Announcing a raft of sanctions on Iran today, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have also warned the Islamic Republic to “act like a normal country” or “see its economy crumble.”
Fresh sanctions have been implemented against 50 Iranian banks, more than 200 persons, businesses, aircraft, and vessels. The sanctions had been relaxed after the 2015 nuclear deal.
President Donald Trump had announced in may this year that he was pulling the US out of the deal but the other parties to the agreement – Iran, the EU, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – have declared their determination to uphold it.
The move is understood to be a part of a wider effort by Trump to curb Tehran’s missile and nuclear programmes and diminish the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East.
“The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country or it can see its economy crumble,” Pompeo said at the news conference.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said in a statement: “Treasury’s imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilising behaviour.”
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani has, however, said his country will “proudly bypass” Trump’s “illegal” and “unjust” sanctions by selling oil. He also compared the US president to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.