A senior Trump administration official says tough U.S. sanctions re-imposed on Iran earlier this month have been effective, with “almost entire compliance” from the international community.
U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook made the comment in a sit-down interview with VOA’s Arabic-language sister network Alhurra in Dubai on Monday.
“We have seen almost entire compliance with our sanctions regime,” Hook said. “And we don’t anticipate having to sanction any major companies, because we haven’t seen any evidence that these companies want to choose the Iranian market over the United States market.”
Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s energy and banking sectors on Nov. 5 as part of a campaign to pressure Tehran into reaching a new agreement to stop its perceived malign behaviors. President Donald Trump withdrew in May from a 2015 deal in which his predecessor and five other world powers granted sanctions relief to Iran in return for a freeze on its sensitive nuclear activities.
Under the re-imposed energy sanctions, the Trump administration has threatened to penalize any entity that buys Iranian oil and gas the main revenue sources for Iran’s government. But Washington also gave eight of Iran’s biggest energy customers, among international governments, another six months to reduce Iranian energy imports to zero.
Those governments include China, Taiwan, India, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Greece. U.S. officials said the move is intended to prevent a spike in oil prices.
“We’ve been working very well with China and India, who have dramatically reduced their imports of Iranian oil,” Hook said. “It’s very important to go after the money, and for Iran, that means going after the oil revenue.”
In a sign of ongoing defiance toward the U.S. sanctions campaign, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday his government will “not yield to economic and psychological pressure.”
Iran’s state-run Press TV network said Rouhani was speaking to a large gathering in the northwestern city of Khoy.
“We know you’re angry! [But] correct your mistakes! You cannot cut Iran’s oil exports,” Rouhani said, in reference to the U.S.
In his Alhurra interview, Hook said the U.S. sanctions campaign has forced Iran to cut 1 million barrels of oil from its daily output, equivalent to $2 billion in lost revenue.
“This is a regime that, since 2013, has spent $16 billion in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, supporting various militias and missile proliferation all sorts of threats to peace and security,” Hook said. “Our sanctions are the toughest that have been imposed in history against Iran … as part of a campaign of maximum economic pressure so that the regime changes its behavior.”
This article originated in VOA’s Persian Service.
Source: VOA news