While joining Fox News on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed to Fox News just how devastating President Trump’s sanctions have been on Iran.
Mnuchin told Fox News that the sanctions have cut off 95% of Iran’s oil revenue and that the President is working with China and countries in Europe to introduce even more sanctions against the country.
“The additional sanctions that we put on this week and the additional executive order that the president authorized gave us additional capabilities to target both primary and secondary sanctions in different sectors, including the metals industry, construction, and travel, amongst others,» Mnuchin said on Fox News show «Sunday Morning Futures» with Maria Bartiromo.
“Is there anything left or anyone left to sanction? I mean, how much farther can you go?” Bartiromo questioned. “And what do you need to see from the Iranian regime to actually take these sanctions away?”
Well, with the new executive order, we have very, very strong authorities now across all industries, including in this executive authority,” Mnuchin replied. “It gave both myself and Secretary Pompeo the authority to target additional sectors as needed.”
“And … this is all really about cutting off money, oil sales, other revenue that would be funding their terrorist activities and their nuclear weapons development. So we continue to allow for humanitarian transactions with Iran,” Mnuchin continued. “I’m pleased to say that OFAC expedited all the waivers, as I said they would, as it relates to the airline crash investigation. And we don’t want to target people of Iran. We want to cut off revenues that are going for bad acts.”
Bartiromo then mentioned Iran’s business with China and Russia, saying, “Why is China allowed to go around these sanctions and do business with Iran; 70 percent of their oil and gas going to China?”
Mnuchin noted that the 70% figure is very small considering 95% of their oil business had already been cut off.
“Let me just say we have got cut off probably over 95 percent of the oil revenues,” Mnuchin said. “So, there is a very small amount of oil revenues. And you’re right. A component of that, a big component of that is China.”
“I sat down with the Chinese officials. They flew in a delegation to meet with us in the State Department to talk about this,” Mnuchin added. “They have cut off all of the state companies from buying oil. And we’re working closely with them to make sure that they cease all additional oil activities.”
So you are pursuing trying to get China to cease all activities?” Bartiromo questioned.
“China is subject to sanctions, like everybody else,” said Mnuchin. “We actually sanctioned some of their shipping companies that were involved in the oil. And we will continue to pursue sanctions activities against China and anybody else around the world that continues to do business with them.”
“So what about France? You know, France is doing business Iran as well. What about the NATO countries, including France, that seem to be continuing their relationship with Iran, even as the U.S. pleads with them not to, promising sanctions?” Bartiromo asked. “Are we going to see secondary sanctions?”
“The Europeans are adhering to our primary sanctions. Again, as we roll out additional sectors, they will be cutting back activities in those sectors,” Mnuchin responded. “But the Europeans are complying with our primary sanctions, because they would be subject to secondary sanctions. And they understand that. And even in the case of INSTEX, we have warned INSTEX that they may be – depending upon how they set it up, they would most likely be subject to secondary sanctions as well.”
“But, again, let me just emphasize, humanitarian transactions are available,” Mnuchin finished. “We’re setting up a Swiss channel to handle that. So, this is not about attacking the people of Iran. This is about, as the president said, making sure that Iran stops their terrorist activities and making sure that they never have nuclear weapons.”
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