Study: Sanctions hurting Iran’s economy but not fulfilling ‘core’ objective

Click photo to download. Caption: The IR40 Heavy Water reactor facility, near Arak, Iran. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.( A new nonpartisan study by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has shown that sanctions are hurting the Iranian economy but not accomplishing their “core strategic objective” of stopping Iran’s path toward obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“There is a consensus that U.S. and U.N. sanctions have not, to date, accomplished their core strategic objective of compelling Iran to verifiably limit its nuclear development to purely peaceful purposes,” the study said. 

Iranian Oil exports, which make about 70 percent of its government’s revenues, have declined sharply due to the sanctions from 2.5 million barrels exported per day to only 1 million this month. Other Middle East oil exporting nations such as Saudi Arabia are selling more oil to countries currently boycotting Iranian oil. In addition, blocking Iran from using the international banking system and depleting its foreign exchange reserves has collapsed the value of its coin.

However, while these sanctions are making it more difficult for Iran to obtain some technology needed to continue moving toward nuclear capability, the country is still making progress in that regard. Iran is also “building up its conventional military and missile capabilities, in large part with indigenous skills” and ignoring UN requirements that it cease selling weapons abroad, especially to Syria’s Assad regime, CRS said.

“The CRS conclusions demonstrate the error of Obama administration claims that their Iran policy is working,” Elliott Abrams, former adviser for President George W. Bush, told the Washington Free Beacon. “Sanctions hurt Iran’s economy, but that is not our goal; forcing change in their nuclear program is the goal and sanctions have not achieved it.”

Posted on October 18, 2012 .