US reimposes tough, unilateral sanctions against Iran

President Rouhani is facing renewed discontent over living standards which are being squeezed under the threat of US sanctions

President Rouhani is facing renewed discontent over living standards which are being squeezed under the threat of US sanctions Atta Kenare

A combination of two pictures shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) on July 22, 2018, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on February 6, 2018.

The newly reimposed sanctions target transactions with US dollar banknotes; trade in gold and precious metals; direct or indirect sales of graphite and metals such as steel and aluminum; certain transactions related to the Iranian rial; certain transactions related to issuing Iranian sovereign debt; and Iran's automotive sector.

The stiff economic sanctions ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic despite statements of deep dismay from European allies, three months after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the global accord limiting Iran's nuclear activities.

The deal, negotiated during the presidency of Barack Obama, saw Iran limit its controversial nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran is accusing the US of reneging on the nuclear agreement, signed by the Obama administration, and of causing recent Iranian economic unrest. Some of the U.S.'s closest allies have signaled they wish to continue trade with Iran, especially when it comes to oil.

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Hailing the law, Mr Burt said it would protect European businesses. Russian Federation and China also signed on to the 2015 deal. The last time Iran was sanctioned, it lost half of its exports, which have now returned to 2.4 million barrels per day.

The sanctions, which take effect at midnight on Monday in Washington, bar transactions with Iran in USA currency, gold, precious metals, graphite, coal and semi-finished metals, as well as large sales of Iranian rials, issuing Iranian debt and auto sanctions.

Brussels says protecting businesses based there is necessary because the sanctions have an "unlawful" reach beyond USA borders.

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

But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was unimpressed by the offer. "Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States", he wrote.

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"If the ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down".

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".

The US today reimposed extraterritorial sanctions on Iran, meaning that foreign companies that do not comply with them could be fined or face being cut-off from the US market. But most Iranians have yet to see major economic improvement, and the prospect that Washington would re-impose sanctions helped drive a collapse in the value of Iran's currency this year, raising the cost of imports. "But if the government has a serious plan they can control the situation".

Many large European firms are leaving Iran for fear of U.S. penalties, and Trump warned of "severe consequences" for firms and individuals that continued to do business with Iran.

The European commission today put in place never-before-used legislation to protects the continent's firms from United States sanctions which not only target Tehran but their trading partners.

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"Most of the companies have already made up their mind, whether it's the German Siemens, the French carmaker PSA, the Danish Maersk - all these companies that have said they don't want to risk losing access to the U.S. market, they don't want to risk losing access to the financing in dollars by USA banks, and also they don't want to lose their United States shareholders".

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