U.S. supports potential E.U. sanctions against Iran


By Middle East Affairs

As some members of the European Union are pushing for sanctions against Iran to save the 2015 international nuclear deal, the United States is expressing its support, Reuters reports.

Agreed under former president Barack Obama’s administration, the United States, China, Russia, Germany, Britain and France signed a deal with Iran to lift sanctions against the country if it curbed its nuclear program and became more transparent in its banking.

But when U.S. President Donald Trump took office, he expressed distrust in Iran and threatened to pull out of the deal if its European signatories did not agree to fix its “terrible flaws.”

France, Germany and Britain have until May 12 to form a plan. That’s when Trump is scheduled to waive another round of sanctions against the Persian state.

The three European countries have pressed the European Union to support more sanctions on Iran but have faced some pushback.

Beginning a three-day tour of the signatories in London, Berlin and Paris, Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, voiced the United States’ support for the sanctions.

She told reporters before a meeting with British officials that the move would amount to a comprehensive effort in countering Iran’s “malign activity” in the region. She cited Iran’s support of Hezbollah, the militant group in Lebanon; Hamas, the militant group in the Gaza Strip of Palestine; and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his civil war on rebels.

Reuters said she also warned companies against doing business with Iran.

“We say any company thinking about doing business in Iran or with Iranian companies faces serious risks that they will be doing business with those, like the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), supporting terrorism and instability throughout the world,” Mandelker said.

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