US Reimposes Sanctions on Iran’s Oil, Financial Sectors

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and financial sector Monday, following through on President Donald Trump’s pledge to roll back relief Iran received as part of the international agreement to limit its nuclear program.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to provide more details about the sanctions at a morning news conference.

The measures bring back bans on the purchase of Iranian oil, which is a major part of the country’s economy. Trump administration officials have said eight entities are being given short-term waivers to allow them time to completely wind down their existing Iranian oil imports. 

The reimposed sanctions will also target Iran’s central bank and the country’s shipping and shipbuilding sectors.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said in a televised speech Monday that Iran will break the U.S. sanctions and continue to sell oil.

Trump said in a statement Friday that the purpose is to force Iran’s leaders to choose either to abandon what he calls Iran’s “destructive behavior” or to “continue down the path toward economic disaster.”

​The U.S. president abandoned the nuclear agreement in May, accusing Iran of violating the deal. He said Iran was continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and that the sanctions relief gave Iran cash to carry out destabilizing activities in the Middle East.

Iran denied its nuclear program was directed at producing nuclear weapons as it reached the 2015 agreement with the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany. The U.N.’s atomic energy agency, which was tasked with monitoring the implementation of the agreement, has certified in multiple reports that Iran is in compliance.

All of the other signatories have argued the agreement is the best way to ensure Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, and Iranian officials have pledged to remain a party as long as the other non-U.S. parties continue observing it.

On Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the reimposition of U.S. sanctions, saying Trump had hurt U.S. standing in the world and that Iran would ultimately come out as the winner.

Pompeo, in an interview broadcast on Fox News Sunday, predicted the sanctions would be successful.

“I am very confident that the sanctions that will be reimposed this Monday — not only the crude oil sanctions but the financial sanctions are being put in place by the Treasury Department and over 600 designations of individuals and companies in Iran — will have the intended effect to alter the Iranian regime’s behavior,” Pompeo said “That’s our expectation. It’s the reason for President Trump’s policy.”

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