Nov. 3 (UPI) — The Trump administration is reimposing sanctions against Iran that were lifted under President Barack Obama as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday.
The sanctions will go into effect Monday and affect Iran’s energy, shipbuilding, shipping and banking industries.
“These sanctions hit at core areas of Iran’s economy,” Pompeo said. “They’re necessary to spur changes we seek on the part of the regime. In order to maximize the effect of the president’s pressure campaign, we have worked closely with other countries to cut off Iranian oil exports as much as possible.”
The sanctions come six months after the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the so-called Iran nuclear deal signed by the United States, China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and the European Union. The deal lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran reducing its stockpile of enriched uranium and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to regularly inspect nuclear facilities.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to the JCPOA as “one of the worst deals in history,” taking issue with the expiry dates of some of the terms of the multilateral deal. The Trump administration also has accused Iran of being a “destabilizing influence” in the Middle East and supporting terror groups like Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The sanctions are “aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues that it uses to spread death and destruction around the world,” Pompeo said on a briefing call with reporters. “Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country.”
He said the U.S. government will issue temporary exemptions for eight countries that import crude oil from Iran because they “made important moves” to reduce the imports. He did not identify which countries would receive the waiver.
Tehran accused the United States of attempting to wage a “psychological war” against Iran with the new sanctions. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the country was prepared to manage the economic effects of Washington’s actions Friday.
“There is no room for any concern. We should wait and see that the U.S. will not be able to carry out any measure against the great and brave Iranian nation,” he said.