Iran Hawks Raise the Pressure on Trump

Some lawmakers want Iran removed from SWIFT
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2018 4:20 PM CDT
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In this Oct. 23, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump speaks following a ceremony signing the "America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018" into law in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – A battle is brewing between the Trump administration and some of the president's biggest supporters in Congress who are concerned that sanctions to be re-imposed on Iran early next month won't be tough enough, the AP reports. As President Donald Trump prepares to re-impose a second batch of Iran sanctions that had been eased under the 2015 nuclear deal, conservative lawmakers and outside advisers have become worried that the administration may break a promise to exert "maximum pressure" on Iran. They are angered by suggestions that measures to be announced Nov. 5 won't include a provision cutting Iran off from a key component of the global financial system.

The self-described Iran hawks are concerned enough that they have drafted legislation that would require the administration to demand that Iran be suspended from the international bank transfer system known as SWIFT. "The president asked for maximum pressure, not semi-maximum pressure," says Richard Goldberg, a former aide to a Republican senator. "Maximum pressure includes disconnecting Iranian banks from SWIFT." Trump pledged Thursday to do whatever it takes to pressure Iran to halt what he refers to as its "malign conduct" such as nuclear and missile development and support for Middle East terrorism. Iran deal supporters argue that pushing Iran out of SWIFT will lead to the creation of alternate mechanisms that could supplant it as the leading global institution for financial institutions to send and receive information about banking transactions.

(Read more President Trump stories.)

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