US President Donald Trump reintroduced all sanctions against Iran on Saturday evening (local time) and made sure that the arms embargo against the country will no longer expire in October. He has made use of this snapback, a mechanism in the deal that can be deployed if Iran does not comply with the rules.
After the cancellation of the agreement by the US, Iran started enriching uranium
Trump already announced in August that he wanted to reintroduce the sanctions. However, the other countries participating in the agreement do not support the decision. It is therefore unlikely that they will impose sanctions again. The United Kingdom, Germany and France already announced on Friday that they will continue to ease sanctions after Saturday.
Trump wants to force Iran to negotiate a new nuclear deal with the sanctions. The previous one was negotiated by his predecessor, President Barack Obama, and was called “the worst deal ever” by Trump.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks of a “step towards international peace and security”. “In the coming days, the United States will announce a number of new measures to improve implementation of sanctions and hold violators accountable.”
Iran and the United States, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Germany signed the nuclear deal in 2015. Iran promised to phase out the nuclear program in exchange for relaxation of sanctions against the country.
Initially, Iran adhered to the agreements. But after the US canceled the nuclear deal, the country started to enrich uranium again. According to reports (pdf) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In 2018, the US itself had already reintroduced some sanctions. An important part of the previously lifted sanctions was making previously blocked Iranian assets accessible. In total, 3 billion euros in assets had been frozen by the US sanctions. That money became available again in 2015.