The United States Senate recently extended its 1996 sanctions against Iran, which were imposed as measures against the Iranian regime’s support for terrorism. These sanctions are also known as the Iran Sanctions Act or ISA.
Iran is claiming that by extending these sanctions, the U.S has violated the Iran nuclear deal. Others dispute this claim.
I put this question to Richard Nephew, who is an Adjunct Professor, Program Director and Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. According to his bio: “he was the Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the Department of State, a position he held since February 2013. Nephew also served as the lead sanctions expert for the U.S. team negotiating with Iran.”
So he is eminently qualified in this field. Here is his reply:
Basically, I think the answer is “no, the United States has not technically broken the JCPOA.” [Note the JCPOA is the technical acronym for the Iran nuclear deal]
But, this is of course subject to interpretation.
By my reading of the JCPOA, the United States has not reintroduced sanctions that were terminated — which would be against the deal — nor has the United States reimposed actual penalties pursuant to those sanctions (which would also be against the deal).
Iran has argued that, since the JCPOA covers the sanctions within the ISA, it is a violation to reauthorize that act, and stated its interpretation of the JCPOA as such. But, I cannot see that in the text.
I could see an argument, if ISA expired, that the reintroduction of the law WOULD be a violation. So, if the ISA were not extended now, but say in 2017, I could see the Iranian argument. But, continuing with this — just like the President reannouncing the declaration of national emergency for U.S. sanctions against Iran that would generally prohibit the Boeing deal, save the licenses that supersede that emergency declaration — seems completely within the JCPOA.
I can also see the argument that extension of the ISA is unnecessary or provocative, but this — in my view — is a political statement, not a legal one.
جنجال اخیر در ایران و اتهامات نقض برجام برای من به خاطر دو دلیل جالبه:
اولا بر اساس متن برجام, امریکا فقط موظف به حذف تحریماتی هستش که در رابطه با برنامه هسته ای وضع شدند. تمدید تحریمات اخیر در امریکا که در سال ۱۹۹۶ وضع شدند (موسوم به تحریمات دیاماتو) ربطی به برجام یا برنامه هسته ای ایران نداشتند. ۱۹۹۶ کجا و ۲۰۱۲ که اکثر تحریمات مربوط به برنامه هسته ای وضع شدند کجا.
تازه کسی نمیگه که اگر واقعا امریکا برجام را نقض کرده , پس چرا این اروپای ها که نقض برجام میتونه میلیارها دلار قردادشان با ایران را در خطر بندازه, جیکشون در نیومده؟
دوما , حالا که در حکومت ایران از رهبری تا در مجلس این همه شعار بد قولی امریکا را میدهند و حنجر پاره میکنند, پس چرا…
In what is a first, a sitting member of the Iranian parliament (Majles) has given an interview to Israel radio’s Reshet Bet radio station.
The MP in question is Dr. Siamak More Sedegh. He is the representative of Iran’s approximately 9000 strong Jewish community. He is also a surgeon and the director of the Tehran Jewish Committee and the Dr. Sapir charity hospital.
Among other things, in the interview Dr Moreh Sedgh states that Iran is not interested in a war against Israel as it would be suicidal. He also talks about Iran’s Jewish community and the challenges it faces, in addition to the fact that Jews generally feel secure in Iran. The interview was conducted in Paris.
It would be dangerous for an Iranian MP to give an interview to an Israeli radio station. Dr Moreh Sedgh almost definitely did this with the explicit permission of the Rouhani government. This seems to be the second part of Rouhani’s message of non-confrontation with Israel (not to be confused with a message of peace). The first part was witnessed when in April 2015 Iran allowed Orly Azulay who is a US based Israeli reporter to visit Iran and report from there (although not officially. She interviewed people as a tourist). Mrs Azulay even interviewed a member of Esfahan’s Jewish community in Hebrew!
This is a small, positive and welcomed move by the government of President Rouhani. Its a good, tactical step to reduce tensions. Furthermore, with the Iranian presidential elections coming up next May, Mr Rouhani needs to improve Iran’s economy and to attract foreign investment. In theory such a move could also help ease concern of foreign investors. Constant threats against Israel by Iranian hard liners make some foreign investors concerned, as they make Iran look unsafe and conflict prone.
However, unfortunately the hostile strategy of the Iranian regime (not government) remains the same towards Israel. And its the regime which is in charge of the Israel – Palestine file, not the government. Its the Iranian regime’s IRGC support for anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, its presence in Syria, public calls that it will continue in its path until Israel is destroyed as well as its recent missile tests which called for the elimination of Israel which continue to be viewed by Israel as realistic threats. And as long as the regime has the upper hand in Iran, which is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future, then we are unlikely to see any real change in Iran’s overall hostile strategy towards Israel.
You can listen to the interview here (its in English with Hebrew voice over)
Turkey is an important country, both to Iran and Israel.
Until now, numerous people had accused President Erdogan of having expansionist ambitions. These days, president Erdogan is publicly validating these accusations.
According to an article entitled “Erdogan Says Current Borders Imposed on Turkey, Infuriating Neighbors” published on the 23rd of October in the Turkey Times:
Earlier in the week, he (Erdogan) cited 1920-dated Ottoman National Pact or Oath, which designated the latest shape of borders that include today’s Mosul, Kirkuk and Aleppo. With 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey conceded to loss of many territories cited in National Pact (Misak-i Milli), and agreed to relinquish control of Mosul to the UK in 1926 in Ankara Agreement that settled last territorial dispute between Great Powers, or the UK, and the young republic. (I emboldened important parts of the statement)
In the clip below, Erdogan reiterates his belief publicly that Turkey’s current borders were imposed on it, and more. Read the subtitles in English.
For now Israel has less to worry about Erdogan’s regional ideas and beliefs, but the government of Iraq, Syria and Iran would have genuine concerns. As for Putin’s reaction? Difficult to predict, yet very important. Time will tell.
JOOST HILTERMANN — In northern Iraq, Turkey and Iran are dangerously playing their proxies against each other.
Source: Proxy War in Post-ISIL Iraq