Heavy Economic Sanctions Against Iran Back On at Midnight, More Coming
Heavy economic sanctions will come back into effect at Midnight, but some of the implications are already being seen.
“The pressure on the Iranian economy is significant,” Bolton said in a TV interview Monday.
“The value of its currency is going through the floor. We’ve seen public reporting of massive flights of capital out of Iran. The elites are getting nervous. Demonstrations and riots in cities and towns around Iran showing the dissatisfaction the people feel.”
Even more sanctions will come back in another 90 days, said Bolton, and that is “an indication of how strongly we feel that the Iranian nuclear weapons program, ballistic missile program and support for terrorism, its belligerent activity in the Middle East have to stop.”
Mr. Bolton denied that the United States and The Trump Administration is trying to change the Iranian regime through sanctions, as “our policy is not regime change.”
“We want to put unprecedented pressure on the government of Iran to change its behavior,” he said. “So far, they’ve shown no indication they’re prepared to do that. The president has made it clear repeatedly that he viewed the Iran nuclear deal as one of the worst in American diplomatic history.
“I thought he was right on target on that. We won’t allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.”
Protests in Iran ramped up over the weekend against its leaders and rulers, and Bolton said they are both widespread and spontaneous, not coordinated or due to the re-imposition of American sanctions.
“They reflect long-standing opposition inside Iran to the regime, to the economic deprivation, to the repression, to the religious intolerance, I think this regime is on very shaky ground.
“The real question is whether the Revolutionary Guards and the ayatollahs will use force against their own people. We’re focused on the nuclear weapons program, the support for terrorism, ballistic missiles and the belligerent activity militarily.”
He added that the US is using the economic system it has and its strength to put pressure on “rogue regimes,” such as Iran’s.
“They are the ones defying their own commitments and obligations,” he said. “The unanimous decisions of the UN Security council is they not get nuclear weapons. I think we’ll make the ayatollahs see the light.”
Iran could work with The Trump Administration.
“They could take up the president’s offer to negotiate with them, to give up their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs fully…and not under the terms of the Iran nuclear deal which aren’t satisfactory and to stop their support for international terrorism,” said Bolton.
President Trump has also spoken to several European leaders about the sanctions.
“If Iran were really serious, they would come to the table. We’ll find out whether they are or not.”
President Trump is “very serious” about wanting to speak with Iran’s leadership.
“If the Ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze they should come and sit down,” said Mr. Bolton. “The pressure will not relent while the negotiations go on much as in the case of the maximum pressure campaign against NKorea.”
Mr. Bolton said The Trump Administration has been in “continuous discussions” with allies in Europe, and while some governments want to remain as part of the Iran deal, companies are “running from it. The amount of business they’re doing in Iran is down substantially. That’s a real contributing factor to the pressure on Iran.”
The sanctions that are 90 days away concern Crude Oil, and Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, which provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean.
If that happens, it would be the “worst mistake yet,” said Mr. Bolton.
“I don’t think that they are serious about it,” he said. “I think they are still bluffing. They should not underestimate our determination that we are going to put pressure on them until they give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons and all the other activities that I mentioned. That we are very serious about.”
Have a terrific week