Biden will reportedly keep using President Donald Trump’s weapon of choice, sanctions but with a sharper aim.

Iran Press/Iran News: Joe Biden will not shy away from using President Donald Trump’s weapon of choice - sanctions - as he seeks to reshape America’s foreign policy, according to Reuters citing people familiar with his thinking.

But when Biden takes office on Jan. 20, he is expected to quickly begin recalibrating Trump’s blunt-force approach while taking time to deliberate before making any major changes with top sanctions targets like Iran and China, the sources said.

His challenge will be to sort out which sanctions to keep, which to undo and which to expand. This will come after four years in which Trump has raged harsh economic war at a record pace – often unilaterally - but has failed to bend its targets to his will.

The revised strategy will be crafted with help from a broad review of sanctions programs that will begin soon after Biden’s inauguration, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

But even before this assessment is complete, Biden is expected to make clear that sanctions will remain a central instrument of US power - although it will no longer be deployed with the “America First” bravado that has driven Trump’s foreign policy.

Piling on new sanctions

Adding to Biden’s challenges, Trump has kept up a drum beat of sanctions in the chaotic, waning days of his administration. He has imposed measures that could make it harder for his successor to return to a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and to quickly establish a working relationship with China after Communist Party officials were targeted.

The Trump administration has issued around 3,800 new sanctions “designations” compared with 2,350 in President Barack Obama’s second term.

While Biden is expected to continue robust use of such coercive measures, there will be changes, including more deliberative decision-making and closer coordination with allies, the sources said.

Iran, despite Trump’s restoration of US sanctions, refuses to renegotiate the nuclear deal he abandoned. Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro has defied efforts to oust him. North Korea continues to build up its nuclear arsenal.

Iran's firm stance against sanctions

Speaking on Wednesday, the Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei referred to the US sanctions against Iran, saying: "The lifting of sanctions is in the hands of the enemy, but it is up to us to neutralize them. So we need to focus more on neutralizing them than on lifting them."

"If the sanctions can be lifted in the right, wise, Iranian-Islamic and dignified way, this should be done, but the main focus should be on neutralizing the sanctions, which its initiation is in your hands," he added.


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