The Trump administration has announced a new regime of sanctions against Iran to push back against their ballistic missile program. Critics believe these new sanctions may jeopardize the Iranian nuclear deal that was one of former President Obama’s signature accomplishments.
“Even as we continue to work to prevent Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, we cannot look away while Iran threatens our country and our allies in ways beyond their nuclear threat,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said to reporters today.
The sanctions will be aimed at 18 entities and people who the United States believes to be “illicit Iranian actors or [engaging in] transnational criminal activity.”
“The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity,” the State Department said in a press release.
This announcement came after the Trump administration announced that Iran was, in fact, complying with its nuclear deal. The Iranian nuclear deal, signed under Obama in 2015, has become a popular piece of political football for Republicans who frequently accuse Iran of non-compliance. Despite Iran living up to its end of the bargain, President Trump maintains that Americans are getting the short end of the stick and accuses of Iran of violating “the spirit of the deal.”
“We receive contradictory signals,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at the Council on Foreign Relations headquarters in Washington D.C. yesterday. “So we don’t know which one to interpret in what way.”
Before he was elected, Trump claimed that he wanted to deploy the element of surprise as President so opposition forces would never know what he is actually doing. Trump has certainly delivered many surprises to both enemies and supporters alike, but it is difficult to say whether his lack of a coherent foreign policy is actually helping his presidency.