Oil Sanctions, Barter Systems, and the State of U.S.-Europe Relations

In May of this year, the Trump administration announced their intent to withdraw from the Obama-era Iran-P5+1 nuclear disarmament deal and plan to re-impose prior sanctions placed on Iran’s oil sector. Earlier this November, these new sanctions began taking effect. It is important to note that Iran, as far as the interested parties are concerned (including Iranian adversary Saudi Arabia), was abiding well within the parameters of the agreement; furthermore, the participation of the US is not essential to the continuation of the agreement. Although there is much speculation as to…

Obama and Nuclear Iran: Promoting Peace or Destruction?

I will begin by discussing the key points of the nuclear deal President Obama has tentatively negotiated with Iran. The following information from The Economist outlines main points concerning what Iran is expected to do. One: reduce their centrifuges (machines that enrich uranium) from 19,000 to 6,000, and of those 6,000, 5,000 will be spinning. These will be first generation centrifuges and more advanced models cannot be used for 10 more years. Two: turn their second enrichment facility that is hidden away in a mountain, Fordow, into a physics research…

Bibi: Be Wary, But Don’t Ignore

In light of Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in front of congress and the subsequent foolhardy letter sent to Iran by the Republicans, the future of the Middle East has been questioned by many, and with reason. Netanyahu has turned increasingly bold, if rash, to appeal to his base (with much success) and the Republicans have been stubborn in their quest to erode Obama’s bargaining power. In spite of this, predictions of an impending war between Israel and Iran are greatly exaggerated. Possibly the most alarmist, José Ignacio Torreblanca, the…

Obama, Menendez and the Politics of Iran Sanctions

The Garden State’s senior senator wasted no time criticizing the Iran policy that President Obama laid out in last week’s State of the Union speech. In response to the president’s avowal that he would veto any new sanctions bill aimed at Iran’s nuclear program—his rationale being that new sanctions will only embolden Iran to thwart ongoing negotiations—the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee offered a trite retort to his fellow Democrat: that the administration’s statements on Iran sound like “talking points coming straight out of Tehran.” The assessment…