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US sanctions on Iran, China causes tension, but may lead to negotiating power

Victoria Scott

Morgan Ortagus, the spokesperson for the State Department, addressed on FOX Business' “Bulls & Bears" what the United States’ overall point of maximum pressure should be toward Iran and China.

The former Fox News anchor broke down the “Rewards for Justice Program,” a $15-million package awarded to individuals who can find information pertaining to Iran’s financial networks and oil sectors.

The program was introduced one year after President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). More commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, the detailed agreement was meant to appease the degree of nuclear-related economic sanctions placed on Iran by enabling them to receive no more than 3.67 percent of uranium, which is equivalent to 661 pounds.

Although the regime claimed to not use the metal which is used to create nuclear weapons, the amount was still enough to invest in the creation of them. In July, Iran threatened to exceed the 2015 agreement if sanctions were not decreased.

Ortagus said there hasn't been any "curbing on their illicit behavior” since withdrawing from the pact. It has become a tit-for-tat situation, she said. Trump placed heavy sanctions on Iranian oil which is the cash cow of their economy.

The White House reportedly blamed Iran for the attacks on U.S. ships in mid-June.

Many experts consider Iran to be a 'theocratic-republic.' Religion plays a pivotal role in the ways in which laws and courts are exercised there, and elected officials are appointed for people in theocracies, whereas democracies give the people the power to vote their preferred candidates into office. Although the United States does not wish to alter the Iranian regime, continuing to enforce Democratic principles will not diminish, especially for national security reasons. Iran has acclimated democratic hybrids to its political system, such as its own constitution and promoting civil rights.

"The point of maximum pressure is to get the regime to the table, to negotiate with us," Ortagus said. "We asked the Iranians to quit terrorizing their neighbors."

Sanctions are meant to serve varying purposes when implemented on countries. Trump and the State Department both believe enforcing sanctions through diplomatic means is a strong starting point.

The trade war with China draws correlations to defining what maximum pressure is towards other nations. China is accused of intellectual property theft, dumping of steel, manipulating sharp power, and overriding competitive measures to benefit themselves on a technological, military and economic front. Dumping refers to purposefully decreasing the value of a good to price other competitors out of the market.

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France offered a $15 billion bailout to save the Iran Nuclear Deal Wednesday.

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