Despite the fact that President Trump had originally promised to crack down on Iran’s propaganda broadcasting network with sanctions, the sanctions were quietly waived last month, and a new report from the Washington Free Beacon has revealed why — it’s due to a little known secret agreement former president Obama had made that bars the sanctions from being implemented.
The Free Beacon reports:
The Trump administration, in an unpublicized move, waived sanctions on Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, or IRIB, a satellite service that disseminates propaganda across Iran and routinely censors content. Iranian dissidents who took to the streets in a renewed wave of protests had called on the Trump administration to sanction the IRIB in a bid to prevent the Iranian regime from crushing the latest protests.
While the Trump administration had initially promised to issue new sanctions on the IRIB, the State Department blocked the effort due to a little-known agreement reached between the Obama administration and Iran during the sensitive negotiations that led to the landmark nuclear agreement.
The Free Beacon first reported on this secret agreement last month, when several lawmakers on Capitol Hill disclosed that they were working to unearth details about this agreement barring new sanctions on the IRIB, which has been working to censor content that Iran believes would fuel further dissatisfaction with the ruling regime.
The decision to waive the IRIB sanctions at a key juncture in Iranian society has roiled dissidents who believed the Trump administration would rush to support their protests against the ruling regime, which has squandered billions of dollars it received under the nuclear deal on foreign wars and military equipment, rather than the ailing Iranian economy.
Additionally, the report states:
The Obama administration struck a deal in 2013 with Iran that waived existing sanctions on the IRIB as part of an agreement reached under the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, or ITSO.
Since that agreement, the United States has waived sanctions every 180 days on the IRIB, despite evidence it continues to censor content and jam broadcasts the hardline ruling regime finds unacceptable, sources said.