Senator Murphy seeks answers on efficacy of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran

February 16, 2022 - 22:19

TEHRAN - Chris Murphy, a United States senator representing Connecticut, has asked the opponents of the 2015 nuclear deal to explain to him whether five years of “maximum pressure” on Iran has “worked out”.

In May 2018, former U.S. president Donald Trump unilaterally quit the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and imposed the harshest sanctions in history on Iran under his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.

“Explain to me how five years of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran has worked out,” Murphy wrote on his Twitter account on Wednesday.

Of those who provoked Trump to quit the JCPOA were former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, some Arab rulers, Iran hawks such as Trump’s second secretary of state Mike Pompeo, White House national security advisor John Bolton and senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton among others.  

Immediately after Trump abandoned the JCPOA, Pompeo said the U.S. will impose “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran. Also in November 2018, Bolton, said, “It’s our intention to squeeze them (Iranians) very hard… until the pips squeak.”

However, analysts and officials in the U.S. and other parts of the world say the maximum pressure have ended in failure. They say the economic sanctions has just put great economic pressure on ordinary Iranian citizens.

In an article in the TIME magazine on February 10, Senator Murphy described the mess created by Donald Trump’s as “complete fiasco”. Murphy also said, “Going another month or year with Trump’s Iran policy still in place is madness.” 

The maximum pressure undermined the middle class in Iran. Instead, it created a small group of overnight millionaires who misused the situation caused by high inflation rates.

Trump withdrew from the JCPOA despite warnings by his first secretary of state Rex Tillerson and defense secretary James Mattis. They told him that the JCPOA was working well. However, Trump suffered from the illusion that he could make a better deal with Iran.

In December 2021, Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor to President Joe Biden, said quitting the nuclear deal was “disastrous”. Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also called withdrawal from the JCPOA “disastrous”.

“I think the decision to pull out of the agreement was a disastrous mistake,” Blinken said in an interview published on December 3, 2021.

Blinken added “the JCPOA was a very effective agreement” that resulted in the “most effective and intrusive monitoring” of Iran’s nuclear activities.

In interview with the Tehran Times in February 2021, Ronald Grigor Suny, a professor emeritus of political science and history at the University of Chicago, said, “He (Trump) was interested primarily in himself, his family, his companies, and his own wealth. For that reason, he did not do very much except bluster, make outrageous statements, frightens America's allies, and stupidly leave the treaty with Iran.”


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