Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

US drops the sanctions hammer on Iran ... again

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Open to new deal with Iran: Trump
Ellis Copeland | 05 November, 2018, 13:11

The new sanctions will be directed toward energy, shipping, shipbuilding, and financial sectors, representing the "final round of snapback sanctions" as a result of the United States' withdrawal from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), they said.

Iran's economy was already suffering from major structural problems - including major banking issues - before Trump walked out of the nucleaIran, Tehran, Iran President, hassan Rouhani, US Sanctions on Iran, White House, Donald Trump, r deal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said eight countries - believed to include India, Japan and possibly China - would be given waivers to continue importing Iranian oil in order to avoid upsetting the global crude market, but only on condition, they slow their purchases.

The measures described by Washington as "the toughest sanctions ever" follow US President Donald Trump's controversial decision in May to abandon the multi-nation nuclear deal with Tehran.

The new American sanctions particularly hurt Iran's vital oil industry, a crucial source of hard currency for its anemic economy.

The US has been trickling out a list of 12 demands Iran must meet if it wants to see sanctions lifted ahead of their reimposition on Monday. Contrary to what he called "fueled misinformation", he stated that SWIFT, "if it provides financial messaging services to certain designated Iranian financial institutions...could be subject to sanctions". "But they're not doing very well", he said.

'With God's help and the resistance and perseverance of the pious and revolutionary people of Islamic Iran, this last weapon of the enemy - the economic war - which is accompanied by America's widespread media operation against the nation of Iran, will be defeated, ' Jafari said.

"Watch what we do", Pompeo said in an interview to Fox News in response to a direct question if the United States has a firm commitment from China and India that they will reduce their intake to zero in six months, the duration of the exemption.

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The EU, France, Germany, and Britain - all co-signatories, along with Russian Federation and China, to the nuclear deal with Iran - said in a joint statement on Friday they regretted Trump's decision to restore sanctions on Iran.

Kenneth Katzman, a senior Iran analyst at Congressional Research Service which conducts research for the US Congress, however confirmed that the logic behind the sanctions is an "outright regime change".

The rollback ends United States participation in the Obama-era accord, which now hangs in the balance as Iran no longer enjoys the billions of dollars in sanctions relief it was granted under the deal in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Iran is already in the grip of an economic crisis.

Iran's military has said that it would hold air defence drills on Monday and Tuesday to prove the country's capabilities.

Since Mr Trump said in May that he would reimpose sanctions, two big developments may have affected his thinking. The president did not respond to a question about the waiver.

"The European Union does not approve of it", European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told franceinfo radio, hours after the sanctions came into force.

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