The Trump administration is reportedly expected to announce additional sanctions on Iran within the coming week, targeting new sections of the Iranian economy.
The Trump administration plans to target a new sector of the Iranian economy with a package of sanctions to be introduced on Wednesday, two senior administration officials told Axios news portal, speaking anonymously as they were not authorized to reveal the new sanctions. The officials would not say what sector the administration will target, but it won’t be the energy sector.
Trump officials point to three possible outcomes of these efforts: Iran is forced to come back to the negotiating table to offer the US a more favourable nuclear deal; Iran’s leaders will be forced to decide how to spend the fading revenues, especially as flash floods and desert locusts besiege the Iranian countryside; or the collapse of the regime. The sources said that US national security advisor John Bolton has long hoped for “the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” though the Trump administration claims its official policy is not regime change.
The officials also suggested that Iran’s reaction to the new sanctions might be “highly unpredictable” and as a result the administration is “extremely mindful of security here at home.”
Long-standing tensions between Iran and the United States took a turn for the worse in May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and began slapping Iran with several rounds of sanctions, including energy restrictions aimed at bringing Iran’s oil exports down “to zero”, as well as banking restrictions and other measures meant to cripple the country’s economy.