Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Pompeo: Sanctions to be enforced until Iran 'behaves like a normal country'

Pompeo: Sanctions to be enforced until Iran 'behaves like a normal country'

President Donald Trump threatened "severe consequences" for those who continue to trade with Iran, as administration officials said Monday that newly re-imposed U.S. sanctions are meant to change the regime's behavior, not topple leaders in Tehran.

Senior U.S. administration officials told reporters on August 6 that the United States supports the Iranian people but is not calling for regime change.

Mr Trump warned that businesses and individuals that continue to work with Tehran risk "severe" consequences.

A senior administration official said that, "our stated policy has not been regime change, it's been to modify the Iranian regime's behavior".

President Donald Trump is aiming to cut off the Iranian leadership's access to resources, senior U.S. administration officials said on Monday.

That accord - negotiated also with the U.K., France, German, Russia and China - suspended USA sanctions in return for limits and regular inspections on Iran's nuclear programs, while allowing the country to continue enriching uranium for peaceful energy purposes.

Speaking at a television talk show on Sunday night, Abdolnasser Hemati said the new package has been endorsed by President Hassan Rouhani's administration in order to control the currency market and allow economic activists to interact freely.

"We're hopeful that we can find a way to move forward, but it's going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime", he said Sunday. "I don't have pre-conditions". The Iranian rial has fallen to 99,000 to the US dollar despite a government-imposed rate of 44,000.

"Since the deal was reached, Iran's aggression has only increased". China and Russian Federation, the two other signatories to the 2015 agreement, have also said they will defy the USA move. "And this is against the nation of Iran and the national interests of Iran".

By exiting the JCPOA, the U.S. is able to protect its national security by applying maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime, he said, adding that so far his administration has issued 17 rounds of Iran-related sanctions, designating 145 companies and individuals.

The re-imposition of USA sanctions on Iran has driven the biggest wedge yet between Europe and Washington. Administration officials say Iran has used funds freed up by the pact to sow instability across the Mideast.

The sanctions now being brought back were among those lifted under the 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran's nuclear program. "We will use them aggressively". And on an urban center of all targets. "You can't negotiate while putting sanctions on Iran, sanctions on Iranian children". The reimposition of sanctions on Iran will have major impact on countries like India, with which it has traditional and historic trade relationship. "U.S. hypocrisy knows no bounds".

The sanctions will be reinstated at midnight Monday, also affecting the sale of graphite, aluminum, steel, and software to and from Iran.

In a joint statement, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain said the remaining parties to the 2015 agreement will maintain "effective financial channels" with Iran and ensure its continued export of oil and gas. "But they need to return to [the Iran nuclear deal]". This is why the European Union's updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of USA extra-territorial sanctions'.

"All remaining USA nuclear-related sanctions will resume effective November 5, 2018".

"This is an important moment for Israel, for the United States, for the region, and for the entire world", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video released moments after Trump signed new sanctions into law.

According to S&P Global Platts, Iranian oil production is already under pressure because of approaching sanctions.

In a statement released Monday, President Trump cast the move to restore sanctions as a means of rectifying what it says is the Obama administration's mistake in agreeing to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

US sanctions against Iran's automotive industry, as well as trade involving gold and other metals, went into effect on Monday after Trump withdrew from the Obama-era nuclear deal in May.

The sanctions that will be reimposed come November include those on Iran's port operators and energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors, any of Iran's petroleum-related transactions, and foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran.

With its oil customers already backing away ahead of the next round of sanctions in November, Iran is facing hard economic challenges.

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