Seeking ‘Unprecedented’ Pressure on Iran, Trump Reimposes US Sanctions Lifted After Nuclear Deal
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday reimposing a number of US economic sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as a result of the July 2015 nuclear agreement the Tehran regime reached with six world powers.
Calling the deal — also known as the JCPOA — “horrible” and “one-sided,” Trump said in a statement that it “failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos.”
“Since the deal was reached, Iran’s aggression has only increased,” he added. “The regime has used the windfall of newly accessible funds it received under the JCPOA to build nuclear-capable missiles, fund terrorism, and fuel conflict across the Middle East and beyond.”
The sanctions being reinstituted are related to Iran’s automotive sector, its trade in gold and precious metals, and its currency, the rial — the value of which has plunged in the months since Trump announced the US withdrawal from the JCPOA.
“Today’s executive order and the snapback of sanctions on Iran is part of the president’s broader strategy to apply unprecedented pressure on the Iranian regime,” a senior administration official told reporters in a conference call on Monday. “We are intent on cutting off the regime’s access to resources that they have systemically used to finance terror, fund weapons proliferation, and threaten peace and stability in the region.”
Another set of sanctions — including ones targeting Iran’s lucrative energy sector — will be put back in place in November. Those sanctions, another administration official stated, will have an “exponential effect on Iran’s already fragile economy.”
Commenting on the recent wave of anti-regime demonstrations in Iran, an administration official said, “We do stand with the Iranian people, who are longing for a country of economic opportunity, transparency, fairness and greater liberty. As Iran expends enormous resources on its foreign adventurism, its people are becoming increasingly frustrated, and we are seeing this frustration expressed in protests across the country.”
However, another administration official clarified that America’s goal was not regime change, but rather to “modify” Iran’s behavior.
The same official noted that Trump would “meet with the Iranian leadership at any time to discuss a real, comprehensive deal that will contain their regional ambitions, will end their malign behavior, and deny them any path to a nuclear weapon.”