White House’s Mixed Messages to Iran Continue With Sanctions

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Saeed Ghasseminejad
6th August 2018 - Quoted by John Bennett - CQ Roll Call

The Trump administration reactivated sanctions Monday on Iran in an attempt to further squeeze its stumbling economy, a tough move that is the latest in a volley of mixed signals from Washington.

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Behnam Ben Taleblu and Saeed Ghasseminejad, both with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, say it continues to be a “trying time for the Iranian economy.”

The duo wrote in a policy brief last week that the U.S. has other steps it could take before the oil and energy sanctions are set to go back in place on Nov. 4. The Trump administration could designate Abdolnasser Hemmati, the new head of the Central Bank of Iran, as a sponsor of violent extremist organizations.

“The U.S. should designate Hemmati as soon as possible,” the FDD scholars wrote. “Sanctioning the man leading the Iranian government’s hub of illicit finance would signal the administration’s intent to put unprecedented pressure on Tehran that goes beyond reinstating sanctions as a result of withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal.”

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