Since the Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad is dependent on financial support from the Islamic Republic, Richard Goldberg argues that the U.S. should use economic measures against Tehran to retaliate for Assad’s chemical-weapons attacks on civilians, and to help prevent him from carrying out more of them:
The [American] president should . . . target the financial lifeblood of Iran’s strategic hold on Syria: the Central Bank of Iran. In January, Donald Trump promised to stop waiving sanctions on the bank unless Europe helped him fix Barack Obama’s nuclear deal. But the deal can never be truly fixed so long as Iran can use its central bank to spread evil outside its borders. It’s time for Trump to signal his intention to allow the sanctions waiver to expire.
Rather than using the windfall of sanctions relief provided under the nuclear deal to stabilize its economy, Iran’s central bank doubled down on sponsoring terrorism. In addition to financing the regime’s illicit missile program, proxy war in Yemen, and repression at home, the Central Bank of Iran underwrites Hizballah and the Revolutionary Guard Corps in the war for Assad’s survival. In effect, Assad’s use of chemical weapons is enabled if not directly subsidized by the bank.
If terrorism, missiles, and domestic repression weren’t enough reasons for France, Germany, and Britain to support the re-imposition of sanctions against the bank, perhaps the financing of crimes against humanity will be. When the French president Emmanuel Macron and the German chancellor Angela Merkel visit the White House later this month to ask for exceptions to these sanctions, Trump should push back hard. . . . Every waiver [of sanctions] helps Iran build another missile to wipe Israel off the map. Every exception increases the budget for Iranian terrorism. Every carve-out brings us more Shiite militias and [increases] the threat of Islamic State’s resurgence in Syria. . . .
The timing is perfect for the re-imposition of sanctions on the bank. This weekend, Iran’s currency cratered to a new record low. Protests are continuing throughout the country. The signs of regime instability and vulnerability to outside pressure are growing. Now is the ideal time to hit Iran’s central bank and shake the regime to its core.
Source » mosaicmagazine