WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said it would restore sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord at midnight on Monday, ratcheting up pressure on Tehran while worsening a divide with Europe.
The new sanctions are a consequence of President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the nuclear deal with world powers. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the goal was to get Iran to change its ways — including ending its support of brutal governments or uprisings in the Middle East.
European officials have said that the Iran nuclear agreement is crucial to their national security. International inspectors have concluded that Iran is complying with the accord.
The new sanctions bar any transactions with Iran involving dollar bank notes, gold, precious metals, aluminum, steel, commercial passenger aircraft and coal, and they end imports into the United States of Iranian carpets and food stuffs.
They represent one of the few major foreign policy initiatives on which Mr. Trump and the rest of the administration and the Republican Party broadly agree.
“We’re very 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,” Mr. Pompeo said on Sunday. “They’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple.”
In a speech in May, Mr. Pompeo demanded that Iran end all nuclear enrichment and development of nuclear-capable missile citizens, release all American citizens, end its support for Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Houthi militias and withdraw its forces from Syria.
He said such changes would be consistent with “global norms,” although the enrichment of nuclear material for civilian purposes and the development of rockets is allowed under international law. Additionally, Russia, Turkey, Iraq and the United States all have forces fighting in Syria’s seven year civil war.
In a conference call with reporters on Monday, senior administration officials said they were simply looking for a change in behavior from Tehran, not for a change in government. They noted that the threat of new sanctions have already had an effect on the Iranian economy — including a plunge in the value of the rial, growing unemployment and increasing protests.
Some analysts have voiced fear about the Trump administration’s decision to go ahead with sanctions despite resistance from Europe, Russia and China. They worry the other world powers could find ways around the American-led financial system, undermining the success of sanctions in other areas.
The European Union on Monday updated a blocking statute that seeks to protect European companies from any penalties imposed by the United States for doing business with or in Iran. But administration officials were dismissive of the European action, saying that more than 100 major businesses had already announced their intention to leave Iran ahead of the re-imposition of sanctions.
An even tougher round of sanctions is scheduled to go into effect in November, including sanctions on Iran’s sale of crude oil and transactions with its Central Bank.
Administration officials said they hoped to get more international support for their efforts against Iran in the coming months, but they promised to be unrelenting in their re-imposition of sanctions even if other governments did not agree with the policy.
Over the weekend, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran met with a host of counterparts at a security forum for Southeast Asian nations held in Singapore, and he posted on Twitter a series of photos of himself smiling with officials from other nations.
“Clear global consensus on need to take concerted action to preserve JCPOA,” he tweeted, referring to the nuclear deal.