FACT CHECK: President Obama Put in Place Crippling Sanctions on Iran

Tonight, Congressman Ryan misrepresented the Obama administration’s Iran policy. It was President Obama who put in place “crippling sanctions” on Iran that are working to bring its economy to its knees and just this week, Mitt Romney admitted they are working. Romney and Ryan have struggled to articulate what they’d do differently regarding Iran – except blustering about recklessly taking us to war.


Romney: “There's No Daylight Between The United States And Israel” And “The Crippling Sanctions Do Have An Impact. BLITZER: “Is there any daylight between you and the prime minister?” ROMNEY: “There's no daylight between the United States and Israel. We have coincidental interests. We share values, and we're both absolutely committed to preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon… But I can tell you this, that the crippling sanctions do have an impact. They're having an impact on Iran's economy right now. They will have an impact on the public there in Iran. And there's great hope and real prospects for dissuading Iran from taking a path that leads into a nuclear setting.” [CNN, Situation Room, 10/9/12]


President Obama Has Made It Clear That He Does Not Have A “Policy Of Containment,” But A “Policy To Prevent Iran From Obtaining A Nuclear Weapon” And Will “Take No Options Off The Table.” “I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power:  A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency. Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. ” [Remarks by the President at the AIPAC Policy Conference, 04/04/12]

National Journal Fact Check: Contrary To Romney’s Claims, The “Obama Administration Has Already Put In Place The Toughest Sanctions Ever Imposed On The Iranian Government.”  “Mitt Romney claimed Wednesday night in the CNN debate that President Obama did not install stringent sanctions against Iran in its effort to derail its nuclear program, but top U.S. intelligence and defense officials disagree. Obama ‘should have placed crippling sanctions against Iran. He did not,’ Romney said. The Obama administration has already put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on the Iranian government, including new measures targeting, for the first time, Iran’s entire financial system. Obama on New Year's Eve also signed into law a raft of tough new sanctions that would penalize any foreign financial institution that does business with the Central Bank of Iran. As part of broader U.S.-led efforts to exert pressure on Iran, the European Union has agreed to ban new contracts to buy, transport or import Iranian crude oil.” [National Journal, 2/22/12]

Foreign Policy’s David Rothkopf: The Effectiveness Of President Obama’s Sanctions Regime Displayed A Shared Purpose That Would Have Previously Seemed “Far-Fetched.” “In recent days it has become clear that the sanctions against Iran are working vastly better than anyone should have expected. The Europeans are now tightening them further with a planned oil embargo against the Iranians -- a display of unity and shared purpose within the Atlantic Alliance that might at one time have seemed as far-fetched as the idea that sanctions could work in the first place.” [David Rothkopf, Foreign Policy, 1/5/12]

The Iranian Regime Has Been Forced To Admit The Impact Of Sanctions And Is Having Trouble Selling Oil. “After years of defiance and insistence that sanctions were barely being felt at home, Iranians are acknowledging the latest round with growing alarm. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that they were ‘the strongest yet.’ International oil experts say Iranian exports have already been cut by at least a quarter since the beginning of the year, costing Iran roughly $10 billion so far in forgone revenues. Many experts say the pain is only beginning, since oil prices have been falling and Iran’s sales should drop even more with the European embargo that went into effect on Sunday.” [New York Times, 7/4/12]

The Iranian Rial Has Lost 80% Of Its Value Since The End Of 2011 Under The Pressure Of US And International Sanctions. “The [Iranian] currency has reportedly lost 80% of its value since the end of 2011. The fall suggests economic sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear programme are hitting economic activity ever harder… Iran is all but frozen out of the global banking system as a result of largely US-led sanctions designed to discourage what it says is Iran's attempts to build a nuclear weapon.” [BBC, 10/1/12]