US sanctions on Iran, 'toughest ever', take force

Larry Hoffman
November 5, 2018

Washington imposed sanctions against Iran on Monday, restoring measures lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the administration of former USA president Barack Obama, and adding 300 new designations including Iran's oil, shipping, insurance and banking sectors.

USA president Donald Trump has said that the United States sanctions will hit Iran in a "big way" from 5 November, asserting that the "toughest-ever" punitive measures have been put in place for a "corrupt regime" in Tehran.

In 2012, South Korea received a waiver on USA sanctions by importing limited amounts of Iranian oil during the previous round of sanctions that were lifted in early 2016.

South Korea said on Monday it has been granted a waiver to at least temporarily continue to import condensate, a super-light form of crude oil, from Iran and also still continue financial transactions with the Middle East country. "We are in regular contact with other signatories of the nuclear deal. setting up (a) mechanism to continue trade with the European Union will take time", Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told a weekly news conference on in Tehran. But Iranian people do not think like mullahs.

They have promised to support European firms that do "legitimate business" with Iran and have set up an alternative payment mechanism - or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) - that will help companies trade without facing U.S. penalties. The deal limited Iran's enrichment of uranium.

Interestingly, Pompeo also said the Obama administration allowed waivers to even more countries - a total of 20 - though the devil is in the details in terms of how big the waivers were, especially when the Obama era witnessed more cooperation from China and Russian Federation.

Mr. Trump himself has embraced the sanctions as he faces a tough mid-term election in the US that could change the balance of power in Congress.

"We're confident that the Iranians will not make that decision", Pompeo said on broadcaster CBS on Sunday, when asked if Iran could go back to its old ways as a result of reinstated sanctions, which include Iran's oil sector.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday vowed to push Iran's oil sales to zero even as the USA earlier gave temporary exemptions to eight countries to continue buying oil. We've already reduced Iranian crude oil experts by over a million barrels per day. "But America's plots and its plans for sanctions will be defeated through continued resistance", said Jafari.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced in May that his administration was withdrawing from what he called the "worst ever" agreement negotiated by the United States.

The US said the sanctions were not aimed at toppling the Government, but persuading it to radically change its policies, including its support for regional militant groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles.

Later a senior State Department official told reporters that the U.S. was ready for talks with Iran. The renewed sanctions are designed "to paralyse the (Iran's) economy and keep it backwards".

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