On Tuesday, President Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Iran for its violation of the 2015 nuclear deal. The sanctions were imposed despite the disputed re certification of Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear treaty.The Treasury, state and justice departments revealed that 18 Iran affiliated individuals and entities are deeply involved in the development of missiles, software theft, and illegal procurement of weapons. In the announcement, Iran was criticized for incarcerating foreigners, including American citizens.

Surprisingly, the announcement was shortly preceded by President Trump’s grudging acknowledgment that Iran was in full compliance with the nuclear treaty. It is a requirement under the American law that the president makes such declarations after every three months. The president’s adherence to that law has proved to be problematic, a fact that is not surprising considering that Mr. Trump has in the past opposed the nuclear agreement.

In fact, he openly declared that he would tear up the treaty during his 2016 presidential campaign. However, major players in the agreement such as China, Britain, France, Russia, and Germany do not share Trump’s opinion on the matter. Therefore, if the president orchestrated a plan to withdraw the US from the nuclear agreement, it would leave the country isolated on the issue.

What has drawn the attention of many was the fact that the sanctions imposed on Iran were applied to not-Iranian organizations that were said to be aiding Iran’s ballistic missile development program. For instance, a Turkish supplier of marine equipment and a Chinese procurement agent were named on the list for providing material and other forms of support to an Iran-based military electronics organization.

The fact that International Atomic Energy Agency has on several occasions found Iran to be in compliance with the nuclear agreement casts significant doubts on Mr.Trump’s assertions. Indeed, it seems like the trump administration has hatched a new strategy to challenge Iran.