India, China among 8 countries allowed to buy Iranian oil: Mike Pompeo


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country will continue selling its oil and break the second batch of sanctions the United States administration reinstated since President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal in May.

"The last set of sanctions lifted under the bad nuclear deal will come back into force, including powerful sanctions on Iran's energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors, and sanctions targeting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and sanctioned Iranian banks", the president said.

On Friday, Trump said in a statement that the USA remains open to reaching a "new, more comprehensive deal" with Iran that blocks its nuclear-weapons program, saying Tehran faces a choice between "its destructive behavior" or "economic disaster". "Our sanctions regime has very clear exceptions for the sale of food, medicine, and medical devices", he said.

"Constantly they are sending us messages saying, 'Let's sit and negotiate.' Negotiations for what?" said Mr Rouhani.

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

Avigdor Lieberman said in a tweet on Monday that the Trump administration's decision to restore sanctions "is the sea change the Middle East has been waiting for". Iranian oil is a lucrative buy for refiners as the Persian Gulf nation provides 60 days of credit for purchases, terms not available from suppliers of substitute crudes - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Nigeria, and the US.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has welcomed the new package of anti-Tehran sanctions, introduced by President Donald Trump's administration, describing the restrictions as a "critical blow" to the Islamic Republic's position in the region.

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Israel, which considers Iran an existential threat and opposed the deal from the beginning, broadly welcomed the US's exit from the deal and the reimposition of sanctions.

The new American sanctions particularly hurt Iran's vital oil industry, a crucial source of hard currency for its anemic economy.

The Trump administration is restoring all sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal in a bid to pressure Iran.

The United States is re-imposing punitive measures targeting the Iranian oil and financial sectors in what US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called "the toughest sanctions ever placed" against Iran.

They are reported to include U.S. allies Italy, India, Japan and South Korea, along with Turkey, China and India. We've got Brent crude at about the same price it was back in May when the president announced the withdrawal from the JCPOA.

Asked if the United States had firm commitments from India and China to stop all oil purchases from Iran within six months, Pompeo replied: "Watch what we do".

"Iranian exports and production had been declining steadily ..." According to Mnuchin, "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".