WASHINGTON– Nearly six months after President Donald Trump announced that his administration will no longer abide by the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. began reimposing sanctions on hundreds of Iranian targets Monday.
Casting Iran as a top state-sponsor of terror, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that Iran is now at a crossroads.
“The Iranian regime has a choice. It can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble,” Pompeo said during a joint press briefing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The Treasury Department said in a statement that the reimposed sanctions will affect “700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels.”
Mnuchin noted that the 700 includes 300 new targets who were not previously targeted.
The two officials said that there will be small carve-outs for civilian nuclear energy, a strategic step to ensure that facilities can be monitored to ensure that they aren’t transferred into weapons programs, and that transactions benefiting humanitarian causes can continue as long as it is ensured that they will not support terror-related activity.
In addition, China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea Taiwan and Turkey will be granted exemptions on purchasing Iranian crude oil in order to, according to Pompeo, “ensure a well- supplied oil market.”
The 2015 agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, put checks on Iran’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for the U.S. easing sanctions.
Trump and others in the administration have expressed measured optimism that a replacement deal can be reached, but they have not yet detailed what steps in that direction they expect.