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Nikki Haley tells Trump to toughen Iran sanctions

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley said President Trump needs to toughen enforcement of the Iran sanctions renewed by his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, the Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday.
"I think we need to stop with the waivers,” Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations under Trump in 2017 and 2018, said Monday at annual policy conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Haley’s comment brought her back into an internal debate over how much pressure to apply on Iran's pariah regime. Trump’s national security team maintains that the United States intends to stop Iran from exporting any oil, but various members of the administration have sent mixed messages about whether they are willing to use sanctions to press Iran’s business partners to end the deals. Haley, and other Iran hawks such as Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, used the AIPAC conference to make a high-profile call for more intense economic pressure.
“There are folks within some of the agencies that are resisting where the president and the administration want to go,” Cruz said in a Monday afternoon echo of Haley’s comments. “One of the things I think we need to do is end the oil waivers. End them now. No more oil waivers.”
Haley and Cruz delivered their rebukes amid media rumblings faulting Trump’s team for allowing eight countries to continue purchasing oil under waivers granted in November, when U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil industry came back into force. Those waivers expire in May, at which point Trump will face a decision to renew the waivers or cancel them.
“Make no mistake about it, that’s the direction of travel,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC in a recent interview. “We want to deny Iran the resources to continue to underwrite Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, a whole list of terrorists around the world. We want to deny them those resources. When their behavior changes, we’ll be happy to invite them back into the community of nations.”
Iran hawks outside of the administration suspect that Trump’s team is “hedging.” The explanations for such hesitance range from concern that the elimination of Iranian oil from the international markets would cause sharp price increases — a debatable expectation — or perhaps an unwillingness to risk a confrontation with U.S. allies who buy oil from Iran.
Haley called for a hard-line approach with such allies. “If you are doing business with Iran, that's who we should be talking about in terms of a country that we don't want to have any companies do business with,” she said.
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