Iranians chant 'death to America' on eve of biting sanctions
05 November, 2018, 23:36 | Author: Angel Logan
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo defended the temporary waivers granted to eight countries to continue buying Iranian crude oil for now against Congressional critics and others who say the U.S.is being too lenient on the Islamic Republic.
Hours after sweeping sanctions were reimposed following the United States withdrawal from a denuclearization deal, Pompeo said eight countries would be at least temporarily exempt from the ban on buying Iranian oil due to special circumstances or so as not to disrupt energy markets.
National Security Advisor John Bolton said the USA is not going to give permanent waivers to any country and the aim of the Trump administration is to drive the Iranian oil exports to zero.
Trump has long argued that the 2015 nuclear deal is badly flawed, in part because its provisions would expire in 10 to 15 years and partly because it does not adequately constrain Iran's destabilizing behavior in the region.
Iranian leaders and particularly IRGC officials often make threatening remarks about the US and its allies in the region.
Thousands of Iranian students have been chanting "death to America" at government organised rallies on the eve of new sanctions.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani responded early on November 5 by saying in a speech on state TV that Iran is facing a "war situation".
While the sheer number of people and entities sanctioned is larger than ever, many Middle East experts believe they will be less effective than the United Nations sanctions in place before the deal.
Some of the banks designated on Monday have served as "financial conduits" for the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, according to the USA government.
Iran has greeted the re-imposition of USA sanctions with air defense drills and an acknowledgement from President Hassan Rouhani that the nation faces a "war situation".
The administration also granted eight countries a six-month exemption from penalties for buying Iranian crude.
This is where the new Iran sanctions collide with separate global tensions, over trade.
Last year, Iran was the sixth-biggest oil exporter in the world.
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And Pompeo said that any Iranian banks involved in "sanctionable behaviour will be sanctioned by the Department of Treasury, period, full stop".
The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them. Trump, however, said it was a "terrible deal", canceled it, and re-imposed sanctions in May. "I think this is going to cut into Iran's ability to continue their nuclear program, the financed terrorism, and to engage in military activity around the Middle East, and I think we're already seeing that", Bolton said.
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Iran is heavily dependent on its exports of oil, and renewed sanctions, if effective, would hit the economy hard. Of course, what they have said is they want these countries to reduce their import of Iranian oil.
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