called “snapback”, which reimposed all international sanctions lifted on Iran as part of the nuclear deal.
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The report also outlined US trade with Iran, which declined from $34.5 million in 2019 to $26.5 million in 2020. Most of US exports to Iran are allowed by humanitarian exemptions on sanctions and include agricultural goods, medicine and medical equipment. This trade continued with Iran as the coronavirus pandemic took the world by storm and devastated Iran’s population.
Iran’s top trading partner is China, with over $19 billion in trade with Iran in 2019. That number fell to $12 billion in 2020. China has deferred US sanctions to trade with Iran. This includes Iran’s lucrative and heavily sanctioned oil trade, which happens to be under the radar.
According to the report, the EU traded $4.7 billion with Iran in 2019. That number fell to $4.3 billion in 2020. Europe remains committed to trade with Iran, even in the face of US sanctions, and has worked to facilitate America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, which it sees as beneficial to this trading relationship.
Behnam Ben Taleblu, and Iran The expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said the figures “put more meat on the bone of macroeconomic markers of the success of the Trump administration’s maximum pressure policy against Iran.”
“Simply put,” he said, “maximum pressure was working, and reversing course would have only the opposite effect. These figures also serve as a footnote to support the larger claim that if economic pressure implemented and complicated, the question of when will the position of strength with the Islamic Republic of Iran, if not, be negotiated.”
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