…in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier in the week. David Cohen is the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department, and he admits that he is the principal in “crafting and enforcing our sanctions program” against Iran.
With this…interest…in mind, Cohen defended his sanctions program as they exist under this nuclear weapons deal [emphasis added].
[T]he relief package…lion’s share…comes from granting Iran access, in installments, to $4.2 billion of its own revenues currently trapped outside Iran. In addition, US sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports and its auto industry will be temporarily suspended.
We estimate that this additional trade could generate about $1.5 billion in revenue over the next six months….
[T]he deal also allows Iran to transfer $400 million of restricted Iranian funds to defray tuition costs for Iranian students studying abroad.
If the Iranians comply with their obligations under the Joint Plan, over the next six months they will stand to receive $6 billion to $7 billion in relief, mostly by gaining access to their own money. Not $1 comes from US taxpayers.
What a monumental failure of understanding. The problem with this deal, in Cohen’s context, is not that none of the monies going to Iran are coming from us, it’s that these are monies going to Iran. Full stop.
These are $6 billion to $7 billion to which Iran did not have access until we lifted eased the sanctions. Full stop.
These are $6 billion to $7 billion which the Iranian government will not use to better the lot of the Iranian people. No, this is money with which Iran will
reverse that neutralization [of its stockpile of near-Highly Enriched Uranium]; money with which to reconnect those centrifuge cascades and to generate additional ones; money with which actually to develop the engineering capacity to assemble a deliverable warhead (which, recall, requires no missiles—although Iran now will get a taste of money with which to continue that development—but only a train car or a collection of suitcases separately carried into the target zone); money with which to fund its terror operations, its support of its Syrian and Iraqi operations; etc; etc; etc.