WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will aggressively enforce economic sanctions that is it re-imposing on Iran this week and expects the measures to have a significant impact on the Iranian economy, senior U.S. administration officials said on Monday.
The so-called snapback sanctions would target Iran’s purchases of U.S. dollars, metals trading and other dealings, coal, industrial-related software and its auto sector.
The officials added that Trump was ready to meet with Iran’s leaders at any time in an effort to forge a new agreement with Tehran after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal in May.
“There is no question that these financial sanctions are going to continue to bring significant financial pressure,” one official told reporters on a conference call.
Washington is due to bring back some of the measures against Iran that it suspended under the 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Some of the sanctions will come back on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT). The United States also plans to re-introduce potentially more damaging sanctions on Iranian oil in November.
The renewed sanctions are part of the broader strategy under Trump aimed at cutting off the Iranian leadership’s access to resources.
They are aimed at modifying Iran’s behaviour not bring about a “regime change” targeting President Hassan Rouhani, the officials added.
The officials said the Iranian government’s handling of current social and labour protests in were concerning.
“We are deeply concerned about reports of Iranian regime’s violence against unarmed citizens,” one official said. “The United States supports the Iranian people’s right to peacefully protest against corruption and oppression without fear of reprisal,” the official added.
Trump “will meet with the Iranian leadership at any time to discuss a real comprehensive deal that will contain their regional ambitions, will end their malign behaviour and deny them any path to a nuclear weapon,” one official said.
Asked about any possible exemptions to the renewed sanctions, officials said they would examine any requests on a case-by-case basis.
Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Alistair Bell