– Sanctions already reimposed –
On August 7, the first sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal came into force, banning:
– The Iranian government s purchases of dollars, or the international buying and selling of significant sums of rials, Iran s under-pressure currency
– Purchases of Iranian treasury bonds
– Trade in gold or other precious metals, aluminum, steel, carbon or graphite
– Automobile and commercial aviation trade
– US imports of Iranian carpets or foodstuffs
– Sanctions come into force Monday –
The toughest of the Obama-era sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal will come back, including bans on:
– Energy sector sales including oil. The Trump administration says it aims for Iranian oil exports to be “as close to zero as possible” but the United States will likely give at least temporary reprieves to countries that cut but do not end purchases.Iran will likely still export oil, its main commodity, in some form. Iran could mix its oil with crude from neighboring Iraq, sell on the black market or try a barter system supported by the Europeans.Another key pressure point will be the price of oil, which is politically sensitive in the United States. The reduction in Iranian crude would likely bring up global prices. Saudi Arabia could make up the difference; while the kingdom has threatened to use oil in retaliation for international punishment over its killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it also is eager to squeeze Iran, its regional rival.
– Financial transactions. Starting on Monday, any foreign institution that does business with Iran s central bank or other banks in the country will lose access to the US financial system. The risks for foreign banks are high in a globalized economy in which the dollar remains the dominant currency.One unresolved issue is whether the United States will press to disconnect Iranian banks from SWIFT, the international system of interbank transfers headed in Belgium.US hardliners want to press ahead on SWIFT, but others argue to keep the option as a bargaining card with the Europeans and say that SWIFT access remains useful in tracking Iranian transactions.