US, Israeli Officials Bicker Over ‘Value’ of Iran Sanctions Relief

Treasury Dept Official Claims Sanctions Aren't Eased

After weeks of bickering over the hypothetical dollar value to attach to the P5+1 deal with Iran, US and Israeli officials are still at odds, with Israel claiming they have secret admissions from the Obama Administration that their previous estimate of $7 billion was too low, and it’s more like $20 billion.

That’s a big difference, if you’re talking about actual money. But you’re not in this case, as the “relief” amounts to between $3 and $4 billion of seized money being returned to Iran, and everything else in that dollar figure is the result of assigning seemingly arbitrary figures to “concessions.”

Those so-called concessions, including allowing Iran to engage in global trade using gold (they’re still not allowed to access banks) and to buy replacement parts for civilian aircraft aren’t really gifts, but each had multi-billion dollar pricetags slapped on them for rhetoric’s sake.

At the same time Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen has his own dollar figure: zero. He’s saying that the P5+1 has tricked Iran, that none of the putative sanctions relief will amount to anything, and that the whole country will be dramatically worse off in six months.

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.