US Begins to Dismantle Iran Sanctions Relief
EghtesadOnline: The Trump administration on Wednesday began dismantling the sanctions relief that was granted to Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal, a step that follows US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the international accord.
The US Treasury Department announced it had revoked licenses that allowed US-controlled foreign firms to export commercial aircraft parts to Iran as well as permitted Americans to trade in Iranian carpets, pistachios and caviar.
It said businesses engaged in any such transactions have to wind down those operations by Aug. 6 or face penalties under US sanctions, AP reported.
Another set of licenses covering other types of commerce, including oil purchases, will be revoked in the coming weeks, with firms given until Nov. 4 to end those activities, according to Financial Tribune.
The step had been expected since May when Trump pulled the US out of the landmark agreement under which Iran was given relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
Trump said the accord, a signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, President Barack Obama, was the worst deal ever negotiated by the United States because it gave Iran too much in return for too little.
Other parties to the deal—Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia and the European Union—have criticized the US withdrawal, which has left the agreement at risk of collapse. The Trump administration is stepping up efforts to isolate Iran and its economy from international financial and trading systems.
On Tuesday, the administration said it was pushing foreign countries to cut oil imports from Iran to zero by Nov. 4. Previously, the administration had only said that countries should make a “significant reduction” in their imports of Iranian oil or be subject to separate US sanctions prohibiting all transactions between their central banks and Iran’s central bank.
A senior US State Department official said the administration is now telling European and Asian countries that the US expects their imports to hit zero by the time the grace period ends.
A US team from the State Department and the National Security Council is currently in Europe delivering the message, said the official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.
The official added that the US is working with other Middle Eastern countries to increase production so the global oil supply is not harmed.