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The Path to Renewed Oil Sanctions on Iran

How Trump Can Significantly Reduce Tehran's Exports

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the United Nations headquarters during an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors meeting in Vienna, March 2015. Heinz-Peter Bader / REUTERS

On August 5, the Trump administration reinstated a first set of U.S. sanctions on Iran that had been suspended under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal. But the bulk of U.S. sanctions on Iran will not come back into force until November 5, 180 days after Trump’s initial May 8 announcement that Washington would withdraw from the agreement. On that date, all of the U.S. sanctions suspended by the JCPOA will be reinstated, including the most important of all: the sanctions on Iran’s oil exports.

Sanctions on oil exports have the potential to be economically devastating to Tehran. Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Habibollah Bitaraf said in June that Iran’s government took in an estimated $50 billion from the sale of oil in fiscal year 2017 and that oil and petroleum products made up 70 percent of Iran’s total exports. With the value of Iran’s currency already

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