MidEast

U.S. Reimposes Sanctions on Iran Lifted Under Nuclear Deal

The United States on Monday re-imposed sanctions on Iran, three months after the Trump administration announced the country’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which targets financial transactions that involve U.S. dollars, Iran’s automotive sector, the purchase of commercial planes and metals including gold. Further sanctions will take effect in early November aimed at Iran’s oil sector and central bank.

In a statement released by the White House, President Trump described the accord to freeze Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions as a “horrible, one-sided deal,” which failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb.”

The President observed further that the accord had left the Iranian government flush with cash to use to fuel conflict in the Middle East, including in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. “To this day, Iran threatens the United States and our allies, undermines the international financial system, and supports terrorism and militant proxies around the world,” Trump said.

“We urge all nations to take such steps to make clear that the Iranian regime faces a choice: either change its threatening, destabilizing behavior and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation,” the President added.

Trump issued a stark warning to European partners, and other countries, saying that those who don’t wind down their economic ties to Iran “risk severe consequences” under the new sanctions.

German car manufacturer Daimler (DAIGn.DE) announced on Tuesday that it had dropped plans to expand its Iran business in reaction to renewed U.S. sanctions. “We have ceased our already restricted activities in Iran in accordance with the applicable sanctions”, Daimler said in a statement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking to reporters en route from a three-nation trip to Southeast Asia, on Monday vowed that the new sanctions will be rigorously enforced until the Iranian regime radically changes its behavior.

“We’re hopeful that we can find a way to move forward but it’s going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime (…) They’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple.”

European foreign ministers said Monday they “deeply regret” the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions and issued a “blocking statute” on Monday to protect European businesses from the impact of the sanctions.

[Photo: ABC News / YouTube]