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Trump Signs Order Reimposing Sanctions On Iran

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By RFE/RL

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the reimposition of major financial sanctions on , targeting currency purchases and key industries three months after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.

In a statement on August 6, Trump repeated his longstanding position that the 2015 accord which provided Tehran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program was “a horrible, one-sided deal.”

The president pulled the United States out of the landmark agreement in May, saying was not living up to the spirit of the accord, and vowed to reimpose economic sanctions that were lifted under the deal.

The United States urged all nations “to make clear that the ian regime faces a choice: either change its threatening, destabilizing behavior and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation,” Trump said in the statement released by the White House.

The reimposition of the sanctions, which take effect at 4:01 a.m. GMT, was widely expected, as U.S. officials had signaled for weeks they were intended to move forward despite vociferous objections from European allies.

In an interview on ian state TV, President Hassan Rohani said the country will stay true to the nuclear deal despite the U.S. sanctions.

“They want to launch psychological warfare against the ian nation and create divisions among the people,” he said in a televised interview.

’s foreign minister, meanwhile, asserted the United States was isolated in its hard-line policy toward Tehran.

“Of course, American bullying and political pressures may cause some disruption, but the fact is that in the current world, America is isolated,” Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by the semiofficial ISNA news agency.

Ahead of the U.S. announcement, the European Union issued a so-called blocking statute aimed at shielding European businesses from the reimposed sanctions. And in a joint statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Britain, and Germany said they “deeply regret” the move.

The deal is “crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world,” it said.

The U.S. measures taking effect on August 7 target ’s automotive sector and renowned carpet-making industry, as well as its trade in gold and other metals. U.S. officials said the ian government would also no longer be able to buy U.S. dollars.

A second batch of U.S sanctions targeting ’s oil sector are to be reimposed in early November.

Senior U.S. administration officials vowed that Washington would aggressively enforce the new sanctions, and they expect the measures to have a significant impact on the ian economy.

“There is no question that these financial sanctions are going to continue to bring significant financial pressure,” an administration official said August 6.

’s economy has rapidly deteriorated in recent months partially due to fears over the imposition of further U.S. sanctions, igniting street protests in many cities due to economic hardships.

Rial Problems July 30 2018

Rial Problems July 30 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters ahead of the White House announcement that the intensified pressure was designed to “push back against ian malign activity.”

He also asserted that the social unrest was an indication of ians’ unhappiness with authorities.

“This is just about ians’ dissatisfaction with their own government, and the president is pretty clear: We want the ian people to have a strong voice in who their leadership will be,” he said.

Administration officials also criticized how ian authorities have responded to the social and labor protests.

“We are deeply concerned about reports of the ian regime’s violence against unarmed citizens,” one official said. “The United States supports the ian people’s right to peacefully protest against corruption and oppression without fear of reprisal.”

Zarif, the iranian foreign minister, tweeted that the U.S. sanctions on were “endangering ordinary ians.”

“Trump Administration wants the world to believe it’s concerned about the ian people. Yet the very first sanctions it reimposed have canceled licenses for sales of 200+ passenger jets under absurd pretexts, endangering ordinary ians. US hypocrisy knows no bounds,” he wrote.

The ian rial has been particularly hard hit on expectations of U.S. restrictions on currency transactions.

ian state TV on August 5 said the country will ease its foreign-exchange rules in a bid to halt the collapse of the rial, which has lost about half its value since April.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Iranians Global Network and Reuters