Friday, 16 November, 2018

New Trump sanctions on Iran take effect despite pleas from allies

President Rouhani is facing renewed discontent over living standards which are being squeezed under the threat of US sanctions President Rouhani is facing renewed discontent over living standards which are being squeezed under the threat of US sanctions Atta Kenare
Ellis Copeland | 07 August, 2018, 15:31

He said that "there's no evidence today of a change in their behavior", and in the meantime "we're going to enforce the sanctions".

European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc, as well as Britain, France and Germany, deeply regretted the move by Washington.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he's willing to talk to the U.S.

He also said talks won't "make sense" once Iran is under sanctions.

Money exchange shops across Iran cautiously reopened on Tuesday after being shut for five months amid economic turmoil fanned by America's withdraw from the nuclear deal.

US President Donald Trump has warned other countries against doing business with Tehran, saying he had imposed "the most biting" sanctions on the country.

The sanctions that went into effect on Tuesday target Iranian access to USA banknotes and key economic sectors including cars and carpets.

Iran has accused the USA of reneging on the nuclear agreement, signed by the Obama administration, and of causing the country's recent economic unrest.

"In my opinion, there is a good chance of that".

A European Commission spokeswoman on Monday (6 August) told reporters in Brussels that EU firms are banned from following USA demands to cut business ties with Iran, unless specifically authorised to do so.

The newly reimposed sanctions target transactions with US dollar banknotes; trade in gold and precious metals; direct or indirect sales of graphite and metals such as steel and aluminum; certain transactions related to the Iranian rial; certain transactions related to issuing Iranian sovereign debt; and Iran's automotive sector.

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The stiff economic sanctions ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic despite statements of deep dismay from European allies.

That was a reference, widely heard in Iran these days, to the famous phrase used by Iran's revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini who said signing a truce to end the brutal eight-year war with Iraq in 1988 was like drinking "a cup of poison".

The European Union has sought to salvage the nuclear deal and provide legal cover for its companies to continue operating in Iran.

As of midnight, harsh sanctions on Iran have kicked in as part of the administration's strategy to keep Tehran from achieving its goal of building a nuclear bomb.

"I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime's malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism", Trump said.

It bans European companies from complying with the U.S. sanctions, nullifies any United States court order against European businesses and makes it legally possible for affected firms to seek compensation.

The "Trump Administration wants the world to believe it's concerned about the Iranian people", Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a statement posted to Twitter.

"They've got to behave like a normal country. That's the ask", said Pompeo on Sunday ahead of the re-imposition.

He said the U.S. has long designated Iran as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism.

Companies caught violating the sanctions could be cut off from the United States financial system and targeted with other punishments.

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