Just days after the Trump Administration confirmed Tehran has been in compliance with the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement, the Administration hit the country with more sanctions. The Department of Treasury designated "16 entities and individuals" that have supported Iran and transnational criminal activity, such as arms and drug trafficking. One Iran-based criminal organization and 3 individuals related to the organization have been included in the list along with military technology related companies.

Up In Arms

The sanctions have specifically targeted advanced military weapons and vehicles. Steven T. Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, stated the US has no tolerance for Iran obtaining advanced weapons such as attack boats and unmanned aerial vehicles such as drones.

Destabilizing threatening behavior and ending their ballistic missile program are goals for the Trump Administration.

President Trump in the past has called Iran a "state sponsor of terrorism", yet failing to recognize Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group. The Chief of Staff for Iranian forces, Mohammad Baqeri, said that applying sanctions to the Corps and categorizing them as a terrorist group runs a massive threat for American bases and forces deployed on the ground.

Despite the compliance with these sanctions, Iran has been sited to have support for American-designated terror groups. There are also ties to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, despite human rights violations and terror wrecking havoc on the country. Tensions with Iran are being raised due to sanctions and the politics of the Middle East.

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Running Risks

Baqeri stated that Iran will not negotiate the ballistic missile program and says it is purely for defense purposes, and did not explain further potential risks for the US. Trump back in February put "Tehran on notice" via Twitter after conducting a ballistic missile test.

Following the February test, the Senate in June voted to impose more sanctions on the missile program, even imposing these sanctions on Russia. However, due to it not being signed by the President and passed in the House, it was not put into law. The Administration had been opposed to sanctions due to believing it did weaken the executive branch's ability to levy sanctions.

Last Friday, the US lifted other nuclear sanctions against Iran in another agreement between Iran and Russia, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Trump has criticized the 2015 plan as "the worst deal ever negotiated".

As of now, Trump seems to be keeping the plan alive and reluctantly lifted other sanctions against the country, however the Administration is beginning to look at other options for dealing with the plan and nuclear program. It has been noted Trump may pull out of the JCPOA eventually. Trump also now must heed warnings of Iran, who now have threatened to create their own sanctions on the US "soon" in response to these "contemptible and worthless" sanctions, as well as refusal to sit at a negotiation table with the US if the US "does not come to its senses".