One Big Thing: Should the U.S. continue to sanction Iran?
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Earlier this month, Iran and the United States held diplomatic talks in Vienna to discuss lifting sanctions on the middle eastern country. The U.S. sanctions have effectively isolated Iran from the global economy and have led to a deep recession of their economy. The Biden has administration has maintained that the sanctions will not be lifted until Iran returns to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – an agreement signed in 2015 which limits the development of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. In 2018, the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement claiming the deal failed to curtail Iran’s missile program and regional influence. Following this, Iran began ignoring limitations on its nuclear program a year later. Last month, Iran and China signed a $400 billion-dollar deal to support the Iranian economy over the next 25 years, thus weakening the United States’ negotiating position.
Iran is also one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. Freedom House reported that the Iranian government has including the security forces and the judiciary, play a major role in the suppression of dissent and other restrictions on civil liberties. Media freedom is severely limited both online and offline and the state-run broadcasting company is tightly controlled by hard-liners and influenced by the security apparatus. Independent newspapers and magazines face censorship and warnings from authorities about which topics to cover and how. This has only worsened as Iran has attempted to cover up its mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic by stepping up harassment and censorship of journalists.
Read more about the JCPOA HERE
Read more about the Human Rights situation HERE
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