Back to the Drawing Board on Iran

August 20, 2021

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


Behnam Ben Taleblu and Andrea Stricker


The Dispatch

Shifting course to a better Iran policy is more critical than ever in the wake of Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal, as Tehran and other adversaries will exploit the U.S. power vacuum. This will be bitter medicine for a president and administration that have routinely denigrated the Trump administration’s Iran sanctions campaign. On August 13, however, the administration employed enhanced U.S. counterterrorism powers to designate an oil smuggling scheme benefiting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, Iran’s elite foreign operations unit. According to the Treasury Department, the network helped Tehran sell oil illicitly, including to “buyers in East Asia”—mainly code for China. 

As a one-off, such measures are too little, too late. Politically, however, they have the potential to serve as the birth pangs of a new pressure policy and replace Biden’s current “concede first” approach. 


Read the rest of the op-ed at The Dispatch.