How to Kick-Start Iran-US Regional Cooperation

The bank responded, “We must inform you that our bank does not enter into any deal involving Iran, since said country appears on OFAC lists.”

JCPOA opponents have been instrumental in fostering this atmosphere of fear, which is preventing Iran from receiving effective sanctions relief. Working in tandem with hawks in the US Congress, groups such as the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies have lobbied relentlessly for upwards of 30 bills that would impose additional US sanctions and prevent trade deals with Iran from materializing.

These actions run counter to the nuclear deal, which requires the United States to “sustain this JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting.” The efforts of the lobby in Washington opposed to Iran-US engagement have spurred strong reactions in Tehran.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani recently declared that the time has come for Iran to “counteract” the actions of Congress. In this vein, he called for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to make the preparations necessary to return the country’s nuclear capabilities back to their state prior to the nuclear deal.

The reality is that the JCPOA was agreed to by six major powers and mandated by a UNSC resolution. If a bill imposing new sanctions on Iran was to be passed by Congress and approved by a future president, it would result in the United States violating the deal and thereby isolating itself.

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