EU, E3 condemn new US sanctions on Iran

Donald Trump and Iran President Hassan Rouhani. —AFP

Donald Trump and Iran President Hassan Rouhani. —AFP

Trump was, of course, referring to reimposing sanctions against Iran that had been lifted as part of an Obama-era nuclear agreement.

Iranians suffered a great deal under the sanctions that were lifted by the nuclear deal in July 2015; they are not ready for a new round of sanctions that Trump has promised will be tougher and more painful than before.

Last year, Taiwan imported 4 million barrels of oil from Iran, or 2.86 percent of its total imports, which would drop by half during the current year, according to CPC.

"We have committed to work on ... the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas", it said.

The late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, hailed the takeover as a "second revolution" after the 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled the Shah of Iran, who was a close ally of the USA in Iran.

Harrell said the administration was concerned not to drive up the oil price with its sanctions against Iran. Both Turkey and Iraq have announced that they have been notified they will be exempted from the sanctions.

The United States will also add 700 individuals and entities to its Iran blacklist and pressure the global SWIFT banking network to cut off Tehran when the sanctions are put back in place next week, USA officials said.

But the Trump administration ultimately seeks to squeeze Iran's sales towards "zero" - potentially leaving a gap that even major producers like Saudi Arabia would struggle to fill.

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Iranian state media claimed millions of people had turned out for rallies in most cities and towns around the country - a figure that has not yet been independently verified.

Washington will reapply far-reaching sanctions on Iran's petroleum and banking sectors starting on Monday.

Meanwhile, Iranian state television reported that the Islamic Republic had started production of the locally-designed Kowsar fighter plane for use in its air force.

He said those countries, which other officials said would include USA allies such as Turkey, Italy, India, Japan and South Korea, had made efforts to eliminate their imports but could not complete the task by Monday. South Korea, Japan and India are expected to get a reprieve, however, and possibly China.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions were "aimed at fundamentally altering the behaviour" of Iran.

It is part of efforts by Iran and its customers to keep oil flowing ahead of a new United States embargo set to hit on Monday. Moreover, the USA needs India's help to deal with Afghanistan problem and with sanctions in place the entire efforts would be derailed.

What's the point?Oil is big business in Iran, with exports accounting for more than a tenth of gross domestic product in 2017.

Eight countries will be able to continue importing Iranian oil at lower levels in order to avoid upsetting global crude markets when the sanctions take effect on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the other U.S. officials said. The European Union, in contrast, has reaffirmed its commitment to the deal.

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