Many companies leaving Iran because of the threat of US sanctions, the expert believes

© AP Photo / Vahid SalemiАнтиамериканский figure in Tehran. Archival photoMany companies leaving Iran because of the threat of US sanctions, the expert believes© AP Photo / Vahid Salemi

Most foreign companies are likely to leave the Iranian market due to the threat of being under U.S. sanctions after the country withdrew from the agreement on the nuclear program, said in an interview with RIA Novosti’s former Director, international economic Affairs national security Council the White house, former Deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, Department of state David Mortlock.

Under the administration of Barack Obama Mortlock was one of the main developers of sanctions against Iran and Russia. However, as he notes, the current situation differs from previous years due to the «fundamental level of disagreement between governments on the US decision to withdraw from the deal». «Obviously, it (sanctions — ed.) will have an impact on diplomatic US relations with these countries. The question is whether to leave the company (from Iran) after threats of the United States. In most cases, I think that will go away. But if this does not happen, as it was in the 90-ies, then the US will have to make a difficult decision whether to introduce sanctions against companies allies,» — said the Agency interlocutor.

He explained that the options of sanctions that the U.S. government may impose against European or Asian companies for doing business in Iran, very much. «I think that a much more difficult question is what is the risk that the U.S. government deems the activities (of the company in Iran — ed.) is pretty «significant» to begin the consideration of the imposition of secondary sanctions,» says Mortlock. According to him, secondary sanctions prescribed in such a way that the U.S. government was «quite a large free hand in making decisions — to impose sanctions or not.»

«Many people use the phrase «significant», but what is «significant»? The office for foreign assets control of the U.S. Treasury (OFAC) made a number of factors that guide. But in the end the us government determines that they want to see as «significant», — said the former White house spokesman.

Thus, in his view, sanctions can be a powerful tool «in order to achieve a successful diplomatic outcome,» but «we must act very wisely in imposing sanctions to make them effective.» «It is necessary to take into account the associated limitations. You can exert pressure, but ultimately the question is, will the object of your sanctions the behaviour in response to the pressure. And it worked in some cases, such as with Iran and Libya. Think it could work with North Korea. But we also observed many cases in history when this did not work», — concluded the expert.

The US President Donald trump on may 8 announced that Washington is out of agreement with Iran on its nuclear program reached «six» of international mediators (Russia, USA, Britain, China, France, Germany) in 2015. Trump also announced the restoration of all sanctions, including secondary (in relation to other countries doing business with Iran), which was suspended in the result, reached the deal.