Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Israeli Prime Minister calls US imposed sanctions on Iran 'courageous and historic'

Representations of the U.S. and British flags are walked on by demonstrators during an annual rally in front of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran Iran on Sunday Nov. 4 2018 New U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Go Into Effect
| 07 November, 2018, 06:36

The measures are part of a wider effort by U.S. President Donald Trump to curb Tehran's missile and nuclear programs and diminish the Islamic Republic's influence in the Middle East, notably its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

The deal had seen most global financial and economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for Tehran curbing its disputed nuclear activity under United Nations surveillance.

Denouncing Iran as a destabilising force, Mnuchin added, "this is part of a maximum unprecedented economic pressure campaign that the U.S. is waging against the world's largest state sponsor of terror".

"Within six months to a year, you will see the consequences in form of spiking oil prices", said Talmiz Ahmad, a former secretary for worldwide cooperation in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and, formerly, also India's envoy to Saudi Arabia.

The US has exempted three Iranian nuclear sites from sanctions, but warned that they will be under strict scrutiny, the State Department said.

Crude exports contribute one-third of Iran's government revenues. Washington announced a target to bring Iranian oil exports down to zero and urged its customers to abandon such purchases.

A senior official of Marubeni Corp. said it would be hard to land a deal in Iran as long as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration continues its aggressive posture toward Tehran.

The US is forcing other countries to cut off ties with Iran and has threatened to impose sanctions on them as well.


Iran's economy has faced stagnant growth and high unemployment, even after sanctions were lifted following the nuclear deal it negotiated with world powers.

"The enemy is targeting our economy ... the main target of sanctions is our people", he said.

The restrictions officially end all economic gains the USA permitted Iran after the nuclear agreement of 2015. If Iran fails to do this, he said, it would "continue down the path toward economic disaster".

On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Several of these countries depend partially on Iranian oil, including Turkey, which imports a quarter of its 830,000 barrels per day from its Iranian neighbour, according to a Bloomberg report.

The US has granted exceptions to eight countries including big consumers like India and China, which means Iranian oil will keep flowing.

Pompeo and Trump have emphasized that they hope to target the country's government over its "malign activities" in the Middle East and its nuclear weapons. The Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated its objections to sanctions, but would not directly say whether China had been granted an exemption.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono later said Tokyo would continue to have close discussions with the United States to ensure stable energy supplies and no adverse impact on Japanese companies.

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