Iran erupts as USA oil sanctions return

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

President Donald J. Trump signs an EO on Iran Sanctions in the Green Room at Trump National Golf Club Monday, August 6, 2018, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

The Trump administration has said it is confident that "the toughest ever" sanctions against Iran which came into force on Monday will have the intended effect of altering the Iranian regime's behaviour, even as it dodged a question on whether the United States has firm commitments from India and China to stop all oil purchases from Tehran within six months.

Before travelling to a campaign rally for the U.S. mid-term elections, President Donald Trump said Iran was already struggling under his administration's policies.

The macro reasons are that - unlike with the Obama administration sanctions that had basically unanimous global support - Russia, China and even the European Union, at least in principle, view the Trump US sanctions as a bad faith violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The US side was unmoved. "[Iran] wanted to take over the whole Middle East".

In a Face the Nation interview that aired Sunday, Pompeo told John Dickerson emphasized that "they will be the toughest sanctions ever placed against the Islamic republic of Iran".

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the measures on Saturday, saying Trump had "disgraced" USA prestige and would be the ultimate loser in the long-running quarrel between the countries.

Dr. Peyman Molavi from the Iranian Economic Association, noting that a number of sanctions have already been introduced, said that the new USA sanctions would be more symbolic. The US withdrawal from the nuclear deal has already had a huge effect, including the devaluing of the Iranian rial and oil exports falling by about a million barrels a day.

The US has been gradually re-imposing sanctions, but analysts say this latest round is by far the most significant.

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"All eyes will be on Iranian exports, whether there will be some cheating around U.S. sanctions, and on how quickly production will fall", said Riccardo Fabiani, an analyst for Energy Aspects.

Pompeo maintained that despite the waivers, "these sanctions have already had an enormous impact". Sputnik discussed the sanctions' implications for Tehran with Iranian economic experts.

While now not threatening to resume higher enrichment, in recent months Iranian officials have made a point to threaten that it could resume at any time faster than before.

The PM's official spokesman said: 'We regret the reimposition of sanctions by the US.

That was one of the most ridiculous deals ever made by any country, at any time: "the Iran nuclear deal", he said. "SWIFT is no different than any other entity, and we have advised SWIFT the Treasury will aggressively use its authorities as necessary to continue intense economic pressure on the Iranian regime", said Steven Mnuchin, US Secretary of the Treasury.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday the United States would grant temporary waivers to eight countries to allow them to continue importing oil from Iran after November 5, adding that six of the countries agreed to significantly reduce imports of Iranian oil, while two others plan to halt their imports entirely.

While not threatening to resume higher enrichment, Iranian officials in recent months have said this could resume at any time - and faster than before.

"America's goal in taking all these measures has been to regain the domination it had" prior to Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the pro-Western shah, Khamenei said.

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