WASHINGTON – The Trump government returned on Friday the US sanctions for Iran that had been lifted on the basis of the 2015 nuclear power agreement, but ruled out exceptions for eight countries that can import oil from the Islamic Republic without penalty.
The sanctions enter into force on Monday and cover the Iranian maritime, economic and energy sectors. It is the second batch the administration has re-imposed since Mr Trump withdrew from the landmark agreement in May.
The 2015 agreement, one of the largest diplomatic achievements of former President Barack Obama, has given Iran billions of dollars in relief of sanctions in exchange for a curtailment of its nuclear program, which many thought it used to develop atomic weapons. Mr Trump repeatedly condemned the deal as the "worst" ever negotiated by the United States and said he gave too much to Iran in return for very little.
But the defenders and the other parties to the agreement – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union – have strongly defended it. The Europeans have made an effort to save the deal without the US, fearing that the new sanctions will lead Iran to withdraw and resume all of its nuclear work.
The new measures are expected to hit hard the Iranians, Elizabeth Palmer. In Tehran, a man said the harder the US is pushing, the more people will resist. In a richer region, CBS News met with the Hossein family. "I want to escape from Iran," said Essam, an accountant who is disgusted by both American and Iranian governments.
Friday's announcement came just days before the Congress in the US, allowing Mr Trump to show off his own– a move that was popular among the Republicans. Shortly after the announcement, Mr Trump tweeted what looks like a film poster of himself that takes creative inspiration from the TV series "Game of Thrones" under the label "Penalties Come, November 5th."
"Our goal is to force the regime to become a clear choice: either to abandon its devastating behavior or to continue the path to economic disaster," Trump said in a statement issued Friday night.
Foreign Minister Mike Pombeo said the sanctions "are aimed at substantially altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran". He has issued a list of 12 requests that Iran must meet to lift sanctions that include ending its support for terrorism and military engagement in Syria and halting the development of nuclear and ballistic missiles.
Pompeo said eight nations would receive temporary exemptions allowing them to continue importing Iranian petroleum products as they move to end such imports altogether. He said these countries, which other officials said would include US allies such as Turkey, Italy, India, Japan and South Korea, had made efforts to eliminate their imports but failed to complete the project until Monday.
The derogations will be valid for six months during which the importing country can buy Iranian oil but must deposit Iranian revenue into an escrow account. Iran can spend money, but only in a close range of humanitarian issues.
Pompeo defended the oil discharge and noted that since May, when the US began pushing countries to stop buying Iranian oil, Iran's exports fell by more than 1 million barrels a day.
He said the Iranian economy has already escaped past sanctions, with the currency losing half its value since April. The government has ensured that basic services such as garbage collection are operating normally and low gas prices are maintained at around 90 cents per gallon. But prices have generally skyrocketed, CBS News reported, Palmer. This is for "cheese, for butter, for jam, for meat, for chicken, for everything," said Reza Eidiyuon, who, like everyone in Tehran, is worried about the new US sanctions.
Some Iranian hawks in Congress and elsewhere have said Friday's move should have gone even further. They were hoping to disconnect Iran from the main international financial messaging network known as SWIFT.
With limited exceptions, the sanctions imposed by the US will hit Iran as well as countries that do not stop importing Iranian oil and foreign companies dealing with Iranian blacklisted entities, including its central bank, some private financial institutions, as well as hundreds individual Iranian officials.
"Our ultimate goal is to force Iran to abandon definitively its well-documented activities and behave like a normal country," Pompeo told reporters at a teleconference with Finance Minister Steven Menchin.
Mnuchin said more than 700 Iranian companies would add sanctions to sanctions. That said, it would include more than 300 that were not included in previous sanctions.
On Saturday, on the eve of the 1979 US Embassy in Tehran, the Iranian Supreme Leader, he said the Islamic Republic is the "winning party" after nearly 40 years of confrontation with the United States. Ayatollah Ali Halmeni said that despite the US US-led wars against Iran over the last four decades, is the defeated side and the Islamic Republic is the victorious party. "
Hammy said that the United States they did not manage to dominate Iran as it did before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that rejected a pro-Western monarchy. He said the US is weaker than it was in 1979.
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