There are two ways to kill this argument:
1: ask in CX: "would you agree that your advantages have to be significant in order for the judge to vote Aff?"
Aff has two options: they can agree, and admit that they need sig Ads, or they can disagree, and look really terrible. TRUST ME, they will agree!
2: keep pressing the burden of proof. Aff has a burden to prove SIGNIFICANT harm. If they didn't have this burden, they could have a plan that made some humongous change and only saved 1$.
It is simply self-evident that a significant reform is only warranted when there is a significant problem.
I know we're getting a little off-topic here... Maybe someone who can should make a separate thread.
1. I'd say no to that C-X question, and we had lots of great teams last year that did the same. Why shouldn't we make a significant reform if it provides an advantage? If there's no negatives to performing the action, and it brings about a benefit, then do it.
2. The Res calls for "significant reform," not "significant advantages."
Advantages isn't anywhere in the res.
My point is: I think discontinuing a policy that has failed is perfectly reasonable, so long as there is some upside. In the case of Iranian sanctions, there is definitely upside (improved relations/quality of life).
You can try and nail the affirmative team down to your standard of harms, solvency, etc. But the fact of the matter is that those stock issues aren't hard and fast rules (at least not in the NCFCA). They tell judges to make decisions like they would in the real world. How do you make decisions in the real world? Comparative advantage. Do the benefits outweigh the cost?
In short: If sanctions don't work, there's no harm in removing them. You need DAs (in this case, a downside to removing sanctions) to defend keeping them. If you concede they don't work, any upside could warrant their removal.