As a candidate four years ago, Barack Obama promised to enlist the European Union in the effort to put financial pressure on Iran to end its nuclear ambitions. He said he would pressure the EU to stop providing big credit guarantees to Iran.
In October, he got his wish when EU foreign ministers took steps to punish Iran financially.
Citing nuclear proliferation concerns, the EU banned all financial transactions between European and Iranian banks unless they relate to humanitarian aid. It also prohibited the export of materials and metals used for industrial or military purposes.
On credit guarantees, the EU "also decided to stop supporting trade with Iran through new short-term export credits, guarantees or insurance. Medium- and long-term commitments were already previously prohibited," according to a press release.
Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, told reporters when the sanctions were announced that the Obama administration was turning up the heat. "Rallying the world to isolate Iran and increasing the pressure on its leadership so that they stop pursuing a nuclear weapon has been a top priority for the president since the day he took office."
But there's considerable disagreement about how effective Obama has been.
"Everything that's happened on European guarantees has happened internally in Europe or not at all," said Danielle Pletka, a Middle East scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "He has not helped at all because he has no credit and no leverage."
She also noted that earlier this year, when members of Congress pushed for tougher sanctions, Obama resisted, and the White House has granted numerous waivers to countries that continue to purchase Iranian oil in violation of sanctions.
Back to the promise at hand: Obama pledged to work with the EU to end credit guarantees to Iran. While his tactics may not be the reason, Obameter ratings are about outcomes and the EU did impose stringent financial sanctions. We rate this a Promise Kept.