At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made several comments relating to US sanctions policy. Although broadly supportive of US sanctions on Russia, he cautioned that they could be harmful to US businesses and should be used sparingly.
He also took a tough line on North Korea, and added that the US could support action against Chinese organisations found to be in breach of sanctions on North Korea. In addition, he raised the possibility of a tougher stance on Iran, saying that “We cannot afford to ignore violations of international accords, as we have done with Iran”. This raises a new question mark over the precise future of JCPOA, which Donald Trump has criticised on several occasions, although it is unlikely that the deal will be revoked (see previous blog).