On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. The US president said that old sanctions would be restored, and new ones would be introduced in case Tehran attempted to pursue its nuclear ambitions. At the same time, Trump called for making a new agreement. However, Trump actually advanced unfulfillable conditions for Tehran. Several US sanctions came into force on August 7, covering Iran’s car manufacturing sector, as well as gold and other precious metals trade. On November 5, restrictions on oil export will be introduced.
Recently US President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton indicated that the news sanctions of Washington against Tehran will be tougher than those introduced before the Iran nuclear deal, there will almost be no exceptions for businesses. This means that the US is not just going to stop at where the sanctions were in 2015, it may say no waivers to the sanctions. Historically, U.S. administrations have given companies waivers” that allowed them “to deal with Iran under certain circumstances, including trade in medical and humanitarian goods.” According to reports, the two latest exceptions “remain in place despite the new sanctions,” however, “other permissions allowing companies to trade with Iran through foreign subsidiaries” will be cancelled in November.
The US move is not being supported by other countries in the nuclear deal of 2015. Other members of the Iran nuclear deal – Russia, Germany, the UK, China and France – do not approve of the US’ exit and remain loyal to previous agreements. On August 7, the EU introduced the updated Blocking Statute, which declares all extraterritorial US sanctions against Iran invalid on all its territory, forbids European companies from cooperating with the US on introducing them, and puts a block on all decisions of foreign courts made on the basis of these sanctions.
Despite pleas from key members of the international community, the U.S. re-imposed sanctions targeting the Iranian government’s purchase of U.S. dollars on August 10, 2018. The European Union responded to the Iran sanctions by calling on companies to disregard threats from Washington. The Russian foreign ministry expressed its deep disappointment on U.S. steps to re-impose its national sanctions against Iran.
Iran filed a case against the US Sanctions before the ICJ in late July, 2018 calling on the top UN tribunal’s judges to order the immediate lifting of sanctions, which it said would cause “irreparable prejudice”. It asked the international court to order the US to lift sanctions against Tehran after Washington unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal. In the Netherlands Mohsen Mohebi, the lawyer representing Iran, condemned (August 27), the US for “naked economic aggression” in the first session of the case. He added that the measures have had “immediate damaging consequences on Iran and the Iranian people.” Iran said the US sanctions violate terms of a little-known 1955 friendship treaty between the two countries.