Tags: Iran | nuclear | deal | sanctions | CIA | Brennan | Obama

CIA Chief Brennan: Crippling Sanctions Brought Iran to Nuclear Deal

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 09:18 PM

CIA Director John Brennan said that crippling economic sanctions against Iran drove the country to the table to negotiate the nuclear weapons framework the Obama administration announced last week.

Brennan said Tuesday that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani persuaded Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Tehran's economy was "destined to go down" if the sanctions had continued, The New York Times reports. The restrictions have been in place since 2010.

"I think over time Rouhani was able to explain to Khamenei just how challenging the economic environment was in Iran right now, and it was destined to go down," Brennan said at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, The New York Times reports. "The only way they were going to address" the problem was to have the sanctions lifted.

To get Iran to the table for the 16-month talks, the Obama administration had quietly begun easing sanctions against Tehran as early as June 2013, The Daily Beast reported later that year, and had taken other steps since Rouhani was elected that month.

In the nuclear framework President Barack Obama announced last week, sanctions would remain in place until a final deal is reached with Tehran. The final deadline for an accord is June 30.

However, Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has proposed legislation that would give Congress 60 days to review the outline and freeze sanctions relief against Tehran. The bill also would allow legislators to formally vote on the deal.

New York Democrat Chuck Schumer, a longtime Obama supporter, broke ranks on Monday and endorsed Corker's bill. Other Republicans and Democrats support the legislation.

The next day, Obama told National Public Radio that he was confident that sanctions would be reimposed if Tehran violated any final nuclear accord.

According to the Times, Brennan suggested that Rouhani took more than two years to persuade Khamenei that "six years of sanctions had really hit" — and that they had crippled the country's future.

Khamenei in the interim regularly referred to Tehran's "resistance economy" — a term that hard-liners endorsed because it showed that Iran was thriving against the United States and its allies, the Times reports.

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CIA Director John Brennan said that crippling economic sanctions against Iran drove the country to the table to negotiate the nuclear weapons framework the Obama administration announced last week.
Iran, nuclear, deal, sanctions, CIA, Brennan, Obama, Khamenei, Rouhani
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2015-18-08
Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 09:18 PM
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