In Case You Missed It: "Sanctions are Clearly Having an Impact, But we Can do Much More and Must"

In Case You Missed It: "Sanctions are Clearly Having an Impact, But we Can do Much More and Must"
UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, Quoted in NBC News Piece about the Effect of Iran Sanctions

Iran sanctions exceed expectations but still don't change Tehran's behavio
By Robert Windrem
NBC News

September 11, 2012

Are economic sanctions successful if the Iranian economy crashes but the regime continues developing its nuclear program? That is the dichotomy now playing out inside the Islamic state, according to new data on the Iranian economy and its nuclear program.

The latest data on the quantitative success of the sanctions comes from an economics research firm, the Rhodium Group of New York. In a paper published last week, Rhodium said that customs data from around the world show both Iranian oil exports and revenues have dropped precipitously.

"As customs data for the month of July rolls in, we're getting a clearer picture of Iranian exports the first month after new U.S. and EU sanctions formally took effect," states the report. "And it's not a pretty one for Tehran." ...

But Trevor Houser, the author of the report and a former senior adviser to the Obama State Department, says the success of the sanctions is surprising even to those who thought them up. "The July decline in Iranian oil exports and revenue is greater than anyone imagined would occur when U.S. sanctions were signed into law at the beginning of the year," said Houser, a partner at Rhodium Group. ...

One of the most crippling has been a ban by SWIFT, the international financial clearinghouse, on Iranian funds transfers. Officials say the SWIFT sanctions have been particularly effective in limiting Iranian imports of all sorts of goods, even food supplies. The sanctions are so broad that the U.S. Treasury Department has exhaustive documentation on what is permitted, what is not, as well as licensing requirements.

At the same time, the International Atomic Energy Agency's quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program shows while Iranian oil revenue was declining, there was a simultaneous and dramatic increase in the number of centrifuges at Iran's once-secret Fordow nuclear site. Iran in fact more than doubled the number of installed centrifuges -- from 1,064 to 2,140 -- in May, the IAEA reported. ...

That doesn't mean sanctions should be abandoned, says Mark Wallace, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who runs an activist group, United Against Nuclear Iran, that's engaged in shaming Western companies into abandoning business in Iran.

"Sanctions are clearly having an impact, but we can do much more and must," said Wallace, who advocates "economic warfare" against Iran. "Importantly, the most robust sanctions in history can only prevent Iran from going nuclear if they are part of a larger strategy that includes thoughtful military planning and rigorous diplomatic activity."

Wallace points to victories big and small. He notes that in the last few days, a Russian firm decided to stop verifying safety and environmental standards for one of Iran's biggest shipping groups, making it more difficult for it to operate internationally. ...

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