FDD Reports

The Effect of Sanctions Relief on Iran's Economy

Nuclear Deal: Impact on Iran-Turkey Economic Relations 
Jonathan Schanzer, Mert Yildiz, Gareth Hollins, and Rachel Ziemba of Roubini Global Economics
February 2016

The recent implementation of the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) will have a profound impact on the Middle East. From heightened tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia to Iran’s ability to finance terrorist proxies with sanctions relief, there are many reasons for Iran’s neighbors to worry.Read more...

Iran's Mysterious Shrinking Reserves: Estimating the Value of Tehran's Foreign Assets
Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler, Rachel Ziemba of Roubini Global Economics
September 2015

A close review of the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has exposed a major divergence between estimates of the Iranian government’s assets held abroad.Read more...

Improving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler
August 2015

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran places term-limited constraints on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of many of the most impactful global sanctions. Read more...

Iran’s Economic Resilience Against Snapback Sanctions Will Grow Over Time
Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler, and Rachel Ziemba of Roubini Global Economics
June 2015

As the P5+1 and Iran enter the final days to conclude a nuclear agreement, the details of the emerging deal are becoming clearer. Read more...

Sunsets and Snapbacks: The asymmetry between an expanding Iranian nuclear program and diminishing Western leverage
Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler
June 2015

Under the emerging Iran nuclear agreement, there is an inherent asymmetry between an expanding Iranian nuclear program and diminishing economic leverage. Read more...

Iran's Economic Growth and the Nuclear Deal
Saeed Ghasseminjad
June 2015

Iran’s central bank published its preliminary annual report last week for the previous Persian year (March 2014 to March 2015), according to which Iran’s GDP grew 3 percent. Read more...

Khamenei's Choice to Head Powerful Charity Bolsters the IRGC
Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminjad
April 2015

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Parviz Fattah as the new head of the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation (IKRF) last weekend. Read more...

Iran Sanctions Relief Sparks Growing Trade with Europe, Asia
Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminjad
March 2015

The Obama administration insists that the November 2013 interim nuclear deal with Iran provides only “limited” financial relief to the Islamic Republic. Read more...

Iran's Economy Will Slow But Continue to Grow Under Cheaper Oil and Current Sanctions
Mark Dubowitz and Jennifer Hsieh and Rachel Ziemba of Roubini Global Economics
February 2015

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and Roubini Global Economics (RGE) released their ninth joint report today that found that the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) will continue to allow Iran’s economy to grow, despite the recent steep decline in the price of oil and current sanctions. Read more...

Iran's Economy Will Slow But Continue to Grow Under Cheaper Oil and Current Sanctions
Mark Dubowitz and Jennifer Hsieh and Rachel Ziemba of Roubini Global Economics
February 2015

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and Roubini Global Economics (RGE) released their ninth joint report today that found that the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) will continue to allow Iran’s economy to grow, despite the recent steep decline in the price of oil and current sanctions. Read more...

The Case for Deadline -Triggered Sanctions on Iran
Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler
January 2015

To date, the Iranian government remains unwilling to come into compliance with its international obligations. Read more...

Iran's Economy: Out of the Red, Slowly Growing
Mark Dubowitz and Jennifer Hsieh and Rachel Ziemba of Roubini Global Economics
October 2014 

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and Roubini Global Economics (RGE) released their eighth joint report today on the effects of sanctions relief on the Iranian economy. Read more...

Iran Got More Than Expected Relief and Negotiating Leverage, Says New Economics Report 
Mark Dubowitz and Roubini Global Economics
July 2014

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and Roubini Global Economics (RGE) released their seventh joint report today on the effects of sanctions relief on the Iranian economy. Read more...

Congress Can Defend Iran Sanctions Architecture, Provide Smart Relief After Final Deal
Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg
26th June 2014

As the P5+1 negotiates with Iran over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, FDD released a new report outlining how Congress can help build a post-agreement sanctions architecture. Read more...

New Sentiment Indicator Shows Positive Impact of Sanctions Relief on Iran’s Economy
Mark Dubowitz and Paul Domjan
15th May 2014

With P5+1 negotiators back in Vienna trying to hammer out a nuclear deal with Iran, a new quantitative indicator developed by Roubini Global Economics working with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies suggests that the West may have already weakened its negotiating position by shifting the sanctions environment and injecting new life into the Iranian economy. Read more...

Iranian Economy Continues its Modest and Fragile Recovery
Mark Dubowitz and Rachel Ziemba
10th April 2014

The debate of how much sanctions relief Iran received as part of the November 2013 interim nuclear agreement continues. The Obama administration, which should be overvaluing its concessions to Iran as a negotiating tactic, is instead insisting to Congress that the value of sanctions relief is only $7 billion, or even less. Read more...

World Bank Data: Iran’s Economy Recovering
Mark Dubowitz and Rachel Ziemba
20th January 2014

Iran’s economy is showing early signs of recovery. In its recently-released Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank projects that Iran’s real 2014 GDP is expected to grow by 1.0 percent after a recession in 2012 and 2013. The Iranian economy is further projected to grow by 1.8 percent in 2015 and another 2.0 percent in 2016. Read more...

With Sanctions in Doubt, Trade Delegations Flock to Iran
Ali Alfoneh
13th January 2014

Upon the announcement of the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) between Iran and the six world powers (P5+1) on Sunday, President Barack Obama stated that in return for Iran’s elimination of  its “stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium,” its dismantling of some enrichment infrastructure, and accepting more inspections, the West would provide Iran with “modest relief” from sanctions. Read more...

