Israel thanks Trump for Iran sanctions

By Abdelraouf Anaut

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for imposing sanctions on Iran.

"President (Donald) Trump's bold decision is the sea-change the Middle East has been waiting for," Lieberman said in a statement on Monday.

"In a single move, the United States is dealing a critical blow to Iran's entrenchment in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and Yemen. President Trump, you've done it again! Thank you," he said.

On Monday, the U.S. administration reinstated all sanctions removed on Iran following a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. The sanctions target Iran’s oil exports, shipping and banks – all core parts of the Iranian economy.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also thanked Trump for the anti-Iran sanctions.

The U.S. is seeking to "alter" Iranian behavior with the sanctions, and has been leaking out a stream of 12 demands it wants to see Iran agree to in exchange for re-lifting the economic penalties.

The U.S. expects to have reduced Iranian oil exports by more than 1 million barrels even before Monday's tranche of economic penalties, which the U.S. has long warned were incoming.

All of the other signatories — China, the European Union, France, Germany, Iran, Russia and the United Kingdom — have remained in the nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal.

The accord provided Iran with billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions in exchange for sweeping curbs on and inspections of its nuclear program.