Trump Touts Iran Sanctions

Geneva Stokes
August 7, 2018

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that sanctions reimposed on Iran were the "most biting ever" as he warned other countries from doing business with Tehran. Sanctions are already badly affecting people's lives. "I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less".

As a result of the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, Washington's re-imposition of sanctions hit European companies operating in the country from Monday (6 August) onwards. They presage tougher sanctions against imports of Iranian oil that will go into force in early November, although the administration signaled it will consider partial exemptions to that ban.

"Either change its threatening, destabilising behaviour and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation".

The United States has reimposed sanctions on Iran that existed prior to the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under President Barack Obama.

In a speech hours before the sanctions were due to take effect, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani rejected negotiations as long as Washington was no longer complying with the deal.

"If you're an enemy and you stab the other person with a knife and then you say you want negotiations, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife".

And EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has gone further by urging European businesses to do their bit to save the Iran nuclear deal by boosting trade with the country.

The measure is part of a broader European Commission response, known as the "blocking statute", that also allows the firms to recover damages arising from USA extra-territorial sanctions.

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Most Iranians see USA hostility as a basic fact of life, so their frustration is largely directed at their own leaders for not handling the situation better. European allies say they "deeply regret" the USA action.

But the European Commission has implemented a previously unused regulation that seeks to cancel the effect of the United States policy on European companies doing "legitimate business" with Iran.

United States officials insisted the American government stands with the people of Iran and supports many of their complaints against their own government.

The impact of the return of sanctions has ramped up tension 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.

"We'll find out whether they are or not", he said on Fox News.

Two countries that have welcomed the tough new USA policy are Iran's regional rivals, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the renewed sanctions as "an important moment for Israel, for the USA, for the region, for the whole world". The value of the Iranian rial has plunged ahead of the move.

Earlier this year, the central bank said it would unify the exchange rate at 42,000 rials to the dollar in an attempt to root out unregulated trading.

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