US Tones Down Iran Sanctions in Struggle to Win Support

Ban on Refined Petroleum Scrapped, According to Officials

As the Obama Administration’s efforts to court international support for the “crippling” sanctions against Iran continue to flounder, diplomats now say that they are significantly softening a myriad of measures in an attempt to make the move more palatable.

The US is said to have dropped all attempts to ban the import of refined petroleum products into Iran, a move which would have done serious damage to Iran’s economy but which would’ve also damaged several international companies that do business with them.

Russia in particular seems like a decent bet to jump on board for additional sanctions, as officials reiterated today that they would support “reasonable” sanctions. They have yet to comment on the latest proposals publicly, however, so it is unclear if sanctions have been toned down enough.

Other nations may be more difficult however, as they oppose the sanctions on general principle. China in particular seems eager to see more efforts at a diplomatic solution, and has warned repeatedly that it believes sanctions will harm that possibility.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.