June 05, 2013

Video Release: Sen. Warren Stresses Importance of Structuring Iran Sanctions to Encourage Negotiation

WASHINGTON, DC – At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren asked State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman if U.S. sanctions against Iran are structured so they can be reversed, thereby encouraging the Iranian government to come to a negotiated settlement.

“The goal is to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and I support strong sanctions, because I think they’re necessary to make this strategy work. But if the Iranians see that the sanctions can’t be lifted, then they will be only more firmly entrenched in pursuing nuclear weapons,” said Senator Warren.  “In other words, badly designed sanctions might actually increase the likelihood of Iran getting a nuclear weapon, or increase the likelihood of war. 

According to the Iran Project, a bipartisan group of former diplomats and national security experts, sanctions must be reversible in order to be an effective incentive during the negotiation process. A recent report issued by the International Crisis Group evaluated the difficulty of reversing each sanctions program, and found many of the sanctions against Iran difficult to reverse.

To watch the video of Senator Warren’s Q&A, please click here.