US officials: Sanctions to be ‘fully enforced’ on Iran at 0401 GMT

Pompeo told journalists that heaping pressure on Tehran was meant to "push back against Iranian malign activity." (File photo: AP)

The first batch of US sanctions against Iran will go into force at 0401 GMT on Tuesday, a US officials said on Monday.

The aim of US sanctions on Iran is to change the behavior of the Iranian regime, not the regime itself, the officials added. He said that the sanctions will be “fully enforced” in an “aggressive manner”, including countries and companies dealing with Iran.

“We’ve seen company after company announce that they are getting out of Iran,” the officials said. “This pressure is already working.”

US officials said that more than 100 international firms have already agreed to leave the Iranian market.

They said that Americans stand with the Iranian people in their demands in recent protests, mainly against how the Iranian regime is taking money from the country to fund militias and wars abroad.

The snapback sanctions are meant to target Iran’s purchases of US dollars, metals trading and other dealings, coal, industrial-related software and its auto sector.

"There is no question that these financial sanctions are going to continue to bring significant financial pressure," one official told reporters on a conference call.

The United States also plans to re-introduce potentially more damaging sanctions on Iranian oil in November.

Asked about any possible exemptions to the renewed sanctions, officials said they would examine any requests on a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said Monday he remains open to forging a new nuclear deal with Iran, as he confirmed Washington will go ahead with re-imposing sanctions against Tehran.

“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,” Trump said in a statement.

Pompeo's statements

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed Sunday that the United States would "enforce the sanctions" it is reimposing after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear pact.

Pompeo told journalists that heaping pressure on Tehran was meant to "push back against Iranian malign activity," saying Iranians "are unhappy with the failure of their own leadership to deliver the economic promises that their leadership promised them."

Pompeo told reporters on his way home from a three-nation trip to South East Asia that the Trump administration is open to looking beyond sanctions but adds that would "require enormous change" from Tehran.

He said President Donald Trump is intent on getting Iran to "behave like a normal country."

US sanctions had been eased by the Obama administration under the terms of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Trump decided in May to withdraw from the accord.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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