President TrumpDonald John TrumpMary Trump celebrates Biden-Harris victory: ‘To America. Thanks, guys’ Biden gives shoutout to Black Americans in victory speech: ‘You always have my back, and I’ll have yours’ Biden vows to heal divided nation MORE’s administration is readying new sanctions against Iran as the clock runs out before President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMary Trump celebrates Biden-Harris victory: ‘To America. Thanks, guys’ Biden gives shoutout to Black Americans in victory speech: ‘You always have my back, and I’ll have yours’ Biden vows to heal divided nation MORE is inaugurated, Axios reported Sunday.
Trump officials are working with Israel to institute a series of sanctions on Iran, 10 weeks ahead of Inauguration Day, two Israeli sources briefed on the effort told Axios.
Elliott Abrams, the administration’s envoy for Iran, went to Israel on Sunday and discussed the planned sanctions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE and national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat. Abrams is also scheduled to meet Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
The Israeli sources told Axios the president’s administration aims to establish the “flood” of sanctions to boost pressure on Iran ahead of a transfer in power to Biden, who has previously said he wants to return the U.S. to the 2015 nuclear deal.
Officials hope these sanctions make it more difficult to return to the agreement that Trump backed out of in 2018.
The U.S. has organized a “target bank” of Iranian entities to sanction, and a source privy to a briefing from Abrams told Axios that the envoy said the administration aims to announce a new set of sanctions every week ahead of Inauguration Day.
Israeli sources told Axios that these sanctions are separate from the Iranian nuclear program and instead linked to its ballistic missile program, assistance to terror organizations and human rights violations.
The State Department did not immediately return The Hill’s request for comment.
Abrams also plans to travel from Israel to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, two countries that have teamed up with the Trump officials and Israel against Iran.
Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS asks WHO to invite Taiwan to health assembly next week Trump Jr. calls out 2024 GOP hopefuls for ‘lack of action’ Pompeo expresses concern, urges peace in escalating Ethiopian conflict MORE will arrive in Israel on Nov. 18, Israeli and U.S. officials told Axios, for a trip to the region aimed at escalating pressure on Iran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Biden should return to the 2015 agreement to “compensate for past mistakes,” The Associated Press reported.
“Now, an opportunity has come up for the next U.S. administration to compensate for past mistakes and return to the path of complying with international agreements through respect of international norms,” he said, according to state-run IRNA news agency.
Biden has said he would rejoin the deal if Iran returns to holding up its end of the deal following Tehran’s departure from the agreement rules after Trump pulled out and instituted sanctions on the country.