By Israel Hayom—-

Just before restoring U.S. sanctions on Iran, which had been lifted in 2015 under an international nuclear deal, the Trump administration carved out exemptions on Friday for eight countries that can still import oil from the Islamic republic without penalty.

The U.S. sanctions take effect Monday and cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. They comprise the second round of sanctions that the administration has reimposed since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord in May .

The 2015 deal gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, which many believed was geared toward developing atomic weapons. Trump repeatedly denounced the agreement as the “worst ever” negotiated by the United States and said it gave Iran too much in return for too little.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of the nuclear agreement, praised the restoration of U.S. sanctions on Iran, saying that Trump had made a “historic” decision by restoring sanctions against “the murderous terror regime in Iran that is endangering the entire world.” Continue Reading…