Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Trump restores Iran sanctions as Rouhani feels economic pressure

Trump restores Iran sanctions as Rouhani feels economic pressure

Trump's withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement in May had already spooked investors and triggered a run on the Iranian rial long before nuclear-related sanctions went back into force.

Those sanctions target financial transactions that involve US dollars, Iran's automotive sector, the purchase of commercial planes and metals, including gold.

The United States also plans to re-introduce potentially more damaging sanctions on Iranian oil in November.

European firms must seek a legal exemption for withdrawing from Iran due to USA sanctions and those failing to do so could be penalized by their governments.

The European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini says the EU is encouraging investors to maintain business ties with Iran to preserve the nuclear deal, despite the U.S. withdrawal.

Iran accused the USA of reneging on the nuclear agreement, signed by the Obama administration, and of causing recent Iranian economic unrest. But that has proven hard: European companies have pulled out of Iran, arguing that they can not risk the prospect of damage to their US business.

Trump's withdrawal from the agreement in May has infuriated European partners who were determined to keep it alive and now find their businesses operating in Iran faced with the threat of U.S. legal penalties.

The two other signatories to the 2015 pact - Russian Federation and China - also continue to support it. "I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less", he added.

"It also forbids European Union persons from complying with those [US] sanctions unless exceptionally authorised to do so by the commission", said spokeswoman Mina Andreeva. He said Iran would simply "batten down the hatches" until the next USA election.

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He also praised the "most biting sanctions ever imposed" and said they would "ratchet up to another level" in November.

"We are always in favour of diplomacy and talks".

In a TV appearance, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani accused Washington of "wanting to launch a psychological war against the Iranian nation". "Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States", he wrote.

Washington accepts that Iran has complied with the terms of the 2015 deal reached under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, but says the agreement is flawed because it is not strenuous enough.

"They've got to behave like a normal country".

He said: "If you stab someone with a knife and then you say you want talks, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife". Its currency the rial has lost nearly two-thirds of its value in six months.

"If Iran were really serious they'd come to the table".

"There will be pressure because of sanctions, but we will overcome this with unity".

"The remaining parties to the JCPOA have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas", the joint statement between the European Union and the E3 highlighted.

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