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Research fellow Amir Fakhravar comments on Iranian oil sanctions

In a recent article for and, Center for Culture and Security research Fellow Amir Fakhravar and co-author G. William Heiser comment on the Iranian oil sanctions bill.  Below is an excerpt.

Pressing Forward With Tougher Iranian-Oil Sanctions
by G. William Heiser and Amir Abbas Fakhravar
July 31, 2013

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are scheduled to vote today on a new Iran sanctions bill that is aimed at cutting Iran’s oil exports by another 1 million barrels over the next year. The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted unanimously in support of the bill, and it is expected to garner overwhelming bipartisan support in the full House. The House will be sending the right message at precisely the right time to the Iranian regime.

Strong bipartisan support for tougher oil sanctions indicates a broadly shared understanding that a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue will succeed and military strikes on Iranian facilities avoided only if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is convinced that the flow of oil revenues needed to sustain his regime will be cut off. Islamic Republic officials have acknowledged that Iranian oil revenues have dropped 45 percent since 2011 because of international trade sanctions imposed as a result of Iran’s nuclear program.

Some observers, however, argue that the timing of these new sanctions could not be worse because it would send all the wrong signals to the new so-called “moderate” president of the Islamic Republic who will begin his work on Aug. 3. President-elect Hasan Rouhani, they assert, is the last hope for a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear dispute. This view rests on a fundamental misconception that by now should be apparent to U.S. policymakers.

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