The United States will step up enforcement of sanctions on Iran, national security adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday, as Tehran tries to find ways to evade the restrictions in oil trade and in banking.
“The objective has been from the beginning to get oil exports from Iran down to zero,” Bolton said.
“It is our intention to squeeze them very hard. As the British say: ‘Squeeze them until the pips squeak.’”
The United States announced reinstatement of sanctions earlier this month as the Trump administration tries to force Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and others in the Middle East.
Eight importing countries have been given temporary exemptions by the United States to keep buying Iranian oil when it reimposed sanctions, prompting Iranian President Hassan Rohani to say the Washington would not be able to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero.