The Trump administration on Friday announced the restoration of the final round of sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal -- though there will be some exemptions for eight countries.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the sanctions on Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. Particularly, the sanctions will target Iran’s crude oil exports and will penalize countries that don’t stop importing oil and foreign companies that do business with certain Iranian entities.
But the administration is also announcing that there would be eight significant reduction exemptions (SREs) to countries that haven’t completely eliminated oil imports from Iran. The waivers will last for a six-month period and will be re-evaluated after that time is up.
The move is the latest round of sanctions re-imposed since President Trump announced the U.S. exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. In August the administration re-imposed a host of economic sanctions, drawing criticism from European leaders in particular.
Trump has repeatedly blasted the deal, which critics say does not do enough to end Iran’s aggression. At a U.N. Security Council meeting in September, Trump defended his administration’s decision to pull out of the Obama-era deal, and blasted what he called a “horrible, one-sided deal [that] allowed Iran to continue its path toward a [nuclear] bomb and gave the regime a cash lifeline when they needed it the most.”
“They were in big big trouble,” he said. “They needed cash, we gave it to them.”