Newly implemented sanctions meant to curtail Iran‘s ability to further take action against the United States may not be enough to break their will to do so, “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace said Friday.
Appearing on “America’s Newsroom” with host Bill Hemmer, Wallace said that it was clear that the Trump administration means business with the sanctions, but he questioned whether the strategy would work in the long run.
“I don’t have any doubt that these sanctions…that they are going to make it even more difficult for people in Iran to do business,” said Wallace. “The question really, though, is [in the] strategy and will it [that strategy] work?”
“Because,” he continued “the two secretaries [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin] briefed in that same room last September and said at that time that the sanctions were the strongest that they had ever imposed on any country, and we’ve seen all of the activity by Iran since then.”
“And,” Wallace added, “we’ve also seen Iran continue, step by step, to pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and now they’ve just announced that they’re going to pull out even further in terms of limitations on fuel enrichment, the stockpiling of nuclear fuel.”
The new sanctions will be imposed against any individual owning, operating in or trading with certain sectors of the Iranian economy including manufacturing, textiles, and mining. In addition, the U.S. is imposing 17 sanctions against Iran’s top steel and iron manufacturers, as well as three entities in Seychelles and a transport vessel.
It is also imposing sanctions on eight senior leaders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office who were involved in the recent missile strike.
“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation and we believe the sanctions that we impose today further that strategic objective,” Mnuchin told reporters at the White House.
“The goal of our campaign is to deny the regime the resources to conduct its destructive foreign policy,” said Pompeo.
“So, I guess the question becomes, do we really think that this is the step, these are the sanctions that break Iran’s will? Or, will it continue?” Wallace asked.
The “Fox News Sunday” host also wondered whether the other signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal– a group that includes Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — would “come on our side,” or if they would continue to find a “workaround” to continue to do business.
“The question — and I don’t have an answer for it — is is this going to be the step that breaks Iran’s will and gets them to say: ‘No more. All right, we’ll get to the table and we’ll talk about not only the nuclear program but also our maligned behavior in the world,'” he told Hemmer.
“I don’t know why we would think that they’re going to change their position now,” he concluded.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.