Trump administration within hours of reimposing Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is within hours of reimposing sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which the US has withdrawn.

“What’s happening today is part of a coordinated campaign of pressure President Trump put in place from day one of his administration,” a senior administration official told reporters on a press call Monday.

The U.S. is putting the sanctions back in place in two phases, with the first set hitting the country at 12:01 a.m Tuesday.

Administration officials said the snapback sanctions would limit Iran’s ability to purchase U.S. dollar banknotes, would impede the country’s ability to trade gold and precious metals and would prohibit Iran from selling or transferring Iranian graphite, as well as aluminum, steel, coal and software used to integrate industrial processes.

The sanctions would also limit certain transactions related to the Iranian rial, the country’s currency.

They would also impact Iran’s automotive and food sectors, as well as prohibit sales of commercial passenger aircraft to the country.

After a 180-day winddown period, a final round of sanctions would be put in place, which would hit Iran’s oil exports and energy sector, as well as port operators and ship builders.

Trump officials pointed to the current unrest in the country and said they hoped that the protests, coupled with the new sanctions, would lead to less hostile behavior from the regime.

“I think as we see the Iranian protests continue now in some number of days we hope that the Iranian regime will think seriously about the consequences their behavior is having on their own people,” a senior administration official said.

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