US President Donald Trump (AP/John Minchillo) (AP/John Minchillo)
Donald Trump

Netanyahu congratulated Trump for “making the important decision to impose sanctions on Iran. This is an important moment for Israel, the US, the region and the entire world.”

By: United with Israel Staff and AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday congratulated President Donald Trump on his decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

In a statement, Netanyahu congratulated Trump and the US administration for “making the important decision to impose sanctions on Iran. This is an important moment for Israel, the US, the region and the entire world.”

The first set of US sanctions against Iran that had been eased under the controversial nuclear accord went back into effect early Tuesday under an executive order signed by Trump, targeting financial transactions that involve US dollars, Iran’s automotive sector, the purchase of commercial planes and metals including gold.

US sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector and central bank are to be reimposed in early November.

The new sanctions represent “the determination to curb Iran’s aggression in the region and its ongoing intention to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.

Stop Talking and Take Action

The stiff economic sanctions ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic despite statements of deep dismay from European allies, three months after Trump pulled the US out of the international accord limiting Iran’s nuclear activities.

Netanyahu called upon the European countries, “which talk about stopping Iran, to join this measure. The time has come to stop talking and to take action, and that is exactly what the US has done and what Europe should do.”

The Europeans did not join the US in its stance against Iran. European foreign ministers said they “deeply regret” the reimposition of US sanctions on Iran.

A statement Monday by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK insisted that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal “is working and delivering on its goal” of limiting Iran’s nuclear program.

The European ministers said the Iran deal is “crucial for the security of Europe, the region and the entire world.”

Israel and the Trump administration have long said that 2015 nuclear deal with Iran had been “horrible,” leaving the Iranian government flush with cash to fuel conflict in the Middle East and support its global terrorist network.

Trump said in a statement Monday that the US urges “all nations to take such steps to make clear that the Iranian regime faces a choice: either change its threatening, destabilizing behavior and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation.”

Trump warned that those who don’t wind down their economic ties to Iran “risk severe consequences.”

Months of uncertainty surrounding the sanctions have already further hurt Iran’s economy. The country’s rial currency has tanked, and the downturn has sparked protests across the nation.

Iran Must Behave Like a Normal Country

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said sanctions are an important pillar in US policy toward Iran and will remain in place until the Iranian government radically changes course.

“They’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple,” said Pompeo, en route Sunday from a three-nation trip to Southeast Asia.

The US has long designated Iran as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, Pompeo noted Sunday, adding that the Islamic Republic cannot expect to be treated as an equal in the international community until it halts such activities.

He said that “there’s no evidence today of a change in their behavior,” and in the meantime “we’re going to enforce the sanctions.”