Sanctions Are the Problem

Most of the coverage of the “snapback” debacle at the U.N. has focused on the fact that the U.S. cannot use this provision because the Trump administration reneged on the agreement over two years ago. That is appropriate for understanding why the U.S. has run into so much strong opposition at the U.N. and why U.N. sanctions will not be reimposed. It’s also essential to recognize that the U.S. doesn’t want Iran to return to full compliance, but hopes to drive it out of the agreement entirely. But it is also important to understand that there is a simpler and more legitimate way to bring Iran back into full compliance with the JCPOA: the U.S. could rejoin the agreement, end the economic war against Iran, and honor its commitments. Iran has said it would fulfill all of its obligations under those conditions, and once they receive sanctions relief there would no longer be any need for them to protest over lack of sanctions relief. The fact that the U.S. refuses to take this much easier path tells us everything we need to know about this issue.

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