Middle East & North Africa

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Iranian Currency Exchange

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions

Iran Sanctions: How Deep Will They Bite?

| Nov. 12, 2018

In Iran, officials blame the sanctions for the economic crisis, while in the United States, officials blame the Iranian government. There is no denying that Iran’s economy has serious problems that have nothing to do with sanctions, but there is no doubt that the current crisis is the result of the sanctions. The same economy was able to expand by 18 percent in the two years that sanctions were partially lifted as a result of the 2015 nuclear deal. However, regime-change advocates in the United States who hope that sanctions will precipitate economic collapse will be disappointed. Economies do not collapse—they shrink. How far Iran’s economy will shrink and how Iran’s leaders and its people respond to the contraction are the real questions. Will the economy bottom out in 2019 or continue to slide for several more years? 

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

AP/Richard Drew

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Saudi Arabia Isn't Cuddly; Neither Is Iran

| Nov. 08, 2018

Chuck Freilich writes that while the international community has recently been consumed by the gruesome murder of a Saudi journalist, nothing really has changed. The Saudi regime has long been the most heinous on earth, but the overarching strategic considerations that have militated for ongoing cooperation with it continue to do so. The Iranian regime is no more attractive than the Saudi one, and its pursuit of regional hegemony and nuclear weapons make it the far greater danger. Iran must remain the primary focus of Israel's attention.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin provide an update on the Trump administration's Iran policy at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C., on November 5, 2018 (State Department via Flickr).

State Department via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Not very SWIFT

| Nov. 06, 2018

Not only would sanctioning SWIFT be a major escalation in U.S. sanctions policy, but an entirely reckless decision. Realistically, enforcing sanctions against SWIFT would have significant consequences for both the U.S. and global financial system—upending decades of international norms.

A stack of Iranian rials and a stack of Euros (Ivar Husevåg Døskeland via Flickr/Creative Commons).

Ivar Husevåg Døskeland via Flickr/Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

International Anti-Money Laundering Reforms and Iran

| Nov. 06, 2018

Although it remains to be seen whether or not the Iran nuclear deal is salvageable, there are few incentives left for Iran to implement anti-money laundering reforms. For better or worse, the Financial Action Task Force and the future of the JCPOA have become politically intertwined as a consequence of US unilateral sanctions.

A video image of Hatice Cengiz, fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Analysis & Opinions - Agence Global

The potential massive consequences of the Khashoggi murder

| Nov. 06, 2018

BEIRUT — Our continued focus on resolving the facts of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month is important for four reasons that will impact the fate of the Middle East and U.S. policies there for years to come. We will know soon if the killers are held accountable or the world loses attention, succumbs to the allure of the fortunes of oil and gas, and leaves largely unchanged the current power structures of our region. Which of those routes we take will determine whether we generate a more decent, participatory, accountable, and just region, or fall into a death maelstrom of unchallenged and cruel autocracy where money and guns rule, and citizens enjoy neither rights nor humanity.

US and Iranian flags

AFP

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

U.S. Reimposes Sanctions on Iran but Undercuts the Pain With Waivers

    Author:
  • Gardiner Harris
| Nov. 02, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced on Friday that it was exempting eight countries from bruising sanctions that the United States was reimposing against Iran, undercutting its pledge to economically punish Tehran’s regional aggressions while widening a profound rift with European allies.

Secretary Pompeo Meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

U.S. Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Saudi Arabia’s Empty Oil Threats

| Nov. 01, 2018

The brazen murder of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi has elicited that rarest of reactions in contemporary U.S. politics: bipartisan consensus. President Trump’s administration, however, has adopted a notably restrained response thus far. US administration officials reportedly worry that by applying too much pressure on the kingdom, they could inadvertently “jeopardize plans to enlist Saudi help to avoid disrupting the oil market.” The Trump administration has been counting on Saudi Arabia, as the world’s swing producer, to increase its oil production to help offset the anticipated loss of Iranian supply come November 5, when sanctions lifted under the Iran nuclear deal are re-imposed. While Saudi Arabia does have the ability to impose costs on the United States if it is displeased by forceful action on the Khashoggi affair, Saudi threats to sabotage President Trump’s Iran policy through manipulating the oil market do not appear credible

President Donald Trump speaks about "worst cover-up ever’ on Khashoggi case

Reuters

Analysis & Opinions - Vanity Fair

“This Administration is Hoping This Will Blow Over”: The Foreign-Policy Community Loses Any Remaining Faith in Trump

| Oct. 28, 2018

Inside Washington, foreign-policy experts hoping for a reset swiftly downgraded their expectations. And as the Khashoggi affair has played out, disappointment has morphed to cynicism within the diplomatic community.