Iran Sanctions Kick in Monday

Geraldine Edwards
November 5, 2018

The sanctions cover Iran's banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports.

Mr Trump's secretary of state Mike Pompeo has defended the sanctions and heralded them as the "toughest" ever put in place on the country.

They will hit oil exports, shipping and banks, and make it hard to do business with the oil-rich nation. The drill was to continue through Tuesday.

The demonstrations took place on the 39th anniversary of the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, which led to four decades of mutual hostility.

The accord provided Iran with billions of dollars in relief from global sanctions in exchange for sweeping curbs on and inspections of its nuclear program. "Over this 180-day wind-down period, what we have seen is firms and financial institutions have reacted very quickly; likely they had plans on the shelf as there was a snap-back scenario".

However, US leader Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton, the president's national security adviser, have both made public statements supporting the overthrowing of Iran's theocratic government.

But Trump denounced the nuclear deal, approved by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed in Iran's favor and withdrew Washington from the pact in May.

Turkey said on Saturday that Ankara had received initial indications from Washington that it would be granted a waiver, but is awaiting clarification on Monday.

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After initially promising to drive the country to zero exports of oil, the USA has offered a waiver to eight buyers of Iranian crude, a move that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended yesterday. Thank you, President Trump, for this historic move.

What could the impact be? "Iran is a much different country since I terminated that deal".

More than 700 individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft were now on the sanctions list.

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Deputy Commander of Iran's IRGC has issued new threats against the United States, hours before additional sanctions come into play against the Islamic Republic.

The new USA sanctions are expected to hurt Iran's vital oil industry, a crucial source of hard currency for a country already in the grip of an economic crisis.

How have European Union states reacted?

They have promised to support European firms that do "legitimate business" with Iran and have set up an alternative payment mechanism - or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) - that will help companies trade without facing USA penalties. Controversy arose when the sanctions were announced in terms of Iran's access to the SWIFT financial system and its potential to bypass the sanctions through it.

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

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Pakistan is also due to speed up the launch of special economic zones in the country to spur "industrial development". Pakistan is now battling serious economic crisis including balance of payments.

For example, the U.S. does not want to have India and South Korea move geopolitically closer to China, Russia and other competitors and away from its influence.

The oil market ran higher in anticipation of this week's formal re-imposition of sanctions against Iran by the United States, and on concerns that supply from producers like Saudi Arabia would not be able to make up the difference.

Two of the countries have agreed to reduce imports to zero while six others "will import at greatly reduced levels", Pompeo said.

What has the reaction been in Iran?

Iranian students stormed the US Embassy on November 6, 1979, shortly after the Islamic Revolution, taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Hardliners hold protests to commemorate the siege every year but on Sunday, protestors also vented their fury about the sanctions. The turnout figure could not be independently confirmed by Reuters.

However, some Iranians have taken to Twitter to vent their frustration with the regime, with the hashtag #Sorry_US_Embassy_Siege attracting more than 19,000 tweets.

"We are confronting a bullying enemy".

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"Unlike in prior administrations, we will ensure that the money is not spent on illicit activities, that there isn't any leakage in these escrow accounts, and we will work closely with countries to encourage the sale and purchase of humanitarian goods to benefit the Iranian people".

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