Trump Administration Sanctions Additional Iranians

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres

In May, the administration announced it would keep waiving nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, but that it was imposing new sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its ballistic missile program.

"These sanctions target procurement of advanced military hardware, such as fast attack boats and unmanned aerial vehicles, and send a strong signal that the United States can not and will not tolerate Iran's provocative and destabilizing behavior", said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The Trump administration is slapping new sanctions on 18 Iranian individuals, groups and networks over non-nuclear behavior such as support for ballistic missiles development.

One talking point from White House officials on Monday was that the administration considered Iran to be in breach of the spirit, if not the letter, of the nuclear agreement because, they say, the bargain's goal was to enhance regional stability.

The U.S. said Iranian military advances in the Mideast and alliances with insurgent groups in the region "are serving to undercut whatever "positive contributions" to regional and global peace and security were meant to emerge" from the 2015 nuclear pact.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached the 159-page nuclear agreement in July 2015 and implemented it in January 2016.

The danger here is that Trump's instincts are to trash the deal and to deny that Iran is in compliance despite the fact that Tehran has been complying with the agreement from the start.


Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in NY on Monday to attend a United Nations forum on development, said he has yet to discuss the nuclear deal with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Opponents of the deal, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, emphasize Iran's continued ballistic missile activity and nefarious influence in the middle east.

And for a few hours on Monday afternoon, it looked like the White House was going to tell Congress it could not certify Iran was complying, without saying Iran was in breach of the pact.

For the second time since Trump took office, the administration determined that Iran was in compliance, according to three officials who briefed reporters Monday night on the condition of anonymity.

As a presidential candidate, Trump was voracious in his denunciation of the deal.

On June 16, Ali Velayati, a top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, noted that the U.S. Senate's decision to impose new sanctions was a clear violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action deal. Although the language was toughened to add the declaration that Iran is "in default of the spirit" of the deal, Iran will continue receiving the same sanctions relief that it did under former President Barack Obama. So Iran will have its money and they'll be free to develop a nuclear weapon if they want to-all without having to go to the trouble of breaking the treaty themselves.

Iranian lawmakers also on Tuesday passed a single-urgency bill, which designates USA military forces and intelligence services as supporters of terrorist groups in the Middle East.

If carried out, the move against the Revolutionary Guards would come with risks, Iran's military warned.

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