The meetings of the European ambassadors with representatives of the American Treasury and State Departments may have been in vain. Their efforts to convince the U.S government to officially exempt humanitarian goods from sanctions were futile.
U.K, German, and French diplomats also failed to secure a “white list” of clear guidelines on the proper channels where European institutions can conduct legitimate transactions with Iran.
Washington has announced that sanctions on Iran will be re-imposed on Monday. Although in the past, basic foods and medical supplies were exempted from sanctions, foreign banks and companies have avoided all forms of transactions for fear of being penalized by the US government.
Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to Washington expressed his disappointment:
“We are expecting our American friends to make some gestures on humanitarian goods. Of course, humanitarian goods are not sanctioned. But the fact is the banks are so terrified of sanctions that they don’t want to do anything with Iran.
“It means that in a few months, there is a strong risk that there will be shortage of medicine in Iran if we don’t do something positive.”
The state department’s special envoy on Iran, Brian Hook responded that it is not up to the United States to identify where the “safe channels” are:
“We have done our part to permit the sale of humanitarian goods to Iran. That is our part. That is our role. Iran has a role to make these transactions possible. Banks do not have confidence in Iran’s banking system … that’s Iran’s problem; it is not our problem.”
On Friday, Trump tweeted a photograph of himself with a design copied from Game of Thrones fantasy TV series and a tagline: “Sanctions Are Coming, November 5”.
This is a clear indication that Trump will not buckle down until Iran’s government collapses. At this point, the U.S President is no longer interested in negotiations and believes that Iran should receive the full brunt of sanctions.