When President Donald Trump announced in May that he’d be withdrawing the United States from his predecessor’s flawed Iran nuclear deal, he made clear that economic sanctions would eventually be reimposed on the Middle Eastern nation — and now, the president is delivering.
In an obvious parody of the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, Trump tweeted on Friday a stylized, movie poster-esque picture of himself with the words: “Sanctions are coming,” a play on the ominous catchphrase of the long-running series, “Winter is coming.”
Take a look:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2018
Sanctions are coming
Trump’s Friday tweet preceded an official announcement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced on Friday that on Monday, Nov. 5, “the United States will reimpose sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal on Iran’s energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and banking sectors.”
The secretary admitted that there will be some waivers granted to certain energy-related “jurisdictions” to avoid suffering the consequences of the economic sanctions, but he made it clear that economic sanctions weren’t the only tool in use against Iran right now.Pompeo said that the Trump administration’s full “efforts to change Iranian behavior are far broader, far deeper” than mere sanctions.
“There are many other lines of effort,” Pompeo said. “We’re simply focused on this line of effort today because of the significance of Nov. 5.”
But while the announcement of these sanctions comes as pleasant news to conservatives, Trump’s tweet wasn’t spared from criticism. Many anti-Trump Twitter users commented with messages of disgust for the president, and HBO seemed to suggest in a tweet that they had a “trademark misuse” issue with the post — despite it being an obvious piece of parody and satire that comfortably falls within the realm of fair use.
Tool to change Iranian behavior
Still, these sanctions are no laughing matter.
“These sanctions hit at core areas of Iran’s economy,” Pompeo said. “They’re necessary to spur changes we seek on the part of the regime. In order to maximize the effect of the [p]resident’s pressure campaign, we have worked closely with other countries to cut off Iranian oil exports as much as possible.”
As It is unclear which nations will the waivers that Pompeo mentioned, but it is known that the European Union (EU) alliance won’t be receiving one — and the prospects don’t look good for other European nations like France, Germany, and the U.K., not to mention Asian nations like China and Russia.
However, it is suspected that nations who are cooperating with the U.S. on multiple fronts and who have been actively reducing their imports of Iranian oil — like India, Japan, and South Korea — will receive a waiver to get around the sanctions.
Trump warned months ago that economic sanctions against Iran would eventually return, and now that the day has drawn near, Trump couldn’t help but announce that return in epic fashion.
Can you blame him?