US mulling additional sanctions against Iran

Trump administration official says government is considering targeting areas of Iran's economy that have not been hit before.

Elad Benari,

Iranian-made Emad missile
Iranian-made Emad missile
Reuters

The US government is considering additional sanctions against Iran that would target areas of its economy that have not been hit before, a senior Trump administration official told reporters on Monday, according to Reuters.

The official said the administration aimed to follow through with new sanctions around the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and several world powers, which President Donald Trump announced last May.

“We just want a continued chilling effect,” the official was quoted by Reuters as having said. “We want businesses to continue to think doing business with Iran is a terrible idea at this point.”

Soon after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, Trump reimposed the sanctions on Iran that were frozen as part of the deal, causing the Islamic Republic to feel the pressure economically.

The sanctions have partly led to a weaker rial currency in Iran that has fed into higher inflation.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the administration hoped to take the additional measures in the coming weeks.

“The more we can do around the anniversary, the better,” the official said, while adding that it takes time to put such sanctions together and that the US Treasury Department was working on them.

One of the tools the United States has employed includes sanctions on oil imports from Iran. Washington has granted waivers to eight Iranian oil buyers, but could change that.

The official said the United States had the ability not to give those waivers at all. “That, I think, is where we’re headed,” the official said.

Iran, angry over the US withdrawal from the deal, has threatened several times that it will begin uranium enrichment beyond previous levels if the remaining parties fail to uphold the 2015 nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, Germany, France and Britain, which did not agree with Trump’s decision to leave the deal, have been scrambling to prevent a collapse of the agreement.

The EU recently introduced a trade mechanism that would bypass US sanctions on Iran, in a bid to save the 2015 deal.




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