After a successful campaign to have the Iran nuclear deal torn up, Israel has now taken up the role of enforcer. With US President Donald Trump set to announce second rounds of sanctions in November, America and Israel have set up a joint team that will enforce economic sanctions against Iran in the high-tech sector.
Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin yesterday announced the establishment of the joint team. The two are reported to have met in Washington for the fourth time in their tenures. According to the Israeli Haaretz, the meeting was also attended by the Director General of the Ministry of Finance, Shai Babad, and the Israeli economic attaché in the US Eran Nitzan.
In May of this year, Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the agreement, which he had earlier described as the “worst deal ever”. The move drew widespread criticism among the agreement’s other signatories; UK, France, Germany, China and Russia.
Trump’s decision to break the international treaty signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, followed months of lobbying by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Washington re-imposed sanctions in May, which primarily target the country’s banking sector.
The sanctions are intended to hinder Tehran’s acquisition of US currency; its precious metals trade; bank transactions denominated in Iranian currency; activities related to Iran’s sovereign debt; and the country’s automotive sector.