Sanctions imposed on Iran by the former Trump administration have extracted billions from the regime, forcing it to the edge of financial collapse, as the International Monetary Fund findings indicate.

According to the IMF’s 2021 Middle East and Central Asia survey, which monitors Iran’s economies, the Islamic Republic had $122.5 billion in their purse three years ago, which reduced dramatically to only $4 billion last year. Allegedly, the region’s massive economic downturn resulted from President Donald Trump’s intense sanctions aiming at Tehran. 

The heavy punishing policies were able to draw out $118.5 billion from Iran, which had to sacrifice nearly all of its budget resources to survive in just two short years.

According to Reuters, the sanctions were imposed during Trump’s presidency due to Tehran’s illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs,  its relation to terrorist groups including Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the region’s trace of activities over the Middle East. 

The U.S was not the only country that imposed punishments on Iran. Multiple media have named sanctions from other countries, such as Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Israel, South Korea, and Switzerland.

Likewise, with Biden’s latest intention to resume the 2015 nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Iran, withdrawal of the former administration’s sanctions has become a precondition. If the region is released from the penalties, the region’s revenues will surge up by billions in the upcoming years. 

Free Beacon observes from IMF’s report that the statistics had shown how effective  Trump’s punishing campaign was in striking down Iran’s financial ability when it was using the advantage on supporting terrorist groups and nuclear enrichment programs. 

The outlet quoted former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said that President Trump’s tough campaign was able to “wipe out” 96% of the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Meanwhile, with Biden’s promises of alleviation, IMF has projected that Iran would retain roughly $12,2 billion this year, and by the following year, the reserves could mount up to $21 billion. The financial recovery could be even faster if foreign companies are no longer prohibited from investing in the region. 

Yet, not all sanctions will be removed. IMF suggests that Iran would still be subjected to the U.S’s sanctions for the illicit oil trade, and the country may continue to suffer from inflation while Trump’s sanctions are still in effect.

“For the last several years, proponents of a renewed deal with Iran have been arguing that max pressure wasn’t working. These numbers tell a different story,” Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank and former terrorist finance analyst at the Treasury Department, commented on IMP’s findings. 

“If these numbers still represent the current reality, the United States has far more leverage over the regime than previously believed. The administration should use that leverage at the negotiating table,” Schanzer added.