US puts 'maximum pressure' on Iran as sanctions resume

Posted November 05, 2018

The measures, described by Washington as "the toughest sanctions ever", were reimposed on Monday after President Donald Trump controversially decided in May to abandon the nuclear deal with Tehran.

"America's goal has been to re-establish the domination it had (before 1979) but it has failed". Some even showed a smiling silhouette logo of Kentucky Fried Chicken's founder Colonel Harland David Sanders crossed-out, equating the chain once in Iran before the Islamic Revolution to decadent Americanism.

Salami made the remarks on a day when the authorities in Iran organize anti-U.S. gatherings nationwide, unleashing slogans to mark the 1979 seizure of the USA embassy in Tehran.

The Iranian president said: "America wanted to cut to zero Iran's oil sales. but we will continue to sell our break sanctions".

Iran will continue to export its oil and will break the sanctions reinstated by the U.S. on Monday, the nation's leader Hassan Rouhani said in a TV address, Reuters reports. Iran is the world's No. 3 oil exporter.

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The countries will deposit Iran's revenue in an escrow account, US officials have said.

"There's a key fact here: in this 40-year challenge, the defeated is the United States and the victorious is the Islamic republic", Trump announced in May he was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions, sparking outrage among world powers who say Iran has been complying with commitments to restrict its atomic programme.

"The United States remains open to reaching a new, more comprehensive deal with Iran that forever blocks its path to a nuclear weapon, addresses the entire range of its malign actions, and is worthy of the Iranian people", Trump said in the presidential statement. Trump's decision was welcomed by Washington's Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab allies, involved in proxy conflict with Shi'ite Iran for decades.

Iranians have taken to the streets chanting "Death to America" to protest the reimposition of USA sanctions on oil exports, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the USA embassy takeover during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran's already-anemic economy is likely to suffer more under the fresh United States embargo, though politicians and protesters struck a defiant tone.

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The two Asian giants are believed to be among the eight countries that have been given the rare exemptions from the Iranian sanctions that kicked off on Monday. Hard-liners in Iran responded with a similar image of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Guard's expeditionary Quds Force reading: "I Will Stand Against You".

All of the other signatories - China, the European Union, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United Kingdom - have remained in the deal despite the US action.

Diplomats told Reuters last month that the new European Union mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian oil exports should be legally in place by November 4 but not operational until early next year.

A senior French diplomat said on Saturday there was no way any trade with this mechanism could be conducted before the end of 2018.

While the commemoration annually sees American flags burned and cries of "Death to America" rise up, it also has a carnival-like atmosphere for the students and others taking part. "They will definitely have a gradual escalating impact on economic conditions and, subsequently, on the relations between Iran and the US".

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Washington also says it wants to stop what it calls Tehran's "malign" activities including cyber attacks, ballistic missile tests, and support for terror groups and militias in the Middle East. He added that Trump's policy of "maximum pressure will be fully in place as of tomorrow".