These sanctions are being reimposed following Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord in May, when he accused the Regime of cheating on the deal and expressed his belief that the “horrible” nuclear deal did not do enough to stop Iran’s other malign activities in the Middle East. He warned of “severe consequences” for anyone who continued to do business in Iran after the sanctions were imposed.
Trump said: “We urge all nations to take such steps to make clear that the Iranian regime faces a choice: either change its threatening, destabilizing behaviour and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation.”
Trump’s decision was criticised by those remaining in the deal, like the EU and Iran, but was lauded by those who support regime change in Iran. These sanctions are likely the final blows to the already fragile Iranian economy, which will encourage the people’s popular protest and help the Iranians take down their rulers.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that these sanctions would remain in place until Iran was prepared to behave like a “normal” county, but there no evidence of that yet from the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.
Although regime change is not yet the official US policy on Iran, many high-ranking officials have come out to support it in recent years, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, who spoke at the 2017 Free Iran rally.
Bolton recently said Iran’s leadership is on “very shaky ground”.
The American government also officially supports the Iranian people’s right to protest, as evidenced by Trump’s tweets earlier this year.
The Iranian Regime has predictably responded to Trump’s decision by blaming the US for their current economic crisis and the Iranian uprising, both of which were already in place long before the withdrawal. In fact, the rial has been decreasing in value since the mullahs took power in 1979 and the latest uprising began in December.
The mullahs should know this. They were the ones who arrested 8,000 protesters and threatened them with the death penalty in January and they were the ones who artificially fixed the exchange rate in April.
More US sanctions, targeting Iran’s oil sector and central bank, will come into force on November 4.