Three myths about the Iran sanctions

Aaron Arnold in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

ScreenHunter_1158 Apr. 24 22.13Speaking from the White House earlier this month, President Obama announced details of a framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1—the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany—that limits Iran’s path to building a nuclear weapon over the next 10 to 15 years. Although negotiators will finalize technical details between now and the June 30 deadline, the parameters provide Iran with sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its uranium enrichment, converting its Arak heavy water reactor, limiting the number and type of centrifuges, and agreeing to intrusive inspections. Should Iran cheat or fail to uphold its end of the bargain, however, the United States and its allies reserve the right to “snap-back” into place tough economic and financial sanctions.

Skeptics of the framework insist that it does not go far enough in preventing Iran’s path to a bomb. Instead, Congressional leaders are pushing for a greater say in approving a final deal. Most recently, Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tentatively reached bi-partisan support on legislation that would reign in Obama’s ability to provide sanctions relief by requiring the president to submit the final deal to Congress for approval. If Congress decides not to approve the final deal, the alternative is returning to stronger sanctions in hopes of bringing Iran back to the bargaining table.

The view that holding out for a “better deal” by strengthening sanctions does not consider the reality of the current sanctions regime, and is based on bad assumptions and outright myths.

More here.