On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien made the case the sanctions by the Trump administration on the Iranian regime were working, and noted the economic effects on Iran.
Host Chris Wallace asked, “I want to step back and talk about the whole question of the administration’s strategy to deal with Iran. The U.S. imposed still more sanctions on Iran on Friday. The secretary of state, the secretary of treasury you have two goals. You want Iran to behave like other nations in the world, and you want them to stop their nuclear program. Let’s look at the record so far. The administration has now imposed sanctions on more than 1,000 Iranian companies, organizations, and individuals. Back in September, the Treasury secretary said basically we have cut off all funding to Iran. But instead of caving in, Iran is moving step-by-step out of the nuclear deal and, in recent months, hit six ships, attacked Saudi oil facilities, and set fire to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. You said this week and in an interview with Axios that you think Iran is now more likely to negotiate, but the maximum pressure campaign, at least if you look at the last six months, has made Iran more aggressive, not less aggressive.”
O’Brien said, “I think the maximum pressure campaign has been working. It’s been demonstrable that it’s working, the Iranian economy is contracting by at least 10%, we haven’t seen that with a modern economy in many, many years, Iran went from producing three to 4 million barrels of oil a day down to 150 to 400,000 barrels depending on the day. Iran is being choked off, Iran is going to have no choice but to come to the table.”
Wallace said, “I agree with all of that, but they haven’t been less aggressive, they haven’t indicated they’re going to come to the table, and fact they have been more aggressive, and they are pulling out of the nuclear deal so why do you say as you have said this weekend you think that they are now more likely to negotiate?”
O’Brien said, “Iran is being choked off, and there is no other way for them to get the money they need to fund the Guard, to fund the regime and their maligned activities, and you are seeing protest breaking out across Iran. And we have seen it for several months, people are fed up with this regime. If Iran wants to maintain a modern country, the mother is going to have to come to the table and negotiate — that’s highly likely.”
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