U.S. sanctions and the “maximum pressure campaign” on Iran are achieving their intended effect and preventing the regime from spreading terror across the Middle East, a senior State Department official said April 2.
“Our sanctions are draining Iran’s support to its proxies, and for the first time in a very long time, they have less access to revenue to spread terror and militancy,” said U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.
Hook noted that the Trump administration has:
- Designated more than 970 Iranian entities and individuals.
- Sanctioned more than 70 financial institutions.
- Targeted Iran’s illicit oil shipping networks, which enrich the Assad regime in Syria and terrorist partners like Hezbollah.
Iran has fewer customers for its oil now. Twenty-three importers that once purchased Iranian oil are no longer doing so, Hook said. “With oil prices actually lower than they were when we announced our sanctions, and global production stable, we are on the fast track to zeroing out all purchases of Iranian crude.”
Special Rep. Hook: The rial lost 2/3 of its value, @IMFNews predicts #Iran’s economy will contract by 3.6% in 2019, and inflation hit a record 40% in Nov. This crisis is of the regime’s own making. It's prioritized expanding the revolution abroad over sound economics at home. pic.twitter.com/M6Wga6NGkx
— Department of State (@StateDept) April 2, 2019
Hook emphasized that the aim of the United States’ sanctions and pressure is to prevent the regime from entrenching itself in regional conflicts.
“Nowhere in the region are peace and prosperity compatible with Iranian influence and support,” said Hook.
Neither a model nor a partner
U.S. pressure has exposed the regime’s corruption, mismanagement, human rights abuses and environmental destruction to its neighbors, and Hook made the case that Iran is neither a model to emulate nor a reliable business partner.
“Wherever it goes, conflict, misery and suffering follow,” said Hook.
In the past year, U.S. pressure has countered Iran’s grand strategy to spread its outlaw, expansionist regime. By reducing the threats posed by Iran in the region, there’s hope to resolve many conflicts.
“Secretary Pompeo will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to press the regime to change its destructive policies — for the benefit of peace in the region and for the sake of its own people, who are the longest suffering victims of this regime,” Hook said.