United States sanctions against Iran takes effect, 8 countries get waivers

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The Trump administration is restoring all sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal in a bid to pressure Iran.

China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey - all top importers of Iranian oil - are among eight countries expected to be given temporary exemptions from the sanctions to ensure crude oil prices are not destabilised.

Pompeo emphasized how increased US sanctions on Iran leading up to today's announcement had ensured "that Iran is not able to increase its revenue from oil as its exports plummet", while keeping prices stable for the American consumer.

The Trump Administration announced additional sanctions on Iran on a teleconference on November 2 led by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

Oil prices fell on Monday as USA sanctions against Iran's fuel exports were softened by waivers allowing major buyers to import Iranian crude for a while, while Tehran said it would defy Washington and continue to sell. Pompeo boasted that more than 20 oil-importing nations have already cut their oil imports from Iran to zero, costing what he called the "Iranian regime" more than $2.5 billion dollars.

In a separate interview on Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation," Pompeo said hundreds of businesses have left Iran since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal, and any European companies doing business there won't do business with the U.S.

The United States says the sanctions are not aimed at toppling the government, but at persuading it to radically change its policies, including its support for regional militant groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles.

"An important component of our diplomacy is standing with the Iranian people, they are the longest-suffering victims of the regime's brutality and economic mismanagement". However, the USA has granted eight temporary waivers to countries that will let them wind down their imports over time.

News of the waivers initially helped lower oil prices early on Monday, since they allow major buyers to import Iran's oil for a while. The waivers were only given to countries that are seriously trying to cut out their imports of Iranian oil.

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"Our objective is to starve the Iranian regime of the funds it uses to fund violent activity throughout the Middle East and around the world".

Meanwhile, Iranian state television aired footage of air defense systems that are involved in two-day military maneuvers across northern Iran. "We've already seen the consequences in Iran".

"U.S. sanctions on Iran proved to be less severe than previously anticipated", said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at futures brokerage FXTM.

Well, Chris, the sanctions that will be reimposed tomorrow are the toughest sanctions ever put in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran. He spoke to a conference of economists, who he said were at the "forefront of the resistance" against the United States.

National security adviser John Bolton on Monday said that sanctions have had an "enormous" effect on Iran's economy.

The statement was made on the day when the second package of USA sanctions, re-introduced after Washington's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and targeting, in particular, Iran's oil sector, takes effect.

The sanctions end all the economic benefits America granted Tehran for its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

On Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for reimposing the sanctions.

Saudi Arabia is the only country with the capacity to make up for lost Iranian oil production.

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