The Trump government announced on Friday the overthrow of financial sanctions for Iran's oil, banking, shipping and other sectors – the resumption of sanctions lifted by Obama administration under the Iranian 2015 nuclear agreement.
The White House hopes that the sanctions – which will be implemented on Monday and target more than 700 Iranian individuals and entities – will choke Iran's economy and force the regime into a new round of negotiations.
"Our ultimate goal is to force Iran to abandon definitively its well-documented activities and behave as a normal country," Foreign Minister Mike Pombeo told reporters Friday at a teleconference that warns of sanctions on 4 November. US sanctions will hit foreign countries and businesses dealing with targeted Iranian entities, including the national oil company, its banks and its shipping industry.
Critics say the move will hurt the Iranian people, not the regime, at a time when its economy is already unfolding by the fall in currency value and other problems.
"These sanctions are a slap in the face of the Iranian people that have been squeezed between the oppression of their government and the pressure of international sanctions for decades," said Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council, Pompeo's announcement. "The degradation of ordinary Iranians will not harm the regime or fail to achieve any of America's security interests, but it will halt the ambitions of the Iranian people for years to come."
Brian Hook, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, said the United States called on Saudi Arabia to increase oil production "while removing Iranian oil from the market."
This will help prevent the global rise in oil prices, which will end up helping Iran. Trump's strategy – based on Saudi Arabia to distract Iran – shows why the White House has proceeded cautiously in its response to the murder of Jamal Hassogi, a Washington Post journalist killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.
Asked how the government of Trampa could condemn the violation of Iran's human rights with its backing in Saudi Arabia, which has a relentless record on this front, Huk said: "I can only talk about how Saudi Arabia helped our strategy in Iran ".
The sanctions of 4 November stemmed from President Donald Trump's decision in May to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement negotiated by the US and five other countries. Under the Obama agreement, Iran has agreed not to deal with nuclear weapons and to agree to inspections of its military sites and other facilities. In return, the United States and its partners, including Germany, France, China and Russia – have begun the global sanctions that have destroyed Iran's economy.
Iran's leaders said they would continue to stick to the deal despite America's exit. Other signatories to the agreement are trying to save it – with the European Union seeking to create a job to avoid US sanctions and continue its trade with Iran.
In a joint statement, the foreign and finance ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom noted that 12 successive reports from an independent observer noted Iran's compliance with the nuclear agreement. And they said they would continue to cooperate with the regime.
"Our goal is to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate trade with Iran," the ministers said in their statement.
Foreign Minister Mike Pombeo has announced that the US cancels a 1955 treaty with Iran that establishes economic relations and consular rights between the two nations. (October 3rd)
Pompeo and Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin have said that the gap proposed by the EU will not work – and warned that the Trump administration will go after every entity trying to avoid US sanctions.
"Any financial institution, company or individual who avoids sanctions risks losing access to the US financial system and the ability to cooperate with the United States or American companies," Mnuchin told journalists the invitation Friday. "We are willing to ensure that global funds stop flowing to the Iranian regime's funds."
However, Pompeo said the administration would offer some exceptions that have not yet been defined. The Trump government put pressure on more than twelve countries around the world, including India, Japan, Greece and Turkey, to be weaned with Iranian oil. Oil is Iran's main source of revenue.
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Pompeo said eight countries, which they refused to name, co-operated with the administration to push Iran to "zero" imports of oil. These countries will be granted temporary exemptions when sanctions enter into force on Sunday night, Pompeo said.
These and Mnuchin said the full list of exceptions – and the full list of targeted Iranian entities – will be released on Monday. There will also be some exceptions for food, medicines and other humanitarian products, Pompeo said.
Senator Marko Ruby, R-Flore, said the sanctions were very lenient, criticizing the government for not shutting Iran out of an international financial messaging system known as Swift. He also said that the White House should not have allowed any deviations, including one offered in China.
"The exemptions from the sanctions given to key buyers of Iranian oil, the most worrying about China, give Iran economic relief and must be eliminated as soon as possible," said Rubio.
Mnuchin and Pompeo rejected such comments and said there would be no room for violations with Iran.
"We are very confident that our sanctions will be extremely effective," said Pompeo. "The Iranian economy is already feeling the effects of this … because the world and Iran knew it was coming."
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