Iran Vows to Defy Reimposed U.S. Oil, Financial Sanctions

AFP  Atta Kenare

AFP Atta Kenare

South Korean refiners have reduced their oil imports from Iran since the USA pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a nuclear deal with Iran, in May. In fact, Iran's oil exports may go up and not down this month, according to RT's Boom Bust. Gholamali Khoshroo called on Antonio Gooteresh to uphold the rule of law.

"We will proudly break the sanctions", Rouhani said Monday, calling them "unfair" and "against the law, United Nations resolutions, and worldwide accords". Mohammad Javad Zarif has, however, said Tehran will be open to talks with the USA if Washington changes its approach to the nuclear deal.

While stepping up its "maximum pressure campaign" against the Iranian government, President Donald Trump's administration temporarily exempted "eight jurisdictions", apparently including Japan, from the USA -led ban on Iranian oil imports.

Iran's energy, shipping and banking were the sectors which came under the "toughest sanctions ever" by the Trump administration on Monday.

The sanctions are created to push Iran's exports to zero. "We have the toughest sanctions ever imposed but on oil, we want to go a little bit slower because I don't want to drive the oil prices in the world", he told reporters.

Democratic Senator Tom Udall, who is also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "Led by people like John Bolton, who believe that we should bomb Iran, I fear the Trump administration is marching toward another catastrophic war in the Middle East".

The United States says the sanctions are not aimed at toppling the government but at persuading it to radically change its policies, including its support for regional militant groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles.

They cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, national flag carrier Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, according to a US Treasury statement. Other parties to the deal, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation, have said they will not leave the deal.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed penalties on more than 700 Iranian and Iranian-linked individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels in the new sanctions.

The US granted the waiver to eight countries, including China and India, the biggest buyers of Iranian oil, to keep crude oil prices stable.

Pompeo announced on Friday that the administration would allow several countries to continue importing Iranian oil beyond its November 4 deadline. All of them lobbied heavily to be granted the six-month exemptions while promising to further reduce or end their imports and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the waivers were based on the specific circumstances of each and the need "to ensure a well-supplied oil market".

When asked about his decision to give temporary exemptions to eight countries from the ban on Iranian oil imports, Trump said, "I'm not looking to be a great hero and bring it down to zero immediately".

China is the single-largest importer of Iranian oil and forcing it to look elsewhere to fuel its dynamic economy would likely have rocked the market. Imposing maximal economic pressure on Iran is vital for getting Tehran back to the table, he said.

"Banks, with all their power, and by using their experience in the previous round of sanctions, should take steps to preserve and support the foreign trade process and financial transfers", he said.

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