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Trump Touts Renewed Iran Sanctions As Selling Point To U.S. Voters

U.S. President Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump is touting his reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran ahead of the November 6 elections in which the Republican Party is seeking to retain control of both houses of the U.S. Congress.

On November 2, Trump tweeted what looked like a movie-style poster of himself that takes creative inspiration from the TV series Game Of Thrones to announce his reimposition of sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors, which take effect on November 5.

The poster features the words "Sanctions Are Coming November 5" in bold lettering superimposed on a photo of Trump seemingly emerging from the mist-- an apparent takeoff on Game Of Thrones promotion ads reading "Winter Is Coming."

Opinion polls show that the Iran sanctions are a strong draw for voters in Trump's Republican Party. Their reimposition comes one day before the midterm elections in which seats in Congress and offices nationwide are at stake.

Trump, close to the middle of his four-year presidential term, has been campaigning in an effort to help Republicans maintain control of both houses of Congress.

Because Trump is not popular among Democrats and a majority of independent voters, recent polls show Democrats are likely to gain enough seats in the House of Representatives to take control of that chamber.

But their odds in the Senate are not as good, and Trump has been campaigning hard to try to limit their gains by ensuring a good turnout for Republicans.

At a campaign rally in the state of Indiana late on November 2, Trump said he believes Iran will eventually "get very smart" and seek to negotiate a new nuclear deal with the United States that will enable Tehran to get out from under the sanctions.

Trump withdrew the United States from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in April, describing it as "horrible," and is now reimposing the sanctions that were lifted under the deal in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear activities.

"We will have in place the toughest ever sanctions on this brutal Iranian regime," Trump said at the rally.

"And, at some point, they are going to get very smart and they are going to come back and negotiate a real deal, a fair deal, and a deal that let’s them thrive. We want them to thrive," Trump said.

The television network that produces Games Of Thrones was not amused by Trump's takeoff from their promotional ads for the series.

"We were not aware of this messaging, and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes," HBO said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on November 2.

With reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Hollywood Reporter