Lifting International Sanctions on Iran Imminent
by Stephen Lendman
Following Iran’s 1979 revolution, Washington imposed illegitimate sanctions without required Security Council authorization.
They were broadened under five presidents - international pressure exerted on other nations to impose their own, including UN action since 2007 wanting the Islamic Republic isolated.
For decades, Washington ruthlessly targeted Iran and its people. Hostility continues unabated despite last year’s nuclear deal.
Reagan's 1987 Executive Order (EO) 12613 embargoed Iranian goods and services.
In March 1995, Clinton's EO 12957 prohibited US involvement with Iranian oil development. His 1995 EO 12959 substantially tightened sanctions further. His 1997 EO 13059 prohibited virtually all trade and investments with Iran.
In 1996, the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) became law. In 2006, it was renamed the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA).
It prohibited US and foreign oil development investments. Violators face stiff penalties. They include denial of Export-Import Bank of the United States help, rejection of export licenses, and a ban on all or some violating company imports.
In 2008, banks and other US depository institutions were prohibited from processing transfers between Iranian and non-Iranian banks.
In 2010, America's Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) became law.
It extended sanctions imposed under the 1996 Iran Sanctions Act, punishing companies doing business with Tehran's oil sector and went further.
Section 103 prohibits importing certain Iranian foodstuffs and carpets. Other Iranian product and service imports are banned, directly or through third countries.
Exporting goods, technology, or services are prohibited, including from offshore locations. Some humanitarian related exceptions were made.
Overall, US individuals and companies located anywhere are prohibited from engaging in dealings with Iran of any kind. Included are purchases, sales, transportation, swaps, financing, or brokering transactions related to goods or services of Iranian private or government origin.
On July 1, 2012, an EU oil import embargo took effect, covering crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products, oil related businesses, equipment and technology, selling Tehran's refined products, new investments, as well as dealings with its central bank.
Decades of sanctions were entirely for political reasons, ones related to its legitimate nuclear program about to end.
State television quoted Foreign Minister Javad Zarif calling Saturday “a good day for the Iranian people as sanctions will be lifted today.”
“(W)ith the release of the IAEA chief’s report, the nuclear deal will be implemented, after which a joint statement will be made to announce the beginning of the deal.”
On January 16, the IAEA is expected to release its final report on Iran’s nuclear program, confirming its compliance with last year’s nuclear deal terms.
Zarif will meet with John Kerry in Vienna at IAEA headquarters. Its report will trigger lifting sanctions relating to Iran’s nuclear program.
Others illegally imposed remain in force. Washington intends new ones, targeting Tehran’s legitimate ballistic missile program, unrelated to its nuclear activities - challenging its legal military related activities, intended solely for national security and defense.
Sanctions relief implementation day is a defining moment, despite Israel, its Lobby, and hawkish bipartisan US congressional opposition, risking undermining ahead what took years to successfully negotiate.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.