For the first time in years, nuclear-related sanctions against Iran placed by the American government have been lifted. Reuters reports on January 16 “the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms Iran had taken steps to restrict its nuclear activities required under the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] JCPOA.” The JCPOA is the official name of the P5+1 deal that was approved in July 2015.
Antiwar.com reports the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a statement “that Iran is in full compliance with all commitments under the P5+1 nuclear deal, with IAEA chief Amano Yukiya praising all involved for making the pact happen.
The IAEA statement obliges the international community to lift all nuclear sanctions against Iran, something they have wasted no time doing.”
The Antiwar.com report adds that as part of Iran’s compliance with the P5+1 deal the American and Iranian governments announced a prisoner swap, in which Iran “freed four dual-nationality prisoners, including an American/Iranian pastor and an American/Iranian Washington Post reporter who had been accused of working for the US to foment regime change in Iran.”
Antiwar.com adds that sanctions were lifted within hours of the prisoner release. As part of sanctions relief, “Iran will be able to sell its oil internationally like any other country.” Additionally, upwards of over $100 billion in frozen Iranian assets will be released.
The Guardian reports, “Iran will also be able to add an extra 500,000 barrels a day to its crude exports, affecting the global oil market which is already oversupplied. Iran is expected to add the same amount again within six months, bringing its crude exports back to pre-sanctions level.”
While the US government will no longer punish foreign companies dealing with Iran; not all sanctions are being lifted, and trade-relations between Iran and the United States are not being normalized. The Guardian adds, “existing terrorism, human rights and ballistic missiles-related sanctions… will remain in place.”
I welcome the end nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, and hope that it is but one step down a path towards normalizing relations with Iran. I support this because sanctions are an act of war, and I support peace.