New U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Go Into Effect

US motorists will not welcome any price rise at the pump

Some US sanctions were already reimposed on Iran in August, shortly after Washington pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May.

The new American sanctions particularly hurt Iran's vital oil industry, a crucial source of hard currency for its anemic economy. This is unsurprising, as the European Union strongly opposed US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and has always said it would continue trading with Iran. Tehran says the move defies a UN Security Council resolution.

Meanwhile, a trade war between the world's two biggest economies stoked concern that fuel demand would suffer even as U.S. president Donald Trump said he wants to reach a pact with China. "I don't think that in the history of America, someone has entered the White House who is so against law and worldwide conventions", he added.

Hua says: "We regret this decision by the U.S".

Iran is among the countries which the United States is courting for stepped-up sales of the oilseed.

"There is no need for mediation. I don't support this policy, but if you are going down this path, it's a way to lessen the risk of economic blowback in America".

He said more than 20 nations had already cut their oil intake from the Islamic Republic, and its exports had fallen by a million barrels a day.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Madrid that Washington had used "unacceptable methods" to force the SWIFT global financial network to cut off Iranian banks, and that there would be still ways to cooperate economically with Iran.

"An important component of our diplomacy is standing with the Iranian people, they are the longest-suffering victims of the regime's brutality and economic mismanagement".

Rouhani's plan since his election in 2013 was to boost the economy by rebuilding ties with the world and attracting billions of dollars in foreign investment - a strategy that now looks in tatters.

While Baghdad was not granted an oil sanctions waiver, waivers were granted to eight of Iran's top oil purchasers: China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Turkey, Greece and Italy. "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 (up) the oil prices in the world", he told reporters before flying to a campaign event.

One notable exemption was Iraq.

Analysts have debated whether the dip was driven by decreased demand on the global market or whether Iran was exporting roughly the same total volume of crude but moving some 400,000 to 500,000 barrels per day to the black market - shifting a massive infusion of cash to its coffers. "We are only permitting the continuation for a temporary period of certain ongoing projects that impede Iran's ability to reconstitute its weapons program and that lock in the nuclear status quo until we can secure a stronger deal that fully and firmly addresses all of our concerns".

Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of country's military unit in charge of combatting sabotage, said last week that President Hassan Rouhani's cellphone was tapped recently.

In August, the European Commission revamped its Blocking Statute, a 1995 law created to help European companies and banks recover damages arising from USA sanctions on third parties.

"U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)'s action is created to disrupt the Iranian regime's ability to fund its broad range of malign activities, and places unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime to negotiate a comprehensive deal that will permanently prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, cease Iran's development of ballistic missiles, and end Iran's broad range of malign activities", the Treasury statement read Monday.

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