US reimposes Iran sanctions lifted under nuclear deal
The United States would re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been suspended under a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, the Trump administration said on Monday, in a bid to ratchet up pressure on Tehran.
However, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said in response that the Iranians would make the United States "regretful" for its renewal of sanctions against the Islamic republic.
Earlier on Monday, an anonymous senior administration official told the media via teleconference that the first batch of sanctions, which will take effect at 12:01am on Tuesday, target Tehran's purchase of US banknotes, trade in gold and other precious metals, as well as the use of graphite, aluminum, steel, coal, and software used in industrial processes.
They will also affect transactions related to the Iranian Rial, the issuance of sovereign debts, and the country's automotive sector.
Another round of sanctions, to be reinstalled on November 5, will be on Iran's port, energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors, its petroleum-related transactions, and business deals by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran.
The Trump administration will also relist hundreds of individuals, entities, vessels, and aircraft that were previously included on sanctions lists.
The so-called snapback sanctions were among those lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran's nuclear program.
US President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal in May, evoking global criticism and causing a divide with Europe. Some of its major European allies have been working to prevent the 2015 deal from falling apart.
Despite protests from European allies, Trump signed an executive order on Monday to implement these sanctions, saying that the U.S. policy on Iran "is based on a clear-eyed assessment" of the country's governance and regional influence.
He once again lashed out at the Iran nuke deal, saying that it was "horrible, one-sided" and had failed to protect U.S. national security.
The White House host added that "as we continue applying maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime, I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime's malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism."
However, Iran's President Rouhani struck a hard line. "America will regret imposing sanctions on Iran... They are already isolated in the world," he said in a televised speech, hours before new sanctions due to take effect.
Moreover, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday that the United States seeks to create chaos in Iran by reinstating sanctions.
U.S.-Iranian relations have been at odds as the Trump administration left the historic Iran nuclear deal, delegitimized its government, vowed to re-impose sanctions on the nation and pressed other nations to cut down their purchase of Iranian oil to zero.
Trump said late last month that he is ready to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with "no preconditions."
Tehran has so far shown little interest in talking with Washington over a new nuclear deal. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said lately that any negotiation with the United States to solve the existing problems is an "obvious mistake."