The United States will reimpose sanctions against Iran at midnight on Monday, restoring economic penalties that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord and ratcheting up pressure on Tehran while worsening divides with European allies and other world powers.
The sanctions are a consequence of President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from an international deal that sought to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing pressure on the country’s shaky economy. Mr. Trump blasted the deal long before becoming president; his administration is betting that backing out of it will force Iran to shut down its nuclear enrichment efforts, curb its weapons program and end its support of brutal governments or uprisings in the Middle East.
In a statement, Mr. Trump again described the nuclear deal — by which other world powers are still abiding — as “horrible, one sided.” He said the Iranian government “faces a choice: Either change its threatening, destabilizing behavior and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation.”
European officials have said that the Iran nuclear agreement is crucial to their national security, and international inspectors have concluded that Tehran is complying with the accord. “We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran,” the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany said in a joint statement on Monday. Russia and China also signed on to the 2015 deal.
But faced with a choice between the tiny Iranian market, which never lived up to expectations, and the huge American market, major European companies overwhelmingly indicated they would observe the sanctions. [Continue reading…]