The Trump administration plans to throw everything it can against the Iranians before January 20 — the day Joe Biden would be inaugurated and take the White House.
According to Axios on Sunday Pompeo is preparing a “flood” of sanctions in an attempt to ensure the Biden administration would have many more hurdles if it hopes to restore the 2015 nuclear deal brokered under Obama, as Biden previously vowed during the campaign.
One unnamed Israeli source privy to discussions involving US Iran envy Elliott Abrams, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat told Axios’ Barak Ravid that “The goal is to slap as many sanctions as possible on Iran until Jan. 20.”
The detail which is sure to enrage leaders in Tehran the most is that sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program will be done “in coordination with Israel and several Gulf states” — which is the result of the recent peace deals between Israel and Arab League member states, the foremost of which was struck with UAE.
The US administration has reportedly prepared a “target bank” of further entities to be sanctioned, after far-reaching sanctions have already been in place against everything from the auto to aviation to energy to banking sectors.
Instead of targeting Iran’s nuclear development capabilities directly, which it is believed will be easier for a future Biden administration to peel back, the new sanctions “flood” will focus on Iran’s ballistic missiles production and capability.
Last month the Trump White House lost its bid for the United Nations to extend a longtime conventional weapons embargo on Iran, which expired Oct. 18, now allowing the Islamic Republic to buy and sell arms without violating international law.