On Saturday, the United States ordered its nuclear sanctions against Iran lifted, only to follow up on Sunday with some new, albeit much more limited, sanctions against Iran, nominally over some ballistic missiles tests.
The Obama Administration is trying to play up the growing rapprochement with Iran, with hopes that the nuclear deal will lead to the resolution of more regional disputes. This being the administration’s last year in office, however, the future may not be so bright for US-Iran relations.
All the major Republican candidates were railing against the nuclear deal and the easing of sanctions, with several promising to tear up the nuclear pact, if elected. They are likewise agitating for significant new sanctions against Iran.
They’re not the only ones. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, though trying to be a bit more upbeat about the nuclear deal as such, was similarly pushing for major new sanctions, declaring Iran a threat to regional security that needs to be met with “firm resolve.”
And while the Republican candidates spent much of their Thursday debate trying to present Clinton as a continuation of Obama-style diplomacy, Clinton appeared to more closely echo them in most regards, declaring Iran’s capture of US Navy sailors earlier in the week “offensive” and “demeaning,” far afield from the administration’s happiness at the quick and easy resolution of the incident.
During her turn in the State Department, Clinton leaned more toward the hawkish end of the administration, and her reaction in the wake of the easing of sanctions suggests she would’ve been an obstacle to the deal had she remained in office, and might still prove as much an obstacle for US-Iran relations after the 2016 election as every other front-runner.