September 22, 2018

Trump Admin Waives Iran Nuclear Sanctions But Announces New Targeted Sanctions

The Trump administration is reportedly waiving sanctions on Iran’s nuclear sanctions as part of the Iran deal but is announcing new sanctions on specific individuals and entities in Iran.

According to anonymous officials on a conference call with various reporters, Trump will not issue any more waivers after Friday unless specific fixes are made to the Iran deal. Trump is hoping to fix the sunset clause in the deal, which removes restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programs by the end of 10 years, as well as make clear that Iran’s nuclear and missile programs are “inseparable” and in need of restrictions.

Additionally, the president is hoping that the Iran deal will require better United Nations inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites and that Iran avoid a “breakout period” of being able to produce enough uranium for a nuclear bomb.

If Trump’s fixes aren’t met within 120 days, the White House signaled that the deal would be nixed altogether.

The Treasury Department also announced on Friday that sanctions would be leveled against 14 individuals and entities in Iran that are connected to “serious human rights abuses and censorship in Iran” as well as Iran’s missile program.

“The United States will not stand by while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustice,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement. “We are targeting the Iranian regime, including the head of Iran’s judiciary, for its appalling mistreatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest against their government.”

Some of the people targeted on the new round of sanctions includes:

Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) notes that Iran’s Central Bank was not included on the list of sanctions; had the bank been sanctioned it would have been a major blow to the Iranian regime.

Nevertheless, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif lashed out at Trump on Twitter over his Friday moves:

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) didn’t like the idea of waiving Iran’s nuclear sanctions.

“Waiving the sanctions on the ayatollah while protesters are dying in the streets would be a serious mistake,” Cruz told The Weekly Standard. “We should be doing everything humanly possible to support, to encourage those protests, to tell the Iranian people, we stand with you.”

Rubio issued a statement recommending that Trump should “impose new sanctions against elements of the Iranian government, including the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks, that are involved in or facilitating the regime’s human rights abuses against Iranian protesters, its ballistic missile program, or its support for terrorism.”

According to the Daily Beast, Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have been working with White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on an agreement that would keep the Iran deal intact.