President Trump turns the sanctions screw on Iran

The agreement was made by Iran and the U.S., the UK, Russia, France, China, Germany and the European Union to ensure Iran's nuclear programme was "exclusively peaceful". "But not anymore!" Trump tweeted.

In the U.S., National Security Adviser John Bolton raised the pressure on Europe, saying that countries and companies that continue to do business with Iran could face sanctions.

Iran has promised to maintain the deal, regardless of Trump's withdrawal, as long as it still has the support of France and the UK.

Bolton, asked whether the United States might impose sanctions on European companies that continue to do business with Iran, told CNN: "It's possible".

The Republican also accused the global agreement of encouraging "malign activity" in the Middle East.

The nations that were hyper critical for the United States on its decision to break away from the 2015 deal had their economic interests at heart rather than the virtues of the deal. He said he spoke to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to request exceptions for French companies, a delay in implementing sanctions, and a so-called grandfather clause for companies that invested in Iran while the treaty was in place.

After the President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran deal, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said his decision was "disappointing". "It's clear that for that we have to maintain economic incentives, and that would not be easy after the USA decision" he said.

In an interview with ZDF public television, Altmaier noted the United States has set a 90-day deadline for foreign firms to comply with the return of sanctions and that this period can be used to convince Washington to change course.


"They were shifting the balance of power in the Middle East until President Trump got out of this deal".

As a private citizen, Bolton suggested in the past that the United States push for a change in Iran's government.

Asked if the US would consider imposing sanctions on European nations that continue to honor the deal, Bolton said "it's possible".

"The policy of the administration is to make sure that Iran never gets close to deliverable nuclear weapons", he added.

In the CNN interview, Bolton did not respond directly when asked whether Trump might seek "regime change" in Iran, or whether the US military would be ordered to make a preemptive strike against any Iranian nuclear facility.

"I think it was testing the limits of the deal's provisions, exceeding them in some cases", Bolton said. With Pompeo seemingly assuming the "good cop" role on behalf of the Trump administration, it was left to newly appointed United States national security advisor John Bolton to remind Europe its firms could be punished if they didn't adhere to American measures.

"I think the Europeans will see that's in their interest ultimately to go along with this", Bolton told CNN.

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