The deadline is nearly here: At 12:01am Tuesday, the US will reimpose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the nuclear arms accord put into place by the Obama White House. President Trump backed out of that accord, though China, Russia, Germany, France, Britain, and the European Union are still on board, notes the Wall Street Journal. This first round of sanctions is relatively minor compared to a much tougher round due to take effect in November that would, among other things, attempt to cut off Iran's oil exports. As the US penalties go into effect, the EU already has issued a "blocking statute" designed to protect member nations that continue to do business with Iran, reports the AP.
While Iran is generally considered to be adhering to the 2015 agreement, Trump viewed it as a "horrible" deal, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insists that Tehran must agree to tougher terms and change its behavior before sanctions are again lifted. "We're hopeful that we can find a way to move forward, but it's going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime," he said Sunday. "They've got to behave like a normal country. That's the ask. It's pretty simple." Among other things, Pompeo says Iran continues to sponsor terror groups throughout the Middle East. (Trump recently issued an all-caps threat to Iran, but its top general was dismissive.)