Iran FM: Trump and Allies Isolating Themselves Over Iran Hostility

Clay Curtis
August 7, 2018

The sanctions, which take effect at midnight on Monday in Washington, bar transactions with Iran in U.S. currency, gold, precious metals, graphite, coal and semi-finished metals, as well as large sales of Iranian rials, issuing Iranian debt and auto sanctions.

Trump warned that those who don't wind down their economic ties to Iran "risk severe consequences".

At the same time, Mr Trump is willing to meet Iranian leaders "at any time" to discuss "a real comprehensive deal that will contain their regional ambitions, will end their malign behaviour, and deny them any path to a nuclear weapon", the officials said.

The United States has reimposed economic sanctions on Iran that were originally put in place to pressure the country to limit its nuclear program and later lifted under a 2015 global agreement.

The European Union´s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc, as well as Britain, France and Germany, deeply regretted Washington´s move.

Hailing the law, Mr Burt said it would protect European businesses.

In a TV appearance, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani accused Washington of "wanting to launch a psychological war against the Iranian nation". Speaking in a television interview, he also demanded compensation for decades of American "intervention" in the Islamic Republic.

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.

"US hypocrisy knows no bounds", he said.

Joint statement on the re-imposition of United States sanctions on Iran
Sanctions will also be reapplied to USA imports of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs and on certain related financial transactions. And more punishing oil sanctions will return in November.

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.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 25, 2018.

"If the ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down".

Asked about threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, Mr Bolton said that would be Iran's "worst mistake yet".

"Most of the companies have already made up their mind, whether it's the German Siemens, the French carmaker PSA, the Danish Maersk - all these companies that have said they don't want to risk losing access to the United States market, they don't want to risk losing access to the financing in dollars by U.S. banks, and also they don't want to lose their USA shareholders".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, like Trump a long-time opponent of the accord, congratulated him on the new sanctions.

There is also mounting pressure at home, where USA hostility has helped fuel long-running discontent over high prices, unemployment, water shortages and the lack of political reform.

He dismissed a United States call for talks, saying "we are always in favour of diplomacy and talks..."

The European Commission said it will grant exceptions if the company can prove that it is leaving Iran for reasons not linked to the U.S. threat.

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