U.S. targets Iran with oil sanctions

U.S. targets Iran with oil sanctions

U.S. targets Iran with oil sanctions

Washington has pledged to completely stop purchases of crude oil from Iran eventually, but for now it said eight countries - China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey - can continue imports for now without penalty.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime foe of Iran, lauded the sanctions as "historic", saying they will "strangle" what he described as Iranian state-sponsored terrorism. "I feel that a lot of Iranians are putting this blame on the Trump administration rather than on their own government, which I think is what the Trump administration is aiming for".

But the USA says that the pact failed to address issues such as Iran's support of armed groups in countries such as Yemen and Lebanon, or its development of long-range ballistic missiles. The new agreement, Washington hopes, will address issues that were left out of the original one, including the testing of long-range missiles that can carry nuclear payloads and Iran's aggression across the Middle East.

Switzerland said it was holding talks with the United States and Iran about launching a humanitarian payment channel to help food and drugs keep flowing to Tehran. That deal was backed by European powers, Russian Federation and China and sealed by a UN Security Council resolution.

Oil dropped to a seven-month low as concern eased that USA sanctions on Iran will squeeze worldwide supplies. More than 20 countries had already cut their oil imports from Iran, reducing purchases by more than 1 million barrels per day, he said.

President Donald Trump's administration re-imposed sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal after pulling out of the worldwide agreement reached between Iran, the United States and five other powers: Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation.

Efforts to dissuade US President Donald Trump from pulling out of the Iran deal by European Union officials and leaders of key member states failed in the a year ago.

South Korea, a USA ally and one of Asia's biggest buyers of Iranian oil, asked Washington for "maximum flexibility" last week, after some of its construction firms cancelled energy-related contracts in the Islamic republic due to financing difficulties.

"Rest assured, Iran will never get close to obtaining a nuclear weapon under President Trump's watch", he said.

"We are in an economic war situation".

In any case, the Iranian leadership believes that if the Democrats win the midterm elections, they would limit new possible initiatives Trump might wish to take against the Islamic Republic, and so Tehran would only have to hold on for two years against the sanctions.

"This is an economic war against Iran". The U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany signed that agreement, along with Iran.

The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted have in USA jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.

The most significant of the new measures is a prohibition against oil and gas sales, which provide the Iranian Government with 80 per cent of its total revenue.

Analysts feared in the run-up to the sanctions that global oil prices could spike on tight supply and increasing demand.

"Allowing these activities to continue for the time being will improve ongoing oversight of Iran's civil nuclear program and make these facilities less susceptible to illicit and illegal nuclear uses", he said. Iran's economy has faced stagnant growth and high unemployment, even after sanctions were lifted following the nuclear deal it negotiated with world powers. "I don't support this policy, but if you are going down this path, it's a way to lessen the risk of economic blowback in America".

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