Donald Trump’s pick for the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce said that the U.S.-imposed sanctions against Iran and Russia used to function as a means to keep American ‘supremacy’ over Europe and other world powers but the Obama administration weakened that leverage by signing the nuclear deal with Iran.
Todd Ricketts told Bloomberg that the United States ‘had a full control over the E.U. governments as well as E.U. private companies by means of economic sanctions’ against Iran, Russia, and other adversaries. “We had a full leverage over European financial institutions and E.U. governments until the Iran deal was implemented and we lost much of our power there,” Rickets Said.
The U.S. president’s choice for the Deputy Secretary of Commerce said: “I hope the Trump administration go ahead with its view about the Iran deal and take measures to restore sanctions against the country. However, I disagree with Mr. Trump’s view on easing sanctions against Russia because these sanctions are our ‘power to coerce’ not just our enemies into acquiescing but our business rivals into complying with our policies.”
“Frankly speaking, sanctions imposed on Iran, for example, were not simply a hindrance to Iran’s nuclear program but also a leash on the European countries in general and their economic entities in particular, to make them comply with American policies,” he added. “maintaining this coercion instrument is the point, no matter who is the target of the sanctions, because the United States have gained its power to exert influence on other countries by the same sanction policies and it should keep it at any expense.”
The United States questioned many European banks and companies over allegations that they had violated sanctions laws against Iran and other countries. The U.S. fined some entities and forced some others to fire certain staff members believed to had cooperated with the Iranian government to circumvent the sanctions, before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) went into effect.
The United States blacklisted the former member of the board of directors of the German firm DF Deutsche Forfait Aktiengesellschaft (Deutsche Forfait) Ulrich Wippermann, for alleged ties with National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to bypass oil sanctions and make oil deals with the country.
Under the pretext of violating financial sanctions against Iran and Sudan, the U.S. also obligated the German Commerzbank AG to pay a $79-million fine, forfeit $563 million and sack four of its employees, including top employee Lars Christiansen who was also sent to the United States to be questioned over links with Iranian companies.
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