The US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, told Al Arabiya that imposed oil sanctions on Iran alone will deny the regime 50 billion dollars in revenue annually, adding that the pressure is going to continue.
“The oil sanctions alone are going to deny the Iranian regime 50 billion dollars in revenue annually. We’ve also sanctioned the petrol chemical sector, their industrial metals, their precious metals,” said Hook, adding that “pressure is going to continue. This is not sustainable for the Iranian regime.”
It’s important to respond to Iran’s threats to freedom of navigation, said Hook, suggesting the imposition of more sanctions on the regime and driving up its cost for “behaving like an outlaw government.”
US President Donald Trump is satisfied with the pressure campaign, according to Hook, who said: “The president is very comfortable with our pressure and he knows that the Iranian regime is under a lot of strain and they are increasingly vulnerable.”
Ultimately, the special representative said, the US would like to get to a new and better deal than the 2015 one, but in the meantime, the administration is “very happy” in denying the regime “billions, tens of billions of dollars” in revenue.
“We think a final deal needs to address the entire range of threats that Iran presents to peace and security. Not only in the Middle East but in most continents of the world where they’ve conducted terrorist attacks either directly or through Hezbollah,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Trump administration placed three Hezbollah figures, two of whom are members of Lebanon’s parliament, on the US sanctions lists.
Asked about any back-channel talks between the two countries, Hook said that Iran has rejected diplomacy “too many times,” and that “right now, there are no back-channel talks between the US and Iran.”
Hook also reiterated that the Iranian regime must change its behavior. “We, for the first time, are saying no to the Iranian regime. There is no acceptable level of lethal assistance to its proxies. There is no acceptable level of threatening your neighbors day in and day out. They’ve got to change their behavior”.