On November 5, 2018, the New York Times posted an article titled, “Iran Sanctions Explained: U.S. Goals, and the View from Tehran” written by Rick Gladstone. The United States imposed several severe economic penalties against Iran in regards to the Iranian nuclear agreement of 2015. The major industries affected by President Trump’s penalties are Iran’s shipping and banking, but more importantly, their oil industry.
President Trump believes that by enacting these penalties he can “…stop what he considers Iran’s unacceptable actions in the Middle East” (Gladstone, 2018). The United States administration re-imposed penalties that had previously been lifted by the original agreement, and also threaten the buyers of Iranian oil. The United States’ goal is to reduce Iran’s petroleum exports to zero. However, President Trump did grant some exceptions. In order to prevent destabilizing the world market, a total ban on Iranian oil exports was not put into place. Instead, China, Indian, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Japan, and Taiwan are receiving 180-day waivers. These waivers allow them to continue importing Iranian oil so long as there are evident reductions in the amounts being imported. Over twenty countries have stopped importing Iranian oil, shrinking Iran’s exports by approximately one million barrels per day.
Iran is angered by the idea that the United States violated international laws by re-imposing these penalties because the other countries of the original agreement (Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany) still support the agreement. Iran’s president stated that they “…would ‘proudly break’ the reimposed sanctions and that Iran was engaged in ‘an economic war’ with the United States” (Gladstone, 2018). To show just how willing they are, Iran tested missiles within hours after the sanctions had been re-imposed. This ties back to the main thing President Trump wants from Iran: “…to abandon its ballistic missile development and to stop supporting militant groups in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere that the United States regards as terrorist organizations” (Gladstone 2018). Has President Trump created more problems for the United States and Iran? Or will Iran win the “economic war” and break all of the sanctions?