(November 5, 2018 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a victory lap on Monday as he praised the Trump administration’s “courageous, determined and important decision” to reimpose remaining sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States withdrew from in May.
“For many years, I have devoted my time and energy to the war against the Iranian threat. On this issue, I went up almost against the whole world. Today, we see the results of this long and ongoing struggle,” Netanyahu said at the opening of his Likud faction meeting in the Knesset.
“This day is a historic day,” Netanyahu said. “I would like to again thank President Donald Trump again for a courageous, determined and important decision. I think this contributes to stability, security and peace.”
The second and final round of punitive sanctions took effect on Nov. 5, targeting Iranian sectors related to energy, shipping and ship-building, in addition to those in the insurance and transactions sector, including the Central Bank of Iran and designated Iranian financial institutions.
Additionally, the international financial transaction system known as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, announced on Monday that it is “suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system” after U.S. sanctions were reimposed.
Iran will still be able to access SWIFT for solely humanitarian purposes, said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a conference call with reporters on Friday.
“Humanitarian transactions to non-designated entities will be allowed to use the SWIFT messaging system as they have done before, but banks must be very careful that these are not disguised transactions, or they could be subject to certain sanctions,” he said.
Finally, the United States will issue waivers to allow the continuation of international activities at Iran’s only nuclear power station, Bushehr, in addition to the underground Fordow enrichment plant and the Arak heavy-water reactor, which will be permitted “to continue under the strictest scrutiny to ensure transparency and maintain constraints on Iran,” according to the State Department.