Iranian leaders have become cognizant of the fact that their hardball political tactics pay off very well with President Obama. They continue to obtain concessions from President Obama even in his last few months in office. They see that intransigence works with the White House, and that threatening the U.S. will lead to Obama offering more concessions to Iran. For Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), giving concessions means weakness.
After a series of anti-American statements and lashing out at the U.S. by Ayatollah Khamenei, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, the Obama administration eased more critical sanctions on Iran through new regulatory measures by the Treasury department.
The new measures, in loosening further sanctions against Iran, are critical, as they directly lift sanctions against powerful entities in Iran’s elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The timing of the new sanctions reliefs is also intriguing: it was implemented quietly, right before the presidential debate and before the three-day holiday in Congress, probably in an attempt not to attract media attention or Congressional criticism.
Both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, have been extremely critical of the Obama administration’s continuing appeasement policies and loosening of sanctions against Iran.
According to the Treasury’s website, one of the new guidelines in easing crucial sanctions on Iran is:
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