Trump administration says to expect new sanctions on Iran

January 12, 2018

Trump administration says to expect new sanctions on Iran Borna_Mirahmadian /

President Donald Trump faces a Friday deadline to decide whether to continue to waive sanctions to Iran — and his decision has reportedly been made.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Thursday that he anticipates Trump will add additional sanctions to Iran amid widespread protests.

Trump is also extending relief for existing sanctions for the “last time,” marking the eventual end of the Iran nuclear accord set in place by the Barack Obama administration.

New Sanctions

Iran has experienced widespread protests over the last several weeks that have left 21 dead and 3,700 arrested. Apparently standing with the protesters, Trump criticized the country’s leadership on Twitter in December 2017, and warned that “the world is watching.”

Trump tweeted:

But Trump isn’t just tweeting his disapproval of Iran’s tactics. According to Mnuchin, the Trump administration will be specifically targeting the Iranian regime — possibly with new sanctions.

“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,” Mnuchin said.

He continued:

We are also targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities, which it continues to prioritize over the economic well-being of the Iranian people.

The Last Time

These possible new sanctions come as Trump’s aides promise that the president will not continue to waive previous sanctions against Iran that were first waived by Obama in 2015 in exchange for limits to Iran’s nuclear program as part of the Iran nuclear accord. Trump has routinely criticized that accord, calling it “the worst ever” deal in the history of American diplomacy.

Trump decertified part of the deal in October 2017, in a measure that required him to certify every 90 days that the agreement is in the interest of America’s national security. At the time, Trump warned that he could eventually scrap the deal altogether — and by refusing to continue waiving the sanctions, it looks like that’s what he’s now planning to do.

“The president’s decision is to waive once more nuclear sanctions that the terms of the JCPOA [Iran deal] require,” a senior administration official said on Friday. “This is the last such waiver he will issue.”

Administration officials also said that Trump will work with European leaders to secure a better Iran deal, but that he would only remain in the deal if a stronger agreement is reached.

A senior administration official said of the president:

He intends to work with our European partners on some kind of follow-on agreement that enshrines certain triggers that the Iranian regime cannot exceed related to its ballistic missiles, related to its nuclear breakout period — to hold them to one year or less — to inspections, and that we have no sunset clause.

It looks like these could be the last days of Obama’s “worst deal ever.” Good riddance.

Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.