The Trump administration is considering additional sanctions on Iran’s economy that would include targeting around 14 banks and designating its entire financial sector, reported Bloomberg earlier this week, citing three people familiar with the matter.
A designation of Iran’s entire financial sector would effectively cut it off from the worldwide financial system with an exception for humanitarian purposes.
The move, which would fall under an executive order that U.S. President Donald Trump signed in January authorizing the United States to enact sanctions on Iran’s economy, would “close one of the few remaining financial loopholes allowing Iran’s government to earn revenue, and stymie Democrat Joe Biden’s promise to re-enter a 2015 nuclear deal if he wins the presidency in November,” reported Bloomberg, citing the three sources.
Biden has said that, if elected, the United States would re-enter the nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew from in 2018, reimposing sanctions and enacting new ones.
The U.S. Treasury, U.S. State Department and the White House National Security Council declined to comment to the outlet.
“It has a major chilling effect on any financial entities considering doing business with Iran,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz told Bloomberg. “This action would turn Iran’s financial sector radioactive.”
Jarrett Blanc, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former State Department coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation under U.S. President Barack Obama, told Bloomberg, “I’m very skeptical that there’s anything they could do at this stage that would change perceptions. If Joe Biden believes that it’s in the U.S. national interest to return to the JCPOA and the sanctions posture that implies, he’ll do it.”
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