Steven Mnuchin said the administration “would not push for the total expulsion of the Iranian financial industry from a key international financial entity known as SWIFT.”
President Donald Trump’s administration has announced that it will reimpose sanctions on Iran that were terminated under the 2015 nuclear deal. A few countries received exemptions. From Fox News:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the sanctions on Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. Particularly, the sanctions will target Iran’s crude oil exports and will penalize countries that don’t stop importing oil and foreign companies that do business with certain Iranian entities.
But the administration is also announcing that there would be eight significant reduction exemptions (SREs) to countries that haven’t completely eliminated oil imports from Iran. The waivers will last for a six-month period and will be re-evaluated after that time is up.
The move is the latest round of sanctions re-imposed since President Trump announced the U.S. exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. In August the administration re-imposed a host of economic sanctions, drawing criticism from European leaders in particular.
The administration did not name the eight countries that will receive the exemptions, but Reuters noted Iran’s biggest customers: China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin explained that the administration “would not push for the total expulsion of the Iranian financial industry from a key international financial entity known as SWIFT.” The Washington Examiner reported:
“Humanitarian transactions to non-designated entities will be allowed to use the SWIFT messaging system as have been done before, but banks must be very careful that these are not disguised transactions,” Mnuchin said.
He added that the list of banks disconnected from SWIFT “will be substantially longer than last time,” even if it stops short of the total blacklisting that some Republican allies of the administration had favored.
“It’s our expectation that that will be implemented as soon as technologically feasible,” Mnuchin said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi insisted the country has “no room for any concern” over these sanctions and that the regime will “wait and see that the US will not be able to carry out any measure against the great and brave Iranian nation.”
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