‘Sanctions Are Coming’: Trump Taunts Iran, as Treasury Department Announces Expanded List of Designated Entities
At the highest levels of the US government, life continues to imitate art — quite literally, in the case of President Donald Trump’s tweet on Friday about the reimposition of sanctions on the Iranian regime.
In a graphic that borrowed freely from the look and feel of hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” Trump’s Twitter feed displayed an image of the US president attempting a steely-jawed expression, alongside the message, “SANCTIONS ARE COMING — NOVEMBER 5.”
No further comment accompanied the post. Nov. 5 will mark the resumption of comprehensive US sanctions on Iran’s access to oil markets and the international banking system — a direct consequence of the Trump administration’s decision last May to withdraw from the JCPOA, the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. At the time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the forthcoming sanctions as the “strongest in history.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2018
Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer thanked Trump for his stance on Iran.
Thank you, Mr. President, for restoring sanctions against an Iranian regime that vows and works to destroy the Jewish state. https://t.co/pA92oiDGs6
— Amb. Ron Dermer (@AmbDermer) November 2, 2018
During a press briefing on Friday, Pompeo emphasized that the last-minute decision to grant Iran sanctions waivers to eight countries — including US allies South Korea, Japan and India — was both limited in scope and temporary.
“We expect to issue some temporary allotments to eight jurisdictions, but only because they have demonstrated significant reductions in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts and have made important moves towards getting to zero crude oil importation [from Iran],” Pompeo said. “These negotiations are still ongoing.”
The secretary of state further explained that two of the countries “completely end imports as part of their agreements. The other six will import at greatly reduced levels.”
In the same briefing, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin elaborated on the nature of the sanctions.
“As of Monday Nov. 5, the final round of snapback sanctions will be enforced on Iran’s energy, shipping, shipbuilding, and financial sectors,” Mnuchin stated. “As part of this action on Monday, the Treasury Department will add more than 700 names to our list of blocked entities.”
Said Mnuchin: “This includes hundreds of targets previously granted sanctions relief under the JCPOA, as well as more than 300 new designations.”
Expressing full support for the sanctions, a statement on Friday from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) noted that “already, US sanctions have helped reduce Iran’s oil exports while the value of the riyal [Iran’s currency] plummets.”
“We hope these actions will help Iran to change course, abandon aggression and return to negotiations,” AIPAC concluded.