As the Trump Administration reimposes all nuclear sanctions on Iran beginning Monday, there is a substantial difference between the narrative of “toughest ever” sanctions and the reality that most of the world has no intention of complying with US demands this time.
This has Secretary of State Mike Pompeo trying to argue that Iran knows how decisive these sanctions are, and further emphasizing that some countries need “a little bit more time” to stop buying Iranian oil.
This is meant to explain eight nations receiving sanction waivers to keep buying Iranian oil, when Bolton said there would be none. In practice, almost all of this oil will be bought by China and India, two countries that had already pledged to defy US sanctions if they didn’t get the waiver. The waiver just means the US can say they are defying them with permission.
Pompeo is also trying to defend the humanitarian issues of these sanctions, saying that they will not hurt the ordinary Iranian. This is clearly untrue, as the sanctions are hurting aid groups importing medicine, and forcing the public to be increasingly dependent on the Iranian government, the only group with the size, and money, to weather the immediate attempts to halt banking contacts.