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By Josh Lederman, Carol E. Lee and Dan De Luce
WASHINGTON – The recent move by President Donald Trump to Iran is showing tension between the country's most important national security consultants about the extent to which the "maximum pressure" campaign is far ahead.
After leaving Iran's nuclear business in May, Trump publicly anticipated the uncompromising approach to boosting Tehran's pressure, even scolding a photo styled as a movie poster on "sanctions." So, the Iranian falcons were both surprised and amazed both inside and outside the administration to find out that the new sanctions for public administration are far behind the zero tolerance policy, five people who know the meeting.
John Bolton, the Trump National Security Adviser, and his Desert Camps, made as few exceptions as possible to restore US sanctions aimed at Iran's lucrative oil sector, which is key to leverage as the country is economically struggling. Trump's agency has said for months that every country must completely eliminate Iranian oil imports or face US sanctions.
"Maximum pressure is the greatest pressure," said Mike Pompeo on Friday.
Nevertheless, according to Pompeo, the administration has granted concessions to eight countries that have significantly reduced their imports, enabling them to continue to import some oil from Iran. According to Pompeo, two of the eight will soon be zero import, but only need more time. Pompeo refused to name any country that was granted exemption, but two people were informed of the waiver that Asian Asian buyers of Iranian oil – including US federations and South Korea – may resign.
And despite the insistence of Iran for SWIFT from the global financial messaging service for months, Trump's administration did not exist from threatening sanctions unless Iran was completely subtracted from the system. Instead, Secretary of State Steven Mnuchin said that the administration is developing a list of Iranian banks that need to be removed. But he admitted that some financial transactions with Iran could be continued through the system.
Even during the hours before Pompeo and Mnuchin, Friday's move was announced, officials at White House were still not fully aware of the permissions granted for oil release and SWIFT. In fact, Pompeo told reporters that negotiations with some countries on resignations are still pending before Monday's deadline.
A senior clerical official withdrew the idea that the disagreement between the White House, the Foreign Ministry and the Treasury had not been fully informed by Trump and the National Security Council.
The spokesperson of the National Security Council would not dispute Bolton's views on sanctions, saying to NBC News: "We are not making any comments on internal deliberations." The Treasury rejected the comment.
The public impression that Trump brings back his aggressive behavior against Iran expects to change the president's mind.
Trump has put its strong stance on Iran for its foreign policy. He and Bolton generally drove alliances from France, Germany and the United States for Iran to continue their business abroad, which was approved by Barack Obama, former president and world powers.
"I do not think this case is over yet," said Richard Goldberg of the Democracy Trust Fund, a think tank that supports Iranian policies in Iran. "When the President discovers how weak this is, he can order the Treasury to" go down the hill. "
Initially, Bolton had to release the camera on Friday when announcing a new round of sanctions. But its appearance was later deleted. Instead, Mnuchin and Pompeo made the announcement. He was not aware of the change in the design of the introduction to Bolton's doubts about the upcoming policy.
The idea that Trump's agency alleviates the "maximum pressure" campaign was also bitter with the President's traditional allies in the Congress. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., A singer from Iranian critic told the United States "to keep the Iranian regime."
"I agree with my colleagues' concerns about the possible" softness of Iranian sanctions, "said Graham.
In August, 16 Republican Senators wrote to Mnuchin that Iran should be completely cut off from the SWIFT system. And Senator Ted Cruz has recently introduced legislation to punish Trump's administration for SWIFT members if the messaging system did not suspend Iran.
Sanctions against Iran's crude oil exports mark the second stage of Trump's decision in May to withdraw the 2015 nuclear agreement and reinstate the sanctions that were freed. The first group of sanctions sent to Iran targeted the country's automotive industry, the civil aviation industry and trade in gold and other metals.
The administration has given countries more time to prepare for more violent oil sanctions. At this time, the recipient countries doubled their case to Trump's senior officials, arguing that too little a reduction would destabilize global energy markets and increase oil prices.
Although the United States can not force Belgian-based SWIFT to launch Iranian banks, it may threaten to impose sanctions on SWIFT's board members, including major US bankers, if it does not accept it. The administration of Trump wants Iranian banks to remove the system and make it harder for Iran to transfer funds to the country and to find out the deceased currency.
But other European and Iranian supporters say it is even harder to track money laundering and terrorist financing if Iran is not on the system. Europeans have even threatened to set up their own alternative payment mechanism to pursue business with Iran, which would circumvent the United States and the threat of American sanctions.
Abigail Williams He contributed.