Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

As sanctions bite, where next for Trump’s Iran strategy

As sanctions bite, where next for Trump’s Iran strategy

Washington's withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear deal was criticized across the world.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on July 27 there was no policy that had been put in place with the goal of collapsing or changing the Iranian regime.

It seeks to forbid European Union persons from complying with USA sanctions, allow for the recovery of related damages and counter court rulings to enforce American penalties.

With the US administration taking a hard line on waivers, many major companies have already announced that they are quitting the country.

Trump has rejected pleas from United States allies not to unilaterally drop out of the deal.

The updated version - relating to USA sanctions on Iran - will be published on Tuesday, and will take effect immediately. This is why the European Union's updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions.

Iran's economy has rapidly deteriorated in recent months partially due to fears over the imposition of further USA sanctions, igniting street protests in many Iranian cities over economic hardships.

Immediately after Trump said he was ready to meet his Iranian counterpart, his chief diplomat Mike Pompeo sounded a quite different tone.

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That criticism drew the ire of the President, who was critical of James and Lemon in a tweet sent out late Friday evening. When asked what he would say to Trump if they were to sit face-to-face, James said, "I would never sit across from him".

Despite efforts by Russia, China and Europe to salvage the deal, the Trump administration is pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November, when the United States reimposes sanctions Iran's oil and shipping industries.

The EU statement commits the remaining signatories of the JCPOA to "maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas".

"Perhaps that'll be the path the Iranians choose to move down", Pompeo said.

Key Trump administration figures, including national security advisor John Bolton, have called for regime change in the past, although the official line is that Washington only wants a change in its "behaviour".

The United States has told third countries they must halt imports of Iranian oil from early November or face USA financial measures.

"We are happy to talk if there's an arrangement that is appropriate, that could lead to a good outcome", he said.

"This is just about the Iranians' dissatisfaction with the own government and the president (Trump) is pretty clear". "But there's no evidence to date of their desire to change and behave in a more normal way".

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