One of the four emerging myths about the Iran-P5+1 deal has reached a fever pitch. Turn on basically any network news channel and you’ll hear it propagated again and again: Iran got too much sanctions relief!
People are even saying this deal asked too much of the P5+1 and too little of Iran, when really the opposite is true. Here’s Ankit Panda and Zachary Keck in The Diplomat explaining what that $7 billion really means to Iran.
Altogether, the White House estimates that this amounts to between US$6 billion and US$7 billion in sanctions relief for Iran over the six month period, although the higher figure appears to incorporate the humanitarian aid and the spare parts for Iran’s civilian aircraft. Under the current sanctions regime, Iran loses about US$5 billion each month in oil sales alone, with an unknown additional loss from financial and other sanctions. Based on a 30 day month, this means Iran will be receiving at most about 36 days of relief from oil sanctions, despite freezing and in some cases rolling back its nuclear program for a period of 182.5 days.
Thirty-six days of modest financial benefit in exchange for freezing or rolling back the entirety of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.