Hours after Tehran eased nuclear deal compliance, US President Donald Trump raised pressure with sanctions on Iran metals by targeting revenue from its exports of industrial metals.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Iran’s metal industry, a second biggest export earner after oil. The sanction came hours later when Tehran suspended some restrictions on its nuclear program.
An executive order issued by Trump targets Iran’s iron, steel, aluminium, and copper sectors. A White House statement said, these are government’s largest non-petroleum-related sources of export revenue and 10% of its export economy. “Tehran can expect further actions unless it fundamentally alters its conduct,” Trump said.
Tensions between the two countries had already soared up when the US had deployed a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East. The development had come last weekend in response to what it said were “troubling indications and warnings” from Iran.
A senior administration official said the US was “not escalating militarily against Iran” and accused Iran of being “provocative”. It was in Iran’s best interests to continue complying with the pact, the official said. The order effectively bans entities from the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of Iran’s minerals and its products. Doing so will have to face sanctions.
A 90-day winding down period has been allowed for transactions related to Iran’s metals sectors, the US Treasury said. It has warned against entering into any new business after May 8, stating that would not be considered a wind-down activity.
However, Trump has also said that he is willing to hold an open talk. “I look forward to someday meeting with the leaders of Iran in order to work out an agreement. Most importantly, taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves,” he said.