Americans for Peace Now (APN) opposes the Trump administration's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran, a step that jeopardizes both American and Israeli security and is likely to embolden Iran's hardliners.
Following President Trump's decision in May to place the United States in violation of the Iran nuclear deal, his administration today reimposed sanctions intended to cripple Iran's economy.
Iran's leaders will not agree to far-ranging concessions that go beyond the Iran nuclear deal, given a US administration which has shown it cannot be trusted to abide by international agreements. Attempting to strangle the Iranian economy through sanctions on its oil industry will do nothing to change that.
On the security front, the reimposition of sanctions lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) makes it more likely that Iran will halt its compliance with the nuclear deal and pursue development of nuclear weapons. And in the absence of diplomacy with Iran, the likelihood of war increases. The former head of Israel's Mossad Efraim Halevy recently warned that the prospect of "confronting Iran militarily is becoming a viable option with disastrous consequences." He added, "You know how to begin a war but never know how to an end a war."
Diplomatically, reimposed sanctions are one more instance of Trump's policy of America First translating into America Alone. The US is in material breach of the JCPOA, while all other parties to it, including our European allies, are attempting to keep the agreement alive.
Ultimately, reimposition of the most impactful sanctions on Iran will not hurt the hardliners in Iran's government. On the contrary, Trump's decision to violate the JCPOA has validated their opposition to the nuclear deal while making Iranian moderates who pushed for it and trusted American commitments appear foolish. The new sanctions may succeed in triggering a humanitarian crisis in Iran, fostering an environment in which extremism is more likely to grow than moderation.
This action by President Trump may energize his base on the eve of tomorrow's elections, but it will not enhance the security of Americans.
APN is one of many foreign policy and arms control advocacy groups that issued statements opposing the reimposition of sanctions on Iran. For other groups' statements, click here.