Trump Reinstates Harsh Sanctions on Iran
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump released a series of severe sanctions on the Iranian government on Monday, Nov 5. The measures against Iran are focused almost entirely on the nation’s oil and gas industry, its primary source of income. The U.S. government has sanctioned over 700 banks, companies, people, vehicles and entities to help exert the maximum amount of pressure on the Iranian regime.
The move comes as the White House seeks to fulfill its promise to reinstate sanctions on Iran after it pulled out of the Iran Nuclear deal in early May 2018. The previous agreement with Iran, created by President Obama in 2015, largely opened up trade with the nation in return for a halt in the Iranian nuclear program. The sanctions released on Monday will be the culmination of the Trump Administration's effort to wipe out all the Iran Nuclear deal entirely and begin to bring down the Iranian regime through economic efforts.
National Security Advisor John Bolton commented on the sanctions in an interview on Fox Business, saying, “the sanctions are...already having an enormous effect on Iran” and that the United States is going to, “do everything we can to squeeze Iran hard.”
However, questions have quickly arisen as to the actual extent of the sanctions, after the U.S. government released a series of waivers for eight countries that could continue to import oil from Iran. The waivers, which allowed for oil imports from Iran for 180 more days, were given to two of Iran’s largest customers, China and India. The President has said this is a tactic to prevent shocks in the global oil market, but others are not so sure. Scott Nation, President of NationShares, an international investment strategy firm, called the new sanctions, “really more like suggestions now” in an interview with CNBC.
From an economic perspective, the new sanctions will have a profound effect on the health of the Iranian State. Already, since May, Iran has lost more than 2.5 Billion Dollars in crude oil revenue due to corporations and businesses pulling out of trade deals with them. In a significant victory for the United States, Swift, a Belgian financial service used internationally in moving money around the world’s banks, decided to suspend working with Iran.
Though it will take months to determine how effective the impending sanctions will be regarding policy, Iran has already expressed concern and contempt for the punishing measures. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared that “we will proudly break the sanctions” in a televised address to the nation on Monday. Though it is unclear how exactly the Iranian nation would be able to get around the sanctions, its commitment to undermining the United States was made clear.
For the past few days, the view from inside Tehran has been one of stubborn determination. This sentiment was seen heavily in a rally by Iranian Military Chief, General Mohammed Ali Jafari, who addressed a crowd in the Iranian capital on Sunday. The general was defiant in his speech, saying, “never threaten Iran, because we can still hear the horrified cries of your soldiers...don’t threaten us militarily and don’t frighten us with military threats.” The Iranian crowd cheered.