The United States will reimpose the sanctions against Iran, which were lifted as part of the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal. The White House has stated that it is “fully committed to enforcing” these new sanctions.
What's the background?
In 2015, the Obama administration lifted sanctions on Iran in return for promises that the Iranian regime would stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
On May 8, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would be pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also called the Iran nuclear deal).
On Monday, the White House released a fact sheet detailing its plan to “reimpose sanctions lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.” According to the release, Monday is the final day of a 90-day “wind-down period” since Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the deal.
Following the release of the fact sheet on Monday, the White House also released the text of an executive order implementing the new sanctions, and the text of a letter to the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate, which detailed Trump's rationale behind leaving the nuclear agreement and informed them that an executive order related to Iran had been signed.
According to the fact sheet, “The Iranian regime only grew more aggressive under the cover of the JCPOA and was given access to more resources to pursue its malign activities.”
Trump has repeatedly referred to the Iran nuclear deal as the “worst deal ever,” “horrible,” “laughable,” and “defective at its core.” This latest fact sheet itself was titled: "President Donald J. Trump is Reimposing Sanctions Lifted Under the Horrible Iran Deal"
The new sanctions will go into effect on Tuesday, and will target Iranian gold and other precious metals, “[g]raphite, aluminum, steel, coal, and software used in industrial processes,” Iran's automotive sector, and transactions related to the Iranian rial or the issuance of Iranian sovereign debt.
A second round of sanctions targeting Iran's shipping industry, petroleum related transactions, and the Central Bank of Iran will take place on Nov. 5, which will mark the end of a 180-day “wind-down period.”
In a break from his hard stance against Iran, on July 30 Trump said that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “without preconditions.” President Barack Obama had been met by fierce criticism from many on the right, including Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, when he had made a similar statement in 2007.