Mike Pompeo Warns Sanctions on Iran Will Be the ‘Toughest’ Ever

05 November, 2018, 23:37 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Iranian officials are betting on the unstable market conditions to beat US sanctions

"The fact that the USA has exempted eight countries from the sanctions after they threatened to bring Iran oil exports to zero, isn't this a victory for us?"

On late Friday, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said they have information that the United States will grant Turkey a waiver to continue importing oil from Iran after sanctions, but they don't have all the details yet.

The Trump Administration announced additional sanctions on Iran on a teleconference on November 2 led by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

Pompeo said the United States had successfully persuaded over 20 countries to stop or dramatically reduce their oil imports from Iran, causing Tehran's overall sales to suffer by more than 1 million barrels per day. "We're working with other countries to get alternative supplies for countries that are buying and I think that's critical over an extended period of time", he said.

US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear accord earlier this year, calling it the "worst deal ever negotiated".

Iran is already in the grip of an economic crisis.

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"Allowing these activities to continue for the time being will improve ongoing oversight of Iran's civil nuclear program", Pompeo said, "and make these facilities less susceptible to illicit and illegal nuclear uses".

Oil skeptics have been proved right in downplaying sanctions against Iran.

Israel had long opposed the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was too limited in scope and timeframe. "If you wanted negotiations, first of all, the easiest way of doing so would be to actually honor the existing deal and ask for additional negotiations on top of the existing deal", he said.

Iranian state television aired footage of air defence systems and anti-aircraft batteries in two-day military manoeuvres underway across a vast stretch of the country's north.

The other remaining signatories to the nuclear deal - Russia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union - have condemned the U.S. decision, stressing that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirms Iran's full compliance with the accord.

"Trump's bold decision is the sea-change the Middle East has been waiting for", Lieberman said in a statement.

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"But they're not doing very well", he said, referring to the economic setbacks the country has already faced because of an earlier round of US sanctions.

Iran has said it will defy the reimposition of sanctions, which target the country's oil exports and financial transactions.

"Sanctions from the United States will be re-imposed at midnight tonight", Pompeo told CBS's "Face the Nation".

The resumption of sanctions prompted an air defence drill and an acknowledgement from President Hassan Rouhani that the nation was facing a "war situation".

The US expects to have reduced Iranian oil exports by more than 1 million barrels even before Monday's tranche of economic penalties. He said the pressure "is only going to mount from here" unless Iran's leaders halt its support for terrorism and abandon its nuclear ambitions "immediately".

However, the Europeans need to figure out a way to maintain that trade with Iran without enraging the U.S. As reported Monday by the Financial Times, the EU has been preparing a "special goal vehicle" to safeguard that trade, but it's not yet ready.

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