Updated: March 6, 2021
The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would restore sanctions on Iran that were lifted by the Obama administration in 2015.
In a conference call with reporters on Monday morning, senior administration officials said they were not trying to overthrow the Iranian regime, but were looking for a change in behavior from Tehran.
The officials said Iran was using money from the nuclear deal to help President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal government in Syria and arm Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The sanctions, to take effect at midnight on Monday, are likely to ratchet up pressure on Tehran and worsen a divide with Europe. Many Europeans countries support the nuclear deal and do business with Iran.
The sanctions come after President Trump decided in May to withdraw from the nuclear deal with world powers.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the goal was to get Iran to change its ways — to end its support of brutal governments or uprisings in the Middle East.
“We’re very hopeful that we can find a way to move forward, but it’s going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime,” Mr. Pompeo said on Sunday. “They’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple.”
According to administration officials, the new sanctions bar any transactions with Iran involving dollar bank notes, gold, precious metals, aluminum, steel, commercial passenger aircraft and coal. They also end imports into the United States of Iranian carpets and food stuffs.
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