The Biden Administration has announced that it will be appointing Richard Nephew as assistant envoy to Iran.
He’s kind of a classic foreign policy sadist, particularly as he is a former Obama Administration sanctions expert, but he’s written a book where he brags about hurting ordinary citizens through the sanctions that he devised.
Colloquially, it’s called saying the quiet part out loud. Legally, it’s called a crime against humanity:
The Joseph Biden administration has named Richard Nephew as its deputy Iran envoy. As the former principal deputy coordinator of sanctions policy for Barack Obama’s State Department, Nephew took personal credit for depriving Iranians of food, sabotaging their automobile industry, and driving up unemployment rates.
Nephew has described the destruction of Iran’s economy as “a tremendous success,” and lamented during a visit to Russia that food was still plentiful in the country’s capital despite mounting US sanctions.
Nephew’s appointment to a senior diplomatic post suggests that rather than immediately returning to the JCPOA nuclear deal, the Biden administration will finesse sanctions illegally imposed by Trump to pressure Iran into an onerous, reworked agreement that Tehran is unlikely to join.
Doubling down on bad policy and ignoring agreements that have been signed because ……… American Exceptionalism. Great policy there.
You see, he wrote a book:
Entitled “The Art of Sanctions: A View From The Field,” the book’s cover image features two Caucasian hands drawing a rope for a noose, presumably to strangle some insufficiently pliant Global South government. Its contents read like a list of criminal confessions, detailing in chillingly clinical terms how the sanctions Nephew conceived from inside an air-conditioned office in Washington immiserated average Iranians.
With his candor, Nephew has shattered the official US rhetoric about “targeted sanctions” that exclusively punish “bad actors” and their business cronies while leaving civilian populations unharmed.
Nephew also patted himself on the back for tripling the price of chicken “during important Iranian holiday periods,” thereby “contribut[ing] to more popular frustration in one bank shot than years of financial restrictions.”
Next, he boasted of more sanctions targeting civilians to prevent Iranians from obtaining the assistance they needed to repair their cars. “Iran’s manufacturing jobs and export revenue were the targets of this sanction,” Nephew wrote.
In response to online criticism, Nephew has claimed that “the main target” of the sanctions regime he designed was “the oligarchs.” But his book on “The Art of Sanctions” tells another story.
Nephew fondly recalls how he structured sanctions to sabotage Iranian economic reforms that would have improved the purchasing power of average people. The Obama administration destroyed the economic prospects of Iran’s working-class majority while ensuring that “only the wealthy or those in positions of power could take advantage of Iran’s continued connectedness,” he wrote. As “stories began to emerge from Iran of intensified income inequality and inflation,” Nephew pronounced another success.
Rather unsurprisingly, the government of Venezuela has submitted Nephew’s books and articles as evidence of war crimes to the ICC
Yesterday, we officially submitted before the International Criminal Court the book “The Art of Sanctions” and the article “Evaluating the Trump Administration’s Approach to Sanctions: Venezuela”, both by @RichardMNephew, advisor to Obama and Biden for the imposition of sanctions pic.twitter.com/lW9d3V4bRW
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) May 18, 2021
Richard Nephew’s books and articles are also evidence that he is too stupid, and too criminal, to hold a security clearance, much less hold a senior position in the any Presidential administration.