The Trump administration, in collaboration with Israel and several Gulf states, is pushing ahead with plans to impose a series of new sanctions on Iran over the remaining 10 weeks until Joe Biden takes office on December 20. January, two Israeli sources told me. .
Lead the news: The Trump administration’s special envoy for Iran Elliott Abrams traveled to Israel on Sunday and met Prime Minister Netanyahu and National Security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat to discuss sanctions plans.
- Abrams will meet Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on Monday to announce the plans.
- Abrams did not respond to a request for comment.
Why is it important: Israeli sources told me that the Trump administration believes a “flood”; of sanctions will increase pressure on Iranians and make it difficult for the Biden administration to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal.
Behind the scene: Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration – with the encouragement and support of a portion of Israeli diplomacy and security – has prepared a “target bank” of Iranian entities to be punished.
- Abrams said in a secret meeting a few days ago that the Trump administration wanted to announce a series of new sanctions on Iran every week until January 20, a secret source said.
- Israel’s sources told me the planned sanctions were not related to Iran’s nuclear program – such sanctions are more likely to be canceled by the Biden administration and open the door. revived the 2015 nuclear deal.
- Instead, the goal is to impose sanctions on Iran related to its ballistic missile program, Iran’s support of Iran’s terrorist organizations and human rights abuses.
What are they saying: “The goal is to impose as many sanctions on Iran as possible until January 20,” an Israeli source briefing the plan told me.
What’s next: Abrams will travel from Israel to Abu Dhabi and Riyadh to discuss sanctions plans.
- The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the two main allies that the Trump administration and the Israeli government are against Iran, and both are very concerned about the Biden administration’s future Iran policy.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will arrive in Israel on November 18, Israeli and US officials tell me. Pompeo may also visit other countries in the region. His trip will also focus on the Trump administration’s last effort to increase pressure on Iran.
Going deeper: How Biden can deal with Iran deal