President Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is a man on a mission. That mission is to convince the German government and German businesses that the price of trying to evade the US sanctions regime on Iran is simply too high and the risks too great and that maybe, just maybe, they should consider not giving aid and comfort to a nation that would cheerfully nuke them if it had the opportunity.
On Friday, Grennell convinced Deutsche Bank that giving Iran access to $400 million in cash was not a great move.
— Shawn McKenzie 🇺🇸 (@SMcK17) August 2, 2018
Now he’s convinced Daimler to pull the plug on a planned investment in an automobile manufacturing facility in Iran.
NEW: German Car company Daimler has canceled plans in Iran after new U.S. sanctions and mult mtgs with Ambassador @RichardGrenell, ofcl tells me. Grenell is quietly delivering a message to German CEO's: Either do business with Iran or the U.S. but not both https://t.co/A2t6w0V7bm pic.twitter.com/6PtvpopkgZ
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) August 7, 2018
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) August 7, 2018
— CNNMoney (@CNNMoney) August 7, 2018
#Germany #Daimler has abandoned plans to expand in #Iran as US sanctions targeting the country snap back into place. The maker of #Mercedes-Benz cars confirmed it has suspended its activities in Iran "until further notice according to applicable sanctions" https://t.co/jPDpIBcAOX pic.twitter.com/bsdyrMoUtG
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) August 7, 2018
We are pleased to see German businesses stopping their trade with Iran, complying with U.S. sanctions, and helping pressure the Iranian regime back to the table. We stand together to stop Iran's malign activities.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 7, 2018
This is exactly what President Trump was tweeting about yesterday.
The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2018
The fact that a huge, politically connected player like Daimler is taking US sanctions threats seriously rather than relying upon the ephemeral EU blocking statute for protection tells you all you need to know about how this is going to play out. The snapback sanctions make it impossible for a nation to do business both in Iran and the US. Nearly 100 large multinational corporations have pulled out of Iran since President Trump’s announcement in May that he was leaving the Iran Nuclear deal. European companies remaining in the Iranian market are going to be reduced to companies that only trade with Iran and even their existence will be precarious and their banks run the danger of being blocked from having correspondent relationships with US banks or access US currency accounts.
Iran is already experiencing fuel shortages. It is in the midst of a regional drought that has been magnified by stereotypical Iranian maladministration and incompetence in managing water reserves. According to dissident reports, anti-government riots area daily event.
As the pressure increases, at some point the mullahs are going to face a series of difficult and unpleasant choices. When that happens we have Ambassador Grenell to thank.
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