USA revives sanctions to hurt Iran economy

07 August, 2018, 00:42 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Iranian President Rouhani and his Austrian counterpart Van der Bellen inspect a guard of honor in Vienna

"A second 180-day wind-down period is slated to end November 4, when another round of previously relaxed sanctions will be reimposed on oil sales and Iran's energy sector".

Washington has said the only way Iran could avert the sanctions would be to agree to new negotiations to abandon its missile and nuclear programmes.

The accord saw Iran limit its controversial nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

On July 30, Trump offered to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions.

His statements were interpreted as a hint at Iran's readiness to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile United States action against Iran.

Iran, alongside Russian Federation and Turkey, is the guarantor state of the Syrian truce.

The Iranian government will also no longer be allowed to buy USA and European planes and US banknotes.

That will set up a showdown with the USA, with one official warning the USA will make sure the pressure is air-tight: "Make no mistake about it, we are very intent on using these authorities".

The Toulouse, France-based firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The United States plans to detail its fresh package of sanctions against Iran on August 6, with new currency restrictions to head the list. "I am pleased that many global firms have already announced their intent to leave the Iranian market, and several countries have indicated that they will reduce or end imports of Iranian crude oil".

Trump announced his intention to hit firms doing business with Iran when he reneged on a deal struck in 2015 created to help curtail Tehran's nuclear ambitions in return for limited sanctions relief. "The Iranian people should not suffer due to their regime's hegemonic regional ambitions". They're the world's largest state sponsor of terror.

The American sanctions, to be reimposed tomorrow by the administration of President Trump, will add to the daily discomfort.

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Asked if Tehran would be able to evade the measures, Pompeo told journalists "the United States is going to enforce the sanctions", speaking en route to Washington after attending a security forum in Singapore.

"We are always in favour of diplomacy and talks".

It is not yet clear how all this will affect ordinary Iranians, but a Western diplomat in Tehran who monitors the economy said prices of basic foods were already creeping up.

Over the weekend Trump once again floated the idea of meeting, tweeting "I will meet, or not meet, it doesn't matter it is up to them!"

French carmaker Renault, which does not sell cars in the USA, has said it will remain in Iran despite the sanctions.

But the U.S. sanctions strategy has several weak spots, especially a reluctance by Europe and China to curtail business with Iran.

Iran's economy is in a tailspin, and the nation has seen widespread street protests in recent weeks. The rial is now hovering around 44,000 per U.S. dollar against 36,099 in January, according to XE Currency Converter.

Protests broke out on Sunday for a sixth night in cities including Kazeroon in the south, according to social media. Some protesters have shouted "Mullahs get lost!" and "Death to the dictator!" the semi-official Fars news agency has reported.

The U.S. resumed sanctions targeting Iran's automotive sector as well as gold and other key metals on Monday.

Iran has made threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, where about 30% of oil exports pass through, but Eisenstadt and other experts dismissed this as bluster. Rouhani called on Iranians to unite in the face of hardship.

The Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf provides the only maritime passage in the region to the open seas and is one of the world's most strategically important choke points.

Iran's navy and its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard routinely conduct seaborne exercises in the Gulf and the strait. He did not elaborate.

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