Coming soon: sanctions relief

The lifting of the economic sanctions that have brought Iran to the table over its nuclear program necessarily constitutes an essential element of the deal, if and when it is reduced to writing and subscribed by the parties. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that the current framework that is written in the hearts of the parties does not address specifically address the timing of sanctions relief.

According to the “parameters” published by the White House, “Iran will receive sanctions relief, if it verifiably abides by its commitments.” The “parameters” further specify: “•U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.” No problem.

The “commitments” made by Iran under the arrangement extend for ten years and longer. Under the administration’s parameters, one wonders when Iran would “verifiably” have “abided” by its “commitments.” Their lips are moving but they’re not saying anything.

The Belfer Center has published an English translation of the Iranian fact sheet on the nuclear negotiations. It provides in relevant part:

According to the reached solutions, after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, all of the UN Security Council resolutions will be revoked, and all of the multilateral economic and financial sanctions of the EU and the unilateral ones of the US including financial, banking, insurance, investment, and all related services, including oil, gas, petrochemicals, and automobile industries will be immediately revoked. In addition, nuclear-related sanctions against real and legal individuals, entities, and public and private institutions, including the Central Bank, other financial and banking institutions, SWIFT, shipping and aviation industries of the Islamic Republic of Iran, oil tanker companies, will be immediately removed. Also, the P5+1 member countries are committed to restraining from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.

The Iranians think the day of sanctions relief is coming soon, and they are always right — because otherwise, you know, war (according to Obama). Obama has already all but announced that the details to be worked out will be resolved in Iran’s favor.

The latest news from Iran gives the issue a Clintonian flavor. It depends on the meaning of “implementation.” CNN reports: “Iran will only sign a final nuclear deal if economic sanctions against the nation are removed on the first day of its implementation, Iran’s President said Thursday.”

When is the arrangement to be deemed “implemented”? It remains to be determined, but we can be assured that it will be some time soon — as the Times of Israel reports, on the same day Iran cranks up its fastest centrifuges.

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