White House to Reimpose Iran Sanctions as Protests Rock Regime
Aug 07, 2018, 00:46
The Trump administration unveiled its first round of sanctions on Iran since the collapse of the global nuclear agreement Monday; blasting Tehran with new penalties aimed at curbing the Islamic Republic's weapons program. Trump abandoned the deal in May. These actions include reimposing sanctions on Iran's automotive sector and on its trade in gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions related to the Iranian currency.
Iran's rial currency has lost half its value since April under the threat of revived USA sanctions.
Trump has said he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani anytime without preconditions.
Pompeo noted that the U.S. has long designated Iran as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism and said it can not expect to be treated as an equal in the worldwide community until it halts such activities.
"We are always in favor of diplomacy and talks". "But talks needs honesty".
Earlier, Iranian president's chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi revealed that during Rouhani's last visit to NY for the UN General Assembly session, Trump asked the Iranian delegation eight times to have a meeting with the president.
USA sanctions aim to limit, if not totally eliminate, Iran's access to foreign markets.
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The sanctions are expected to take the form of a secondary boycott that would apply to companies and countries trading with Iran.
But the United States sanctions strategy has several weak spots, especially a reluctance by Europe and China to curtail business with Iran.
The European Union voiced regret on Monday at the looming USA sanctions.
"The United States continues to stand with the long-suffering Iranian people, who are the rightful heirs to Iran's rich heritage and the real victims of the regime's policies", he wrote.
Iran's net official reserves are projected to decline this year to $97.8 billion, enough to finance about 13 months of imports, the International Monetary Fund estimated in March.
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 Trump administration in recent weeks has ramped up a pressure campaign against the Iranian government, decrying its leaders as exploitative and corrupt while supporting protesters on the ground.
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And it has added to tensions inside Iran, which has seen days of protests and strikes in multiple towns and cities over water shortages, high prices and wider anger at the political system.
Mr Trump warned that individuals or entities who breach the sanctions risk "severe consequences".
Officials Monday also repeated the words of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: That the U.S.is not seeking regime change, but a change in the regime's behavior.
The EU announced it would take legal steps to protect EU companies "doing legitimate business in Iran".
The statement by European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, France and Germany said it would also work to keep "effective financial channels" open with Iran.
In 2015, the Obama administration lifted sanctions on Iran in return for promises that the Iranian regime would stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
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