Trump admin reimposes some Iran sanctions Obama admin relieved

Says sanctions will continue until Iran ends backing for terror, missile program, and adventurism in Middle East.


Iranian currency
Iranian currency

The Trump administration reimposed many of the sanctions that the Obama administration relieved under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and said the sanctions would continue until Iran ended its backing for terrorism, its missile program and its adventurism in the Middle East.

“Treasury’s imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior,” Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, said in a statement Monday, the day the sanctions kicked in. “Iran’s leaders must cease support for terrorism, stop proliferating ballistic missiles, end destructive regional activities, and abandon their nuclear ambitions immediately if they seek a path to sanctions relief.”

The sanctions targeted hundreds of individuals and entities tied to Iran’s energy, banking and shipbuilding sectors. The Obama administration had lifted sanctions on entities dealing with those sectors as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, which exchanged sanctions relief for a rollback in Iran’s nuclear program.

Not all of the sanctions were reimposed. Eight countries got exemptions for six months on importing Iranian oil: China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Japan, and Taiwan. Additionally, although a number of banks were on the list, Iran’s Central Bank was exempted. Sanctions the Obama administration imposed in 2010 included the Central Bank, effectively cutting off Iran from any U.S. cash dealings, and the resulting pressure helped bring Iran to the talks that led to the Iran deal.

The sanctions target third parties that deal with Iran. The United States has banned almost all direct U.S. dealings with Iran for decades.

President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May, and Monday was the deadline to reimpose its sanctions. The other parties to the deal, including Iran, Russia, China, and Europe, remain committed to it.

The same day as the sanctions were reimposed, SWIFT, the Belgium-based bank messaging system, suspended some Iranian banks from using its system.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vigorously opposed the Iran deal, praised the Trump administration for the new sanctions. “I would like to thank President Donald Trump again for a courageous, determined and important decision,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “I think that this contributes to stability, security and peace. True, there can be more bumps along the way, but we must approach this very aggressively and from strength. also morally, economically and vis-à-vis security.”