Report: U.S. weakens Iran sanctions text

The United States has watered down a sanctions proposal for Iran in hopes of overcoming opposition from China and Russia to a tougher version that would more directly targeted Iranian economic interests, according to a page-one story in today’s Wall Street Journal. "Among provisions removed from the original draft resolution the U.S. sent to key ...

By

The United States has watered down a sanctions proposal for Iran in hopes of overcoming opposition from China and Russia to a tougher version that would more directly targeted Iranian economic interests, according to a page-one story in today's Wall Street Journal. "Among provisions removed from the original draft resolution the U.S. sent to key allies last month were sanctions aimed at choking off Tehran's access to international banking services and capital markets, and closing international airspace and waters to Iran's national air cargo and shipping lines, according to the individuals," the Journal reported.

The United States has watered down a sanctions proposal for Iran in hopes of overcoming opposition from China and Russia to a tougher version that would more directly targeted Iranian economic interests, according to a page-one story in today’s Wall Street Journal. "Among provisions removed from the original draft resolution the U.S. sent to key allies last month were sanctions aimed at choking off Tehran’s access to international banking services and capital markets, and closing international airspace and waters to Iran’s national air cargo and shipping lines, according to the individuals," the Journal reported.

What’s in the new U.S. text, according to the Journal:

  • Comprehensive arms embargo on Iran
  • A freeze on the financial assets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
  • Sharpened authority to seize cargo suspect of ferrying banned military materials to Iran
  • States banned from offering financial assistance or credit for trade with Iran

What’s been stripped out of the original U.S. text:

  • The new draft drops a demand for a comprehensive ban on the transport by air or ship of cargo by Iran Air and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines. Instead, it simply calls for strengthening the interdiction of shipments that are already banned by existing sanctions.
  • It would weaken a measure barring international insurers from insuring transport contracts on oil and other vital commodities. It simply calls for further steps to enforce existing insurance sanctions.
  • It also drops a provision that would have prohibited Iran access to global capital markets by barring investment in Iranian bonds.

Colum Lynch was a staff writer at Foreign Policy between 2010 and 2022. Twitter: @columlynch

More from Foreign Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.

Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?

The power dynamic between Beijing and Moscow has switched dramatically.

Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.
Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.

Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World

It’s become more important than Washington’s official alliances today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

It’s a New Great Game. Again.

Across Central Asia, Russia’s brand is tainted by Ukraine, China’s got challenges, and Washington senses another opening.

Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.
Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.

Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing

The region once seemed a bright spot in the disorder unleashed by U.S. regime change. Today, things look bleak.