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Esfandyar Batmanghelidj @yarbatman
, 9 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1. The #Trump administration would like us to believe its sanctions policy is about changing “the behavior of the leadership in #Iran to comport with what the Iranian people really want." Now we have the chance to test whether this is really true.…
2. As I write in @bopinion, #Iran has a new central bank governor, Abdolnasser Hemmati. He has a lot on his plate. A currency crisis exacerbated by sanctions fears took his predecessor down. The Central Bank of Iran is going to be placed under sanctions once again next week.
3. European governments are working to find ways to facilitate payments to #Iran's central bank despite the returning US sanctions. But Iran needs to meet the reform requirements set by #FATF to better prevent financial crime. This is a precondition for these special solutions.
4. Hemmati has a strong incentive make necessary reforms and encouragingly there is growing domestic support for meeting #FATF's action plan requirements. US officials have long complained of #Iran's inaction in tackling financial crime. How will they react if changes are made?
5. The answer to this question is critical to the direction of US sanctions policy and the longterm prospects for any deescalation in the "financial war" being waged on #Iran.
6. In his final speech as Secretary of Treasury, Jack Lew warned that a key lesson of sanctions policy is that the US "must be prepared to provide relief from sanctions” when there is change in behavior. This is a must read speech.…
7. This administration seems drunk on the power of sanctions. But giving new leaders like Hemmati latitude to chart a new course is fundamental to responsible sanctions policy. Those targeted must believe that relief is on the cards if policy changes are made.
8. #Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the reimposition of sanctions, despite Iranian compliance with its obligations, put the very idea of relief in doubt. Hemmati's job is more difficult because some Iranian stakeholders no longer believe relief will follow reforms.
9. This is the first major change in the leadership of an Iranian institution since #Trump left the #JCPOA. It's a chance to test US policy in microcosm. If there is any genuine desire to bring change--especially for the benefit of the Iranian people--Hemmati deserves his chance.
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