Omar: Sanctions on Iran, Turkey are futile

Omar criticized President Trump’s use of sanctions to pressure Iran and Turkey to alter their foreign and domestic policy.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

In an op-ed published on Thursday in the Washington Post, Rep. Ilhan Omar harshly criticized President Trump’s use of sanctions as a means to force Turkey to halt their assault on the Kurds in northern Syria.

Omar compared the sanctions on Turkey to the ones Trump is using on Iran, which she said said are creating a humanitarian and geopolitical disaster in those countries.

“Research has shown that sanctions rarely achieve their desired goals. In the worst-case scenario, they hurt the people of a country without making a dent in the country’s behavior,” Omar said.

“The sanctions put in place by the Trump administration have instead devastated that country’s middle class and increased hostility toward the United States, with tensions between the two countries rising to dangerous levels,” she added.

On Wednesday, Trump said that he will lift sanctions on Turkey as long as it agrees to permanently stop its assault on the Kurds in northern Syria.

Trump warned that if Turkey does not honor its pledge to maintain a permanent cease-fire, he will not hesitate to reimpose sanctions. Earlier this month, Trump halted negotiations on a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey, raised steel tariffs back up to 50% and imposed sanctions on three senior Turkish officials and Turkey’s defense and energy ministries.

Trump earlier in October ordered the bulk of the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria to withdraw after Turkey’s president, Recep Tayipp Erdogan, told Trump in a phone call that Turkish forces were set to invade northeastern Syria. Turkey’s goal was to push back the U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters. Turkey views the Kurds as terrorists and an ever-present threat along its southern border with Syria.

The president has come under attack by both Republicans and Democrats for abandoning the Kurds who previously helped the U.S. defeat the Islamic terror group ISIS. Critics say the move sends the wrong message to America’s allies and may give ISIS the chance to rebuild.