Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Trump imposes ‘unprecedented sanctions’ as Europe scrambles to save Iran deal

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Ellis Copeland | 07 November, 2018, 04:15

The United States officially reimposed all penalties that had been lifted as part of the Iranian nuclear deal as the Trump administration added almost 700 targets, including 50 Iranian financial institutions, to a sanctions list Monday.

The Trump administration on Monday reimposed the last set of sanctions lifted under the Iran nuclear deal.

Earlier in the day, Zarif said that the fresh round of usa sanctions on Iran has failed to cut Tehran's oil exports to zero.

The US has given temporary exemptions to eight countries - including India, Japan and Turkey - to continue buying oil in a bid to avoid disrupting their economies and global markets.

BEIJING - China said on Monday its lawful trade cooperation with Iran should be respected and expressed regret that the United States re-imposed sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said in a televised speech Monday that Iran will break the US sanctions and continue to sell oil.

"The Americans have constantly said they would bring Iran's oil sales to zero, but l have to say that we have been able to sell oil as much as we need up until today", Jahangiri noted in remarks on Tuesday.

Mr. Trump called the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran the "worst ever" agreement stuck by the U.S. But the other parties to the deal - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - stuck with it.

Powerful Shia cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda issued the chilling warning to the Trump administration about the consequences of cutting off Iranian oil exports in its latest round on sanctions.

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"China opposes unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction", AFP quoted foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying as saying at a regular briefing with reporters on Monday.

Major Japanese oil distributors have suspended Iranian oil imports since their October contracts.

As NPR's Colin Dwyer reported recently, "Since May, when President Trump vowed to unilaterally pull the USA out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, his administration has telegraphed its intentions to restore the sanctions that had been lifted as part of the pact".

"The countries will deposit Iran's revenue in an escrow account, USA officials have said". "The U.S., not Iran, is isolated", Zarif added.

The US says the sanctions, which US Secretary of Pompeo billed as the "toughest sanctions ever", are aimed at persuading Iran to "alter" its behavior, including its support for regional terrorist groups like the Hezbollah and its development of long-range ballistic missiles. "We expect to see more progress as our sanctions start to bite".

However, Iran's clerical rulers have dismissed concerns about the impact of sanctions on the economy.

Those sanctions also include 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 people and vessels in its shipping sector, and Tehran's national airline, Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, according to a US Treasury statement.

Tensions over Iran's nuclear program have been running high since the United States unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 JCPOA.

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