Trump admin reimposes sanctions on Iran

DRIVING THE DAY — President Trump reinstated major sanctions against Iran that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal following a 90-day period after the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA in May. In a statement attached to an executive order on Monday,  Trump emphasized, “The JCPOA, a horrible, one-sided deal, failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos.”

Trump added, “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.”

“The United States is going to enforce these sanctions,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters. “It’s an important part of our efforts to push back against Iranian malign activity.”

The so-called “snapback” sanctions will be reimposed at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, the White House said. 

Richard Goldberg, a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, emails us… “The Trump administration is sending a clear message to banks, insurers and other companies around the world: get out of Iran or face dire legal and financial consequences. U.S. sanctions on Iran are back and they will be fully enforced.”

“Now it’s time to look ahead to the next round of sanctions in November — especially for foreign banks processing oil payments with the Central Bank of Iran and banks on the board of SWIFT, which must disconnect Iranian banks or face certain cut-off from the US financial system. As this maximum pressure campaign gets rolling, the mullahs will face a stark choice: fundamental behavioral change or regime collapse.”

Robert Satloff, Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, on what’s next: “The big regional picture is a race underway to determine what comes first: Will the Iranian regime buckle under internal protest and external pressure, including the tightened economic grip imposed by the Trump Administration’s welcome reimposition of sanctions, or will Iran’s attempt to turn Syria into a Lebanon-like front against Israel, armed to the teeth with offensive weapons, trigger a massive Iran-Israel conflagration?”

“While the Trump administration seems to have indicated it would be happy with any of three outcomes of its Iran policy — a unilateral change by Iran of its malign behavior in the Middle East; a willingness by Iran to negotiate a bigger, better agreement covering both nuclear and non-nuclear issues; or full-scale regime change in Iran — at the current moment, it is difficult to see the Tehran regime choosing either of the first two paths. That calculus may change if the domestic situation dramatically worsens, both politically and economically, or if Israel adopts an even more muscular and assertive strategy to counter Iranian gains in Syria. ”

HEARD YESTERDAY — Former Senator and Chairman of UANI Joe Lieberman on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo: “It’s a very important day, and that’s a day that I for one I didn’t think would happen. Tomorrow is the day that effectively the Iran nuclear agreement of 2015 dies, and this is one death that I am not mourning because I thought it was a bad agreement… I give credit to President Trump on this one, for getting us out of the agreement. Hopefully, it will bring the Iranians back to the negotiating table to negotiate a better deal.” [Video]

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