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United States revives sanctions to hurt Iran economy

07 August 2018

Trump warned that those who don't wind down their economic ties to Iranian "risk severe consequences".

President Donald Trump signed a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, on May 8 at the White House in Washington, D.C. On Monday, the White House announced detailed sanctions that would be imposed against Iran as the USA reached a 90-day "wind-down period" since leaving the agreement.

On Monday, Trump called the pact a "horrible, one-sided deal" that failed to block Iran's nuclear aspirations and "threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos".

The official says the USA will use the sanctions aggressively and cited Iran's severe economic downturn this year as evidence the sanctions would prove to be effective despite opposition from the EU, China and Russian Federation. He says the USA policy is to levy "maximum economic pressure" on the country.

A senior U.S. administration official said a move by Brussels, with the support of Britain, to impose a "blocking statute" protecting European businesses trading with Iran was "not something that we're particularly concerned by".

"The Americans thought that they can add to our social and economic problems through increasing pressure", he said.

The European Union issued a "blocking statute" Monday to protect European businesses from the sanctions.

The first set of reinstated USA sanctions goes into effect Monday.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the act was "psychological warfare".

The Trump administration "wants the world to believe it's concerned about the Iranian people".

While Iran's economy is in poor shape, it isn't in the critical condition it was when the Iran nuclear deal was reached.

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Iran started to suffer from the sanctions even before the measures came into effect.

With its oil customers already backing away ahead of the next round of sanctions in November, Iran is facing hard economic challenges.

"An informed diplomatic source said Sunday that Saudi Arabia had agreed to grant a visa to the head. of Iran's interests section", reported the state-owned IRNA Iranian news agency adding that "Observers saw a positive diplomatic step in Tehran-Riyadh relations".

In July, Brian Hook, the US State Department's director of policy planning, said that Washington's goal is to "increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue from crude oil sales".

Instead, Iran could send missiles to its Houthi allies in Yemen to target oil shipping from U.S. allies, as it already has.

However, the remaining sanctions will be reimposed on November 5, including sanctions on Iran's port operators and energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors; Iran's petroleum-related transactions and transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran.

The first wave of sanctions, which target a variety of Iranian exports, the country's financial system and Iran's ability to enter the global financial system, are to enter force at midnight (0400 UTC) on Tuesday.

He alluded to Trump's suggestion last week of the potential for future negotiations with Tehran, a notion that senior Iranian officials quickly rejected.

Hours before revived USA sanctions were due to kick in, White House national security adviser John Bolton said Iran should pay heed to Trump's willingness to negotiate.

President Donald Trump has accused Iran of "threatening, destabilising behaviour" ahead of reimposing sanctions.

President Trump on Monday renewed sanctions on Iran as he followed through on vows to unravel the Obama-era nuclear deal with Tehran.

United States revives sanctions to hurt Iran economy