Leading US diplomat warns Iran that more sanctions are to come

Leading US diplomat warns Iran that more sanctions are to come
The Trump presidency has enacted tough sanctions on Iran.
2 min read
26 November, 2020
Iran has seen tough new sanctions under Trump [Getty]

Tough new sanctions on Tehran are on the way, the US Special Envoy for Iran Elliott Abrams warned on Wednesday, as Donald Trump prepares for his final weeks in office.

Speaking at the Beirut Institute, Abrams claimed the new penalties against Tehran are in response to military, weapons of mass destruction, and human rights issues.

"We will have next week, and the week after, and the week after - all through December and January, there will be sanctions that deal with arms, that deal with weapons of mass destruction, that deal with human rights... So this will continue on for another couple of months, right until the end," he said, according to Reuters.

The US pulled out of a nuclear deal with Iran in 2018 and has since enacted a series of tough sanctions on the country.

Abrams claimed that the penalties are an important tool to force Iran to comply to international law.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to ease some sanctions on Iran in a bid to re-start talks on the nuclear deal.

"We think the Biden administration has a great opportunity because there is so much leverage on Iran through the sanctions," Abrams said.

The Trump administration had claimed that the nuclear deal enacted when Barack Obama was president and Joe Biden his deputy failed to address key security issues for the US, such as Tehran's missile programme and interference in regional countries.

He called on the Biden administration, as well as France, the UK and Germany - who were all parties of the nuclear deal - to strike a new agreement that addresses these concerns.

"If we discard the leverage we have, it would really be tragic and foolish. But if we use it there is a chance I think for constructive agreement that addresses all of these problems," he added.

US Ambassador to Beirut Dorothy Shea also said that Lebanese figures associated with Iran-backed Hezbollah would face new sanctions in the weeks to come.

"There are files that are in preparation under authorities that have to do with counter-terrorism and... against corruption," Shea told the vitual conference.

Tensions between Iran and the US have heightened under the Trump administration who enacted a policy of "maximum pressure" on the Tehran regime through military build-ups in the Middle East and sanctions.

This peaked with the US assassination of leading Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad in January.

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