Trump Confirms Upcoming Sanctions to European Companies Working in Iran

President Donald Trump has confirmed that the U.S. will impose sanctions on European companies working in Iran. This statement follows several E.U. countries pleading to be exempt from the tariffs. Said countries attempted to continue to do business in Iran by using loan extensions from banks, but the organizations stated that they could not afford to dismiss the sanctions. E.U. representatives have also attempted to convince the U.S. to take different actions but failed to do so.

Trump’s decision is thought to be an attempt to pressure Tehran into changing their approach to negotiating with other countries.

Trump was asked on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” whether or not companies will be penalized for not leaving the country after the U.S. left the Iran deal. He responded:

“Yes, of course. That’s what we’re doing. Absolutely.”

The Iran deal stated that the U.S. would no longer apply harsh sanctions on Tehran, and in exchange, Iran would restraining its nuclear program. Now that the U.S. has left the accord, the restrictions are no longer applicable.

The departure of so many companies from Iran may signify a significant reduction in job opportunities for young Iranian citizens. Many employers have demonstrated their discomfort with having to let go of many of their employees.

Europe has also highlighted the potential immigration problem that could come with the tariffs, as Iran’s falling employment rate may cause a mass migration from Iran.

The talk regarding these tariffs has changed significantly since they were first announced.

In May, national security adviser John Bolton stated that sanctions towards European companies working in Iran were “possible,” but that their application depended entirely on other countries’ actions. Going from that approach to a direct response from the President has been a radical change, and one that was not preceded by other intermediate measures.  The decisions have not been received well by any political party in the U.S., even from politicians who usually support the president.

The original statement regarding the tariffs was made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a press conference. He said:

“This sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations. These will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete”.

The imposition of the tariffs was striking from the beginning, as after the signing of a very recent deal, the U.S. guaranteed that companies would be safe in the Iranian market for at least a decade. U.S. officials stated that Iran was a previously unexplored market and that it posed virtually no competition for them. Said promise was quickly broken after the U.S. exited the Iran deal.  Trump made this decision after several attempts by European leaders to convince him to do otherwise.

Trump’s tendency to frequently dismiss other leaders’ advice has complicated relations between Europe and the U.S.


Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

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