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US to reinstate every Iran sanction since nuke deal, targeting 700+ entities

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner speak to reporters following their travel to Mexico City, Mexico, July 13, 2018. (State Department/Released)
November 02, 2018

The Trump Administration has announced the latest round of sanctions against Iran, which will fully reinstate all sanctions that were lifted by the 2015 nuclear accord.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin announced on Friday morning that the U.S. will move ahead with the Nov. 5 sanctions due to Iran’s lack of compliance, the Associated Press reported.

The sanctions will penalize more than 700 entities and individuals who fail to stop importing Iranian oil, according to Mnuchin. The Trump Administration has also urged nations to cut their economic ties with Iran.

Eight countries will be granted a waiver for continued purchase of Iranian oil, Bloomberg reported. Those countries are said to include Japan, India, South Korea and China, but the official list is expected Monday.

The waivered countries are required to pay for the oil using local currency and escrow accounts, which prevents the money from being misused by Iran. Iran can only use the money in the accounts to purchase vital supplies such as food, medicine or goods not subject to sanctions.

In the 12 days leading up to the Nov. 5 date of enacting the sanctions, the U.S. Department of State has been tweeting each of the 12 requirements that the U.S. demands of Iran in order to consider lifting the sanctions.

On Friday, the third requirement was released, which said, “There are only 3 days left before the #Iran sanctions deadline, so here’s the 3rd requirement for the Iranian regime to behave like a normal state: it must end support for the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and the region, and cease harboring senior al-Qaida leaders.”

Iran “is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror,” Pompeo said Thursday. “Just these past weeks, we’ve seen them try to assassinate people, conduct assassinations in Europe. These are the hallmarks of a regime that has inflicted enormous instability in the Middle East, and it is the primary reason that President Trump thought the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] was such an awful deal and has chosen to withdraw, and why on Monday of the week ahead we will reimpose the harshest sanctions ever having been in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.

The sanctions come as no surprise, as warnings to Iran have been issued over the past several months.

Pompeo previously said, “It is our expectation that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country or sanctions will be imposed.”

“Losses from Iran are just around the corner,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas, according to The Wall Street Journal. “These losses are expected to be much heavier than expected as we get news that key refiners in India and China are refraining from [scheduling future imports] of barrels of Iranian oil.”

The sanctions serve to penalize Iran for their “malign activity” in the Middle East, as well as their ongoing nuclear program that was not adequately curbed by the 2015 nuclear accord. The final sanctions serve to pressure Iran to change its behavior.

The efforts of the U.S. have already caused a reduction in Iranian oil exports, dropping them from 2.7 million barrels daily to an estimated 1.6 million.

“We’re quite confident moving forward that the actions that are being taken are going to help us exert maximum pressure against the Iranian regime,” deputy State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Thursday. “This leading state sponsor of terrorism is going to see revenues cut off significantly that will deprive it of its ability to fund terrorism throughout the region.”