A top US administration official told reporters Wednesday that the Trump administration will begin enforcing new sanctions on Iran and Sudan after a deal to end their nuclear weapons program was struck between Tehran and the US.
The sanctions, announced by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, were announced at a White House news conference with President Donald Trump.
The two senior officials did not elaborate on the details of the sanctions, but said that the United States is prepared to take more action on a range of issues related to Iran and Iran-Sudan.
They did not give further details, but Mnuchin said that Trump will seek to “reinforce” the sanctions.
They are expected to take effect on Jan. 5, 2019, the same date as the end of the nuclear deal that Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reached last month.
Mnuchin described the Iran-sudan agreement as a “victory” for peace in the Middle East, and he praised Iran for its “remarkable progress.”
The sanctions will “target any individuals or entities that knowingly provide support to, facilitate, finance or otherwise provide material support to the Houthi movement or other terrorist groups,” the officials said.
They said that Iran has also been implicated in the attacks on US and Western interests in Yemen.
Iran has denied any involvement in the killing of the American journalist James Foley.
The announcement of the Iran sanctions came hours after Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
The Trump administration had been trying to remove Flynn from his role after he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Kislyak.
Trump said Wednesday that he has “total confidence” in Flynn, but added that he will “have to see what happens.”
He added that “this is a time for Congress to do its job, and that is to approve the sanctions we need.”
The new sanctions come on the heels of a series of high-profile incidents involving Trump and Iran.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner also pleaded guilty on Monday to lying about his meetings with Kislyak, in a plea deal with prosecutors.
On Tuesday, the Trump White House said the US was planning to impose sanctions on several countries that the administration considers key to the nuclear agreement with Tehran.
They included Sudan, Yemen and North Korea.