The Banking Provisions in the Joint Plan of Action Between Iran and the P5+1
Emanuele Ottolenghi and Saeed Ghasseminejad
10th January 2014

Sanctions against Iran’s banking sector have restricted Iran access to financial markets and services. Iran’s exclusion has had an impact on its ability to procure materials for its illicit nuclear program. The Joint Plan of Action (JPA) signed in Geneva on November 24, 2013, if implemented, promises to relax banking sanctions in the following ways: Read more...

Early Signs of an Iranian Economic Recovery
Mark Dubowitz and Rachel Ziemba
9th December 2014

Iran’s economy is showing signs of recovery after years of sanctions, due in no small part to the recent sanctions relief offered in Geneva, changing market psychology, and a perception that the Obama administration may no longer be committed to ratcheting up the economic pressure on Iran. Read more...

The Costs for Iran of Walking Away from Nuclear Negotiations
Mark Dubowitz
10th December 2013

The U.S. Senate is working on new legislation that would impose sanctions on Iran if it cheats on its obligations under the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) reached last month in Geneva between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic. Even though this proposed “sanctions-in-waiting” legislation wouldn’t violate the terms of the JPA, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, has threatened to walk away from the nuclear negotiations if Congress passes the new legislation. Is Zarif bluffing? Read more...

The Real Value of Auto Sanctions Relief to Iran
Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer
10th December 2013

American sanctions on “Iran's auto industry, as well as sanctions on associated services,” like insurance, transportation and financial, will be suspended, according to the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) reached last month in Geneva between the P5+1 and Iran. The White House fact sheet on the JPA notes that this relief, plus the easing of “certain sanctions” on gold, other precious metals and petrochemicals, will provide Tehran with “approximately $1.5 billion in revenue.” Of those funds, the White House projects that easing auto industry sanctions will yield only $500 million over the six-month interim period. Read more...

The Geneva Joint Plan of Action and Iran’s Petrochemical Sector
Emanuele Ottolenghi and Saeed Ghasseminejad
9th December 2013

The Joint Plan of Action (JPA) signed on November 24 between Iran and the P5+1, stipulates a set of mutual concessions for a six-month period while the two sides negotiate a final deal over Iran’s nuclear program. Among the provisions, the West will lift sanctions on “Iran's petrochemical exports, as well as sanctions on associated services.” According to the agreement, “associated services” means “any service, such as insurance, transportation, or financial.” Read more...

The Dollar Value of the Proposed Sanctions Relief at Geneva
Mark Dubowitz
9th November 2013

The P5+1 is negotiating an interim nuclear deal with Iran to freeze in place its illicit nuclear program. Based on open source reporting, and an analysis by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the proposed sanctions relief could yield Iran $20 billion or more through the repatriation of frozen Iranian assets, gold transfers to Iran in exchange for its oil and natural gas sales, petrochemicals exports, and the lifting of sanctions on the Iranian auto sector. Download the report here...

When Will Iran Run Out of Money?
Mark Dubowitz and Rachel Ziemba (Roubini Global Economics)
2nd October 2013

Iranian nuclear physics continues to beat Western economic pressure.  Iran is less than a year from reaching critical nuclear capability, despite international sanctions designed to prevent this outcome. While its accessible FX reserves have fallen sharply, Iran has sufficient reserves, and “off-books” assets, to painfully muddle through for at least 12 months, if not longer. However, Iran’s domestic political timeline may be considerably shorter given the considerable pressure on Iranian president Hassan Rouhani to deliver on his commitment to lift sanctions and stabilize the economy as quickly as possible.  The Iranian government may fear that, without a short-term nuclear deal, further sanctions pressure could tip the economy into an unmanageable economic and political crisis before reaching undetectable nuclear breakout in mid-2014. Read more...

Iran’s Golden Loophole
Mark Dubowitz; Gary Clark and Rachel Ziemba (Roubini Global Economics)
13th May 2013

The paper discusses how Iran is exploiting loopholes in U.S. sanctions laws to obtain gold to replenish its FX reserves. These foreign exchange reserves are Iran's principal hedge against a severe balance of payments crisis, and help Iran withstand international pressure over its nuclear program. Since July 30, 2012, when the Obama administration issued an executive order prohibiting gold exports to the government of Iran, Iran has received over $6 billion in payment in gold for its energy exports—the value of the lack of enforcement of the golden loophole—mainly as gold payments to the Central Bank of Iran. These gold exports to the Central Bank of Iran already are a sanctionable activity under existing U.S. law; gold exports to any entity in Iran will become sanctionable as of July 1, 2013. This report estimates that, unless gold sanctions are enforced, Iran could receive up to $20 billion a year, representing around thirty percent of Iran’s projected 2013 energy exports. Download the report here...


 

Iran's Chinese Energy Partners

Mark Dubowitz and Laura Grossman
September 2010

The report highlights the significant business ties that several Chinese companies maintain within Iran's energy sector, which is largely controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an entity designated by the U.S. Treasury for its support of Iran's nuclear program and terrorism. The report also highlights the U.S. and Canadian business ties of these companies, including federal government contracts, and whether they are listed by the oversight boards of state pension funds. In many cases, these companies could warrant further investigation by the Obama Administration in accordance with The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.

Download the full report here.


 

Iran's Energy Partners

Mark Dubowitz and Laura Grossman
August 2010

The report highlights the significant business ties that these companies maintain within Iran's energy sector, which is largely controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an entity designated by the U.S. Treasury for its support of Iran's nuclear program and terrorism. The report also highlights the U.S. business ties of these 19 companies, including federal government contracts, and whether they are listed by the oversight boards of state pension funds. In many cases, these companies could warrant further investigation by the Obama Administration in accordance with The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.

Download the full report here.

For an addendum to the report, please click here.