The sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump on Iran have more than erased the benefits given by President Barack Obama under the nuclear deal, according to numbers presented by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Under the Iran deal, Iran gained renewed access to up to $150 billion in assets that had been previously frozen. The Obama administration also infamously gave Iran nearly $2 billion in cash for the release of American prisoners who were effectively hostages. The money is believed to have been used, in part, to fund Iranian terror operations.
Rouhani, quoted by Bloomberg News, said Tuesday that U.S. sanctions have cost the country some $200 billion:
Renewed U.S. sanctions have cost Iran $200 billion in foreign-exchange income and investment, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday.
Sanctions have deprived the Islamic Republic of $100 billion in oil revenue in the last two years and an equal amount in foreign investment credit, Rouhani said in a televised speech, according to his official website.
The sanctions have punished Iran for its role in developing weapons of mass destruction; for its sponsorship of terror groups in the region and worldwide; and for its repressive human rights abuses against its own citizens.
Last April, the State Department said “maximum pressure means maximum pressure. We are fulfilling our promise to get Iran’s oil exports to zero and deny the regime the revenue it needs to fund terrorism and violent wars abroad.”
The Iranian regime continues to crack down violently on protests, cutting off cell phone service to parts of the country last week to prevent demonstrators from coordinating and publicizing the crackdown.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.