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Why US sanctions won’t ‘starve’ Iran of means to pursue its regional policy

The Trump administration’s stated aim to “starve” Iran of the financial resources to conduct its regional policy is unlikely to succeed for many reasons, including the fact that Tehran has honed inexpensive hybrid warfare.
Iranian armed forces members march during the annual military parade in Tehran, Iran September 22, 2018. Tasnim News Agency/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC18E701C6B0

As the Trump administration unveiled its strategy to “confront Iran” in the aftermath of its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in October outlined a “campaign to crush the Iranian regime’s terrorist financing.”

To assess the likely efficacy of stated US policy, it is important to grasp the nature and scale of Iranian military expenditures and also understand how economic adversity impacts such spending.

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