U.S. sanctions on Iran oil officially begins

Khamenei Trump

Those firms include Bank Melli, Arian Bank, Future Bank and the Export Development Bank of Iran.

Mr Rouhani said four countries had approached him during his visit to NY for the UN General Assembly in September, offering to mediate with the USA, but he turned them down.

The accord provided Iran with billions of dollars in relief from worldwide sanctions in exchange for sweeping curbs on and inspections of its nuclear program.

In an interview with "Fox News Sunday", Pompeo refused to reveal which countries received waivers from US sanctions to continue importing Iranian oil.

A first set of sanctions announced August 7 prompted European automakers Daimler and PSA to quit Iran.

Mr Pompeo has said that over 100 big worldwide companies had withdrawn from Iran because of the looming sanctions.

They are reported to include USA allies Italy, India, Japan and South Korea, along with Turkey, China and India.

The US has been trickling out a list of 12 demands Iran must meet if it wants to see sanctions lifted ahead of their reimposition on Monday.

Crowds of Iranians called for "Death to Israel" and "Down to U.S." in a rally to mark the 39th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Israel's defense minister is welcoming newly restored US sanctions against Iran, saying they will deal a "critical blow" to Iran's military presence around the Middle East.

Washington had said it will ensure a well-supplied global oil market, with help from ally Saudi Arabia, as Iran oil is cut back.

"Iran is a much different country than it was when I took office", Trump said.

The measures described by Washington as "the toughest sanctions ever" follow Trump's controversial decision in May to abandon the multi-nation nuclear deal with Tehran.

Senator Rubio has been a strong critic of China on its human rights record and foreign policy, as well as having questioned Trump Administration policy toward it.

Rouhani separately said leaders from "four powers" met with Iran on the sidelines of the September meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to try to save the deal, including brokering a possible meeting with Trump.

Before travelling to a campaign rally for the United States midterm elections, President Trump said Iran was already struggling under his administration's policies.

Pompeo responded by saying that no one would call either himself or President Trump soft on Iran.

France, Germany, Britain and the European Union condemned the move, issuing a joint statement that pledges to protect European companies involved in "legitimate" business dealings with Tehran.

FILE: An effigy of U.S. government icon "Uncle Sam" is held up by demonstrators during a rally in front of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran.

The ghost of U.S. sanctions on Iran seems to have calmed down at least for major energy importing countries like India.

"India said to the U.S. that they can't stop before March, they are facing a major currency crisis", explained Joel Hancock, analyst at Natixis.

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