By Javad Heirannia

U.S. new sanctions on Iran will be less effective: ex-White House official

July 2, 2018

TEHRAN – Professor Frank N. von Hippel, former assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology says that the U.S. (the Trump Administration) will be isolated from the rest of the P5 + 1 in imposing these sanctions.

He adds that the U.S. new sanctions on Iran will be less effective.

“President Trump will remain in office through 2020 and I do not think that we will be able to reverse the U.S. position on the JCPOA before 2021,” Frank N. von Hippel tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: What is your assessment about U.S. new sanction on Iran. Some argue that these new sanction will not effective as last sanctions that impose before JCPOA. What do you think?

A: I agree that the U.S. (the Trump Administration) will be isolated from the rest of the P5 + 1 in imposing these sanctions. To that extent, the sanctions will be less effective.

Q: It is true that U.S. sanction after its withdrawal from JCPOA is unilaterally, but U.S. can impose its will on the other countries by imposing penalty on their corporations such as European ones and they oblige to give up Iran market. Then actually JCPOA will not fulfill Iranian goals. What is your opinion?

A: I think that the Trump Administration will be able to intimidate big European companies by forcing them to choose between Iran’s market and the U.S. market. As a result, the Europeans will do less business with Iran than they otherwise would have.  I think that Chinese and Russian companies will be less affected.

Q: U.S. announced that the other countries should cut importing oil from Iran until November. If Iran could not export its oil do you think will stay in the agreement?

A: I don’t think that this oil boycott will be effective.  

I understand that Iran is and should be angry with the destructive steps that the Trump Administration is taking and will be tempted to retaliate by breaking out of the constraints of the JCPOA and building up its enrichment capacity.

But there would be little benefit to Iran for it to do so.  Iran does not need the enriched uranium at this time.

For Iran to break out of the JCPOA would inspire the “hawks” in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States to cry, “Iran is going for the bomb. We must bomb their nuclear facilities!”  If the U.S. bombed Iran’s nuclear facilities, it would start by bombing Iran’s air defenses.  The result could easily be a terrible war that would benefit no one.

I know that there is a major internal debate going on in Iran about how to respond to the Trump Administration’s destructive actions.  The Trump Administration has been doing some terrible things in the U.S. as well and this has provoked a national resistance movement whose initial objective is to capture control of the Congress in the November election.

Even if the U.S. Resistance succeeds, however, President Trump will remain in office through 2020 and I do not think that we will be able to reverse the U.S. position on the JCPOA before 2021.

Q: According new developments about JCPOA, what is your prediction about this agreement?

A: I hope that the anti-war forces, the “doves,” in both Iran and the United State will be able to prevent a war.  We will fight to restrain our hawks in the United States.  I hope that Iran’s doves will do the same.
 

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