July 16, 2015 | Quote

Iran’s Strategic Mastermind Got a Huge Boost From the Nuclear Deal

The historic nuclear accord between a US-led group of countries and Iran was good news for a man who some consider to be the Middle East's most effective covert operative.

As a result of the deal, Qasem Suleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Qods Force and the general responsible for overseeing Iran's network of proxy organizations, will be removed from European Union sanctions lists once the agreement is implemented, and taken off a UN sanctions list after eight or fewer years.

Some time in the next few years, Qasem Suleimani will be able to travel and do business inside the EU, while a bank that's facilitated the funding of US-listed terror group's will be allowed to enter the European market. As part of the nuclear deal, the US and its partners bargained away much of the international leverage against some of the more problematic sectors in the Iranian regime, including entities whose wrongdoing went well beyond the nuclear realm.

The result is the almost complete reversal of the sanctions regime in Europe. “If you look at the competing annexes, the European list is much more comprehensive and there are going to be significant differences between the designation lists that are maintained,” Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Business Insider. “The Europeans look as if they're about to just open up entirely to Iran.”


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