“Thank you, President Trump, for this historic move. The sanctions are indeed coming,” Netanyahu stated.
By: United with Israel Staff and AP
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday thanked the US and President Donald Trump for imposing a second set of harsher sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran in an effort to curb its belligerent conduct.
The first set of US sanctions against Iran that were eased under the controversial nuclear accord went back into effect in August 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.
New tougher measures that target Iran’s financial, petroleum and transportation industries, but protect humanitarian trade, will go into effect on Monday.
“For years, I’ve been calling for sanctions to be fully reimposed against Iran’s murderous terrorist regime, which threatens the entire world,” Netanyahu stated.
“The effect of the initial sanctions is already being felt — the rial has plummeted, Iran’s economy is depressed and the results are evident,” he added.
Months of uncertainty ahead of the pending sanctions have already hurt Iran’s economy. The country’s currency has tanked, and the downturn has sparked protests across the nation. Iran’s oil exports are also down by 40 percent in the past year.
The financial crisis in the Islamic Republic has also significantly affected one of its primary terror proxies, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror organization.
The resulting loss of oil revenue appears to be impacting Iran’s ability to fund its terror activities. Based on current estimates of Iranian oil exports and current oil prices, one day of lost oil revenue is equal to Iran’s yearly support to Hamas, $80-100 million, and one week of lost oil revenue is equal to Iran’s yearly support to Hezbollah, $800 million.
“Thank you, President Trump, for this historic move. The sanctions are indeed coming,” Netanyahu concluded, echoing Trump’s tweet on the new sanctions.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) 3 בנובמבר 2018
‘Fundamentally Altering’ Iran’s Behavior
Trump tweeted a “Game of Thrones”-inspired movie poster-like image of himself with the tagline “Sanctions are Coming, November 5.”
In a statement issued Friday night, Trump said that “our objective is to force the regime into a clear choice: either abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions are “aimed at fundamentally altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” He has issued a list of 12 demands that Iran must meet to get the sanctions lifted that include an end to its support for terrorism and military engagement in Syria and a halt to nuclear and ballistic missile development.
Pompeo said eight nations will receive temporary waivers allowing them to continue to import Iranian petroleum products as they move to end such imports entirely. He said those countries, which other officials said would include US allies such as Turkey, Italy, India, Japan and South Korea, had made efforts to eliminate their imports but could not complete the task by Monday.
The waivers will be valid for six months, during which the importing country can buy Iranian oil but must deposit Iran’s revenue in an escrow account. Iran can spend the money but only on a narrow range of humanitarian items.
“Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country,” Pompeo told reporters in a conference call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
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