NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) released its updated analysis of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA). The Iranian government reported a 4.6% spike in GDP for the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-June 21), compared to the same period last year. According to the Central Bank of Iran, this is the first time the Iranian economy has experienced positive growth in more than two years.
These new statistics directly controvert assertions made by U.S. officials in the aftermath of the signing of the JPA that despite the sanctions relief provided under the agreement Iran would be even deeper in the economic hole after six months.
Clearly the scope of sanctions relief provided to the Iranian regime far exceeds initial estimates. Unfortunately in light of these gains, the regime has not been compelled to soften its hardline stance in nuclear negotiations.
Improving Economic Indicators
|↑ 11%||Increase in the value of the Iranian rial since Rouhani's election.|
|↑ 57%||Increase in the value of the Tehran Stock Exchange index since Rouhani's election.|
Pace of U.S. Sanctions Enforcement has Slowed
The Obama administration has pledged to fully enforce all existing sanctions against Iran. David Cohen, the U.S. Treasury Department’s point man on sanctions, vowed, “The Joint Plan of Action reached in Geneva does not, and will not, interfere with our continued efforts to expose and disrupt those supporting Iran’s nuclear program or seeking to evade our sanctions.”
However, the facts suggest a different story. Since Rouhani’s election, the U.S. has been much less aggressive in enforcing sanctions. In 2013, before Rouhani’s June 14 election, Treasury issued 10 sanctions announcements which designated 183 entities for violating Iran sanctions. Since Rouhani’s election, there have only been six announcements, blacklisting a total of 95 entities.
Human Rights Under Rouhani
Since Rouhani took office, the human rights situation has not improved as some had hoped, but has actually worsened in a number of critical ways. For example, the pace of executions has increased to more than two a day in what can only be described as an "execution binge."
Rouhani has also not fulfilled his promise to ease Internet restrictions, with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube remaining blocked for Iranian citizens. In May, six young men and women were arrested and detained in Tehran for posting a tribute video to Pharrell Williams' hit song, "Happy," on YouTube.