The Trump administration, in coordination with Israel and Arab states, is seeking to impose wide-ranging sanctions on Iran before the inauguration, in a bid to prevent the Biden administration from rejoining the nuclear deal, Channel 13 reports.
Sources tell the station that US Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliot Abrams plans to announce a raft of fresh sanctions on Iran every week from now until January 20. These will target Iran’s missile program and its support for terrorist groups, as well as focus on its human rights violations, making it harder for Biden to roll back such punishments.
The reasoning: Israel and Arab states believe Biden will swiftly lift other sanctions on its nuclear program to restart diplomacy with Iran, shedding some of its leverage over the cash-strapped country. But these other sanctions will keep up pressure on Tehran to compromise and likely keep Biden out of the international pact unless he lifts these sanctions.
“The goal is as many sanctions as possible by January 20,” an unnamed Israeli official is quoted saying.
An Arab official involved in the negotiations tells Channel 13: “The goal of the Trump administration is to impose sanctions that Biden cannot lift.”
The 2015 nuclear deal was clinched when Biden was vice president. Trump in 2018 withdrew from the deal, reimposing sanctions.