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Trump to impose new round of economic sanctions on Iran, defying European humanitarian concerns

The move will target the few Iranian banks that are not currently subject to secondary sanctions

Updated: October 8, 2020 - 3:14pm

The Trump administration on Thursday announced a new round of crushing sanctions on Iran's financial markets, as the isolated country continues its development of a nuclear arsenal. 

The new plan is part of the administration's continued maximum pressure campaign on the foreign regime.

The new sanctions will target the few banks in Iran that are not currently the subject of secondary sanctions from the U.S. And the Treasury Department will be able to issue documents to specific companies that allow for the import of humanitarian-related goods to the struggling country. 

President Trump after taking office in 2017 promptly withdrew from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, arguing Iranian officials were not complying with the agreement, in which they vowed to wind down the country's nuclear-development program in exchange for an easing of sanctions. 

Trump ordered the sanctions amid concerns from European allies that such a move lead to serious humanitarian consequences in a country already hit hard by financial sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic. 

European officials say the move could prevent Iran from accessing channels it uses to import food and medicine.

Concern remains high surrounding the possibility that even more sanctions could limit the Middle East nation's ability to purchase life-saving medications and medical supplies, thereby hurting the poorest class of Iran's citizenry.

Blackballing the entire Iranian financial sector is a move that has gained traction among Israeli politicians and hawkish Washington lawmakers including GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.