US targets 700 Iranian entities with sanctions blitz
Move is ‘largest-ever single day action targeting Iran’
Sanctions on Iran that US President Donald Trump previewed with a faux television ad last week were officially unveiled on Monday, targeting hundreds of Iranian entities, including some that were not included in previous penalties.
The action is the culmination of the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal brokered by the administration of Barack Obama.
“This morning, we will fully impose sanctions on the Iranian regime. This is part of a maximum unprecedented economic pressure campaign the United States is waging against the largest state sponsor of terror,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a press briefing on Monday morning.
“We sanctioned more than 700 individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels as part of Treasury’s largest-ever single-day action targeting Iran,” he added.
Hundreds of the sanctions will be slapped on new targets, Mnuchin said, while others were previously subjected to penalties before the implementation of the 2015 deal.
On Friday, Trump tweeted an image parodying HBO’s Game of Thrones, warning that “sanctions are coming”:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2018
Despite the tough rhetoric, the White House did grant waivers on sanctions targeting Iranian oil exports to eight countries. China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey all made the list.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during the press briefing on Monday that the waivers would be “temporary” and were intended to keep oil supplies stable.
While some US allies, including South Korea and Japan, stopped importing Iranian oil ahead of the deadline, India and China had expressed little willingness to cut imports to zero.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pointed out on Monday that, despite economic leverage, the United States is completely isolated on the issue of the 2015 deal.
“The fact that, except for three or four countries, the entire world stands by Iran and the US is isolated, is unprecedented. This is a great victory for the great people of Iran,” Rouhani said, as translated by his office’s website.
“In what project were the Americans successful? The commercial war that it has started in the world will prove in the coming months to whose detriment it will be. It may have short-term profits for them, but in the long run, the US will suffer a loss,” he added.