USA puts 'maximum pressure' on Iran as sanctions resume


The second, and final round of, United States sanctions go into effect on Monday, specifically targeting Iran's crude oil exports, shipping and ports and the financial system.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic republic "will proudly bypass sanctions" by the United States that took effect on Monday (Nov 5) targeting the country's oil and financial sectors.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called this "the toughest sanctions ever placed" against Iran.

With new US sanctions on Iran just hours away, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is warning that they'll really pack an economic punch.

Other countries were given partial waivers after they demonstrated that they were making serious efforts to reduce their Iranian oil imports.

European countries which are still party to the accord created to curb Iran's nuclear activity say they will help businesses bypass the sanctions.

The US side was unmoved.

"They're aimed at a singular goal, denying the world's largest state sponsor of terrorists the capacity to do things like they did this past couple weeks, attempted assassination campaign in the heart of Europe", he said.

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 U.S. embassy takeover during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"Iranian exports and production had been declining steadily in advance".

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Secretary Pompeo noted in his statement today that the SREs were being granted to the eight jurisdictions (to be named November 5) "only because they have demonstrated significant reductions in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts and have made important moves towards getting to zero crude oil importation".

The US has been gradually re-imposing sanctions, but analysts say this latest round is by far the most significant.

"We are in the war situation", he said.

These sanctions have already had an enormous impact. "We think China and Iran carrying out normal cooperation under the framework of global law is lawful and reasonable, and (this right) should be respected and protected", he added. "These sanctions hit at the core areas of Iran's economy, and they are necessary to spur changes we seek on the part of the regime".

In all, 700 Iranian entities will be added to sanctions lists on Monday, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

He would not rule out the Trump administration extending the waivers beyond six months.

"On Monday, November 5, the termination of USA participation in the Iran nuclear deal will be complete".

The relaxation may offer major reprieve to India that has been importing close to 10 per cent of its oil needs (about 500,000 barrels of oil per day) from Iran.

India's top banker State Bank of India, which was handling most of the payments to Iran for oil purchases, is now complying with the US sanctions against Tehran, its chairman said on Monday.

It is 39 years since 52 American citizens were taken hostage and held for 444 days after hardline students stormed the U.S. embassy.