Iran Deal Continues To Evolve

WASH. POST: ‘Should The United States Take Steps Not Strictly Mandated By The Text Of The Nuclear Accord At A Time When Iran Is Testing Nuclear-Capable Missiles?’


“[T]he U.S. has been thrust into a role of defending Iran on its nuclear deal compliance and condemning its other actions as it simultaneously promotes business with Iran in the context of the new leeway afforded by sanctions relief.” (“Analysis: Iran Nuclear Deal Puts US In Bind Amid Criticism,” The Associated Press, 4/11/2016)

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: “Tehran’s behavior comes as no surprise to the many observers who predicted the deal would not alter its hostility to the West or its defiance of international norms. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s response has also been much as critics predicted: It has done its best to play down Iran’s violations and avoid any conflict out of fear that the regime might walk away from a centerpiece of President Obama’s legacy.” (Editorial, “Iran Should Pay A Price For Its Ballistic Missile Tests,” The Washington Post, 4/07/2016)


Tehran To World: ‘Iran’s Missile Program Will Not Stop Under Any Circumstances’

“Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles Wednesday, state media reported, just a day after other missile tests that Washington suggests were in violation of a U.N. resolution. The missiles, capable of reaching Iran's archenemy Israel, were marked with a statement in Hebrew reading ‘Israel must be wiped off the Earth,’ Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency reported.” (“Iran Fires Ballistic Missiles A Day After Test; U.S. Officials Hint At Violation,” CNN, 3/09/2016)

GEN. HAJIZADEH, Revolutionary Guard Corps: “Iran’s missile program will not stop under any circumstances.” (“Iran Vows To Keep Firing Ballistic Missiles,” The Washington Post, 3/10/2016)

THE WASHINGTON POST: “The missile tests are one example of U.S. waffling. The administration has described them as a violation of U.N. Resolution 2231 and responded with mostly symbolic sanctions of several individuals and companies associated with the program. But it has appeared to yield to Russia’s contention that Iran did not, technically, breach the resolution because it was only ‘called upon,’ not ordered, to stop testing. A letter sent by the United States, Britain, France and Germany to the Security Council last week described the tests as ‘inconsistent with’ the resolution, rather than a violation that would mandate enforcement action.” (Editorial, “Iran Should Pay A Price For Its Ballistic Missile Tests,” The Washington Post, 4/07/2016)

  • “Iran's recent ballistic tests involved missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and were ‘inconsistent with’ and ‘in defiance of’ council resolution 2231, adopted last July, said the joint U.S., British, French, German letter to Spain's U.N. Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon... The four powers' carefully worded letter stopped short of calling the Iranian launches a ‘violation’ of the resolution...” (“Exclusive: Iran Missile Tests Were 'In Defiance Of' U.N. Resolution - U.S., Allies,” Reuters, 3/30/2016)

Democrats: U.S., Allies Must ‘Prevent Tehran From Believing It Can Violate International Law With Impunity’

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “The responsibility to enforce the terms of the JCPOA goes hand-in-hand with an understanding that world powers must also push back on Iran's bad behavior outside the four corners of this agreement--specifically, its support for terrorism, its continued illegal ballistic missile tests, and its human rights violations.” (Sen. Coons, Congressional Record, S. 2015, 4/13/2016)

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): “The United States and the international community must vigilantly enforce sanctions on Iran's ballistic development, as well as its state sponsorship of terrorism and human rights violations which continue day in and day out. These steps must be taken to hold this regime accountable and prevent Tehran from believing it can violate international law with impunity.” (Sen. Blumenthal, Congressional Record, S. 2014, 4/13/2016)


Obama Administration 'Looks To Market Iran'

“The Treasury Department designates Iran’s entire financial system as a ‘primary money laundering concern’ due to Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs and support for international terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories.” (“U.S. Moves to Give Iran Limited Access to Dollars,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/01/2016)

“Two months after the implementation of last year's landmark nuclear agreement, a U.S. diplomat is on an unlikely mission — promoting the Iran deal to firms that want to tap into its massive market but fear other sanctions... It's not an easy task for Chris Backemeyer or other Americans on the equivalent of a nuclear deal roadshow, especially as Iran's Revolutionary Guard continues to fire off ballistic missiles...” (“US Diplomat Looks To Market Iran Deal To Wary Firms,” The Associated Press, 3/23/2016)

“Eager that a successful deal and a new era in the U.S.-Iran relationship be part of President Barack Obama's legacy, his administration finds itself encouraging foreign trade with Iran...” (“Analysis: Iran Nuclear Deal Puts US In Bind Amid Criticism,” The Associated Press, 4/11/2016)

“Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the nuclear deal, argue that the administration must live up to the ‘letter and spirit’ of the sanctions relief. They say Iran has complied and must get the benefits of the agreement even if Tehran continues other objectionable activities. They have left the door open to further sanctions relief, primarily as it concerns foreign businesses trading with Iran.” (“Analysis: Iran Nuclear Deal Puts US In Bind Amid Criticism,” The Associated Press, 4/11/2016)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “[L]et me say broadly that so long as Iran is carrying out its end of the bargain, we think it’s important for the world community to carry out our end of the bargain...” (President Obama, Press Conference, 4/01/2016)

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: “Iran deserves the benefits of the agreement they struck. And President Obama has said it; I have said it, Secretary Lew has said it. And we've, in fact, tried to work to make sure that -- that the banks that are supposed to be doing legitimate business with respect to the transactions that are OK after the agreement, that they're operating. So, we -- you know, it's fair for Iran to get what it deserves...” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/05/2016)

  • JOE SCARBOROUGH: “Mr. Secretary, you said earlier though, and the president said this also, by not living up to the spirit of the agreement, they're sending the wrong signal to the world community and sending the wrong signal to businesses. Should they not first take care of the problem that both you and the president have diagnosed, and then you all start helping them financially?” KERRY: “[I]f we said we would lift the sanction, we're under an obligation to lift the sanction, to make sure that in fact, people are performing the way they are supposed to.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/05/2016)

“Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has stressed in recent weeks the need for the U.S. to comply with the ‘letter and spirit’ of the nuclear agreement and help Iran gain economic relief.” (“U.S. Moves to Give Iran Limited Access to Dollars,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/01/2016)


‘The Obama Administration Is Preparing To Give Iran Limited Access To U.S. Dollars’

“…Should the United States take steps not strictly mandated by the text of the nuclear accord at a time when Iran is testing nuclear-capable missiles?” (Editorial, “Iran Should Pay A Price For Its Ballistic Missile Tests,” The Washington Post, 4/07/2016)

“The Obama administration is preparing to give Iran limited access to U.S. dollars as part of looser sanctions on Tehran, according to congressional staff members and a former American official briefed on the plans... The Treasury is considering how to issue licenses to offshore dollar clearing houses for specific Iranian financial institutions... ‘They are looking at a couple mechanisms to allow for this dollar trade, stopping short of normalizing banking transactions,’ said a congressional banking official briefed by the administration on its plans . . .” (“U.S. Moves to Give Iran Limited Access to Dollars,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/01/2016)

“Another area of potential accommodation concerns dollar transactions linked to Iran. U.S. sanctions tied to terrorism and human rights still prohibit Iranian access to the U.S. financial system. Iranian officials are complaining that they have been unable to draw on newly unfrozen assets elsewhere in the world, or make trade deals, because international banks are afraid to conduct any transactions in U.S. dollars. The administration is considering issuing a clarification to foreign banks that they can conduct dollar exchanges linked to Iran’s assets or future trade deals under certain conditions. Administration officials say the action may be needed to comply with the spirit of the nuclear deal, which promised Iran access to its frozen assets and the resumption of international trade…”(Editorial, “Iran Should Pay A Price For Its Ballistic Missile Tests,” The Washington Post, 4/07/2016)

SEN. MARK KIRK (R-IL): “Giving Iran access to dollarized transactions outside the U.S. financial system would benefit Iran’s financiers of international terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile threats while also ignoring the Treasury Department’s finding under the USA PATRIOT Act’s Section 311 that Iran’s entire financial sector is a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern...” (Sen. Kirk, Press Release, 4/06/2016)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “The Iranian regime has failed to prevent rampant money laundering and has continued to finance terrorist organizations and expand its ballistic missile program, showing a blatant disregard for U.S. sanctions and the integrity of the international financial system. Iranian access to U.S. dollars or the U.S. financial system, whether direct or indirect, will only further support these threatening and destabilizing activities.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 4/06/2016)

FLASHBACK: LEW: ‘Iranian Banks Will Not Be Able To ... Enter Into Financing Arrangements With U.S. Banks’

“Mr. Lew and other U.S. officials said in the months after the nuclear agreement that Iran would continue to be denied any access to the U.S. financial system. This included blocking Iranians from establishing accounts at American banks or conducting dollar trade through European or Asian banks.” (“U.S. Moves to Give Iran Limited Access to Dollars,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/01/2016)

  • TREASURY SECRETARY JACOB LEW: “[A] number of key sanctions will remain in place... Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York, hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks. Iran, in other words, will continue to be denied access to the world’s largest financial and commercial market.” (Department of the Treasury, Press Release, 7/23/2015)



Related Issues: National Security, Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal