A White House warning to Tehran on Wednesday may cloud the outlook for foreign investment into Iran, but the Trump administration and its regional allies also risk playing into the Iranian regime's hands as it takes a more strident tone, analysts say.
The opening shot will do little to inspire investors to commit to new projects in Iran, which is trying to rebuild its oil and gas sector after years of sanctions. While that may put pressure on Tehran, President Donald Trump has virtually no support in Europe or Asia for new sanctions and may have missed an opportunity to contain the Iranian regime, analysts say.
National security advisor Michael Flynn put Iran "on notice" on Wednesday, citing recent ballistic missile tests and support for Houthi rebels in Yemen's civil war.
The United States is expected to sanction about two dozen Iranian entities as early as Friday, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The White House did not immediately return CNBC's request for comment.