Asked by reporters about the nations planning to ignore his demand that all stop buying Iranian oil, President Trump declared that he “will take care of them.” He gave no indication of what exactly this would entail.
Since withdrawing from the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran earlier this year, Trump and other administration officials have pushed a goal of forcing Iran down to zero oil exports. China and India have both indicated that they will continue to buy oil from Iran, and the EU is putting system in place to do so as well.
Notably, President Trump made no mention of any waivers being offered for countries to continue buying from Iran. US officials have previously indicated, as recently as last week, that waivers are being considered.
Trump’s threat to “take care of” those who defy US sanctions isn’t likely to mean much, in practice, as China in particular has been very clear from the start that, as a signatory of the P5+1 deal, they intend to keep trading with Iran irrespective of US demands.