Trump Administration Sanctions on Iran Solid Step Forward, but Must Ensure Maximum Pressure Is Applied

The Trump Administration announced that it will re-impose a second wave of sanctions on the Iranian regime, following U.S. withdrawal from President Obama’s disastrous Iran nuclear deal.

I congratulate the Trump administration for taking further steps today to re-impose the sanctions lifted by the Obama Iran deal. The deal gifted the Ayatollahs with over a hundred billion dollars, which they used to export terrorism and build ballistic missiles, while paving the way for them to develop nuclear weapons.

Many more details will be announced in the coming days. It is important to ensure that the final policy imposes maximum pressure on Iran. Waivers that allow our allies and adversaries to enrich the regime by importing Iranian oil or to bolster Iran's nuclear program through civil-nuclear cooperation should be sharply limited, and ultimately eliminated. The administration should ensure that the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication disconnects designated Iranian banks from the global financial system, otherwise the Ayatollahs will use such access to simply wait out the Trump administration, in the hopes that a future administration will be more appeasing.

As I wrote to Secretary Mnuchin in August, in a letter co-signed by 15 Senators, the administration’s maximum pressure campaign will not succeed if the Islamic Republic remains connected to SWIFT. I look forward to working with my congressional colleagues in a bipartisan and bicameral fashion to pass legislation that ensures maximum pressure on Iran.


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