November 4, 2018
U.S. President Trump
The Trump administration on Friday announced the reimposition of all US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, The Associated Press reported.
The sanctions, which will take effect on Monday, cover Iran's shipping, financial and energy sectors and are the second batch the administration has reimposed since President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 deal in May.
The rollback ends US participation in the nuclear deal, which now hangs in the balance as Iran no longer enjoys any relief from sanctions imposed by the world's largest economy.
Shortly after the announcement, Trump tweeted a movie poster-like image of himself walking out of what appears to be fog with the phrase "Sanctions are Coming, November 5."
The sanctions will hit countries that do not stop importing Iranian oil and foreign firms that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities, including its central bank, a number of private financial institutions, and state-run port and shipping firms, as well as hundreds of individual Iranian officials.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US will allow eight countries to continue importing Iranian oil but only at much lower levels after the reimposition of sanctions.
One of those countries appears to be Iraq, as Iraqi officials later said the US has told the country that it will be allowed to keep importing gas, energy supplies and food items from Iran after the sanctions are reimposed.
Other countries, said officials cited by AP, would include Turkey, Italy, India, Japan and South Korea.
Pompeo said Friday the sanctions are "aimed at fundamentally altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran." He has in the past issued a list of 12 demands that Iran must meet if it wants the sanctions lifted. Those include ending support for terrorism and military engagement in Syria and a complete halt to its nuclear and ballistic missile development.
U.S. to re-impose oil sanctions on Iran
"Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country," Pompeo told reporters in a conference call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to AP. "Maximum pressure means maximum pressure."
The waivers, expected to be announced Monday, will be valid for six months, during which time the importing country can buy Iranian oil but must deposit Iran's revenue in an escrow account. Iran can spend the money but only on a narrow range of humanitarian items. Pompeo said two of the eight countries would wind down imports to zero within weeks.
Mnuchin said 700 more Iranian companies and people would be added to the sanctions rolls. Those, he said, would include more than 300 that had not been included under previous sanctions.