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Donald Trump reimposes sanctions on Iran but is ready to meet Hassan Rouhani

Behnam Ben Taleblu
6th August 2018 - Quoted by Joyce Karam - The National

The United States on Monday reimposed financial sanctions on Iran that were suspended under the nuclear deal in 2015, while renewing President Donald Trump’s offer to meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.

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But experts disagree on the impact of renewed sanctions. Behnam Ben Taleblu of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies said they “signal that the administration is serious in its intent to recreate the leverage that existed between the US and Iran prior to the nuclear deal”.

They aim “both to coerce Tehran to change its behaviour, as well as to maintain the deterrent power of secondary sanctions” in targeting non-US companies doing business with Tehran, Mr Taleblu told The National.

US officials estimate that nearly 100 international companies have announced their intent to leave the Iranian market, particularly in the energy and the finance sectors, he said. Renault, Total, Peugeot, General Electric, Boeing, Hyundai, Mazda, IndusInd Bank and other major companies have either left Iran or asked their investors to do so before the return of US sanctions.

Those sanctions will have a greater effect now than when they were imposed before the nuclear deal, he said, because “unlike a decade ago, banks and businesses have significantly grown their compliance sectors and are more weary of American secondary sanctions and the risks of doing businesses with Iran”.

Mr Taleblu expected 2019 to be the year to see the aggregated effect of the sanctions.

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