European businesses that circumvent Iran sanctions will be ‘insignificant’: John Bolton

If any European companies try to circumvent the first round of American sanctions that were reimposed on Iran early Tuesday morning, they will be barred from conducting business with the U.S., according to President Trump’s national security adviser.

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“Now there may be some small European companies that continue to do business, but they will be insignificant,” John Bolton said during an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday. “Russia and China may continue to do business, but I don’t think they’re enthusiastic about this. They’re not going to be stepping up their efforts.”

Trump signed an executive order on Monday to restore sanctions that were previously lifted under the Obama-era nuclear deal, targeting Tehran’s trade in gold, automotive sector and purchase of American dollar banknotes.

Another round of sanctions that will target Iran’s oil industry and banking sector will go into effect in November.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the president threatened that any business that violates the “most biting sanctions ever imposed” will not be doing business with the U.S. Despite that, the remaining parties to the deal -- including Russia, China, Britain and the European Union -- have suggested they’ll work to keep financial channels open with Iran, and facilitate its continued export of gas and oil.

Bolton, however, dismissed concerns of any major subversive deals that would undercut the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions.

“International markets and businesses already began to take [sanctions] into account,” he said. “They could see what was coming. They don’t want to be put to the choice of doing business in Iran versus doing business with the United States. That’s an easy question for them.”