Iran Scrambles to Ready Economy for US Sanctions

Iran refuses talks with US under coercion - Xinhua |

Foreign currency values began to rise in Iran after the USA withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May and announced plans for a fresh wave of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Ross said that, while China may still buy Iranian oil, it could ask for a discount; while India may still buy Iranian oil, it may only offer to pay in rupees.

A mechanism has also been opened to allow European Union businesses affected by the sanctions to sue the U.S. administration in the national courts of member states.

It will be an additional 90 days before the rest of the sanctions "snap back" into place in early November.

Starting this week, Washington will reimpose sanctions on Iran's purchases of USA dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals, and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.

Pompeo said it would require "enormous change" by Iran to get out from under renewed US sanctions.

"It's an important part of our efforts to push back against Iranian malign activity", he said.

In a statement, the White House said the first round of sanctions will be reimposed on August 7.

"The United States continues to stand with the long-suffering Iranian people, who are the rightful heirs to Iran's rich heritage and the real victims of the regime's policies", he wrote.

The Trump administration said it would restore sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord at midnight on Monday, ratcheting up pressure on Tehran while worsening a divide with Europe.

Iran's central bank has lifted a ban on exchange offices, allowing them to resume work in a move aimed at bringing in badly needed hard currencies.

The EU announced it would take legal steps to protect EU companies "doing legitimate business in Iran".

Iran acquired five new commercial aircraft on Sunday, a day before the USA begins restoring sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.

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Tehran also agreed in perpetuity to notify United Nations inspectors if and when it builds a new nuclear facility.

Michael Eisenstadt, an expert on Middle Easter security and defense told reporters on the Washington Institute's call that while Iran had talked a big game, it carefully measured its actions to avoid a strong U.S. response.

Iran "has treated its people very poorly, and that's led to terror". China and Russian Federation, the two other signatories to the 2015 agreement, have also said they will defy the US move.

At the time, under then-president Barack Obama, Washington had pledged to waive secondary U.S. sanctions as long as Iran continued to abide by the agreement.

Since then withdrawing from the deal has become a centerpiece of GOP campaigns, including Trump's presidential run in 2016.

The US sanctions do not only target American companies with operations in Iran, such as GE and Honeywell. "We are very intent on using these authorities", a third United States official said, and will "use them aggressively".

A joint statement issued on Monday by the foreign ministers of the EU's 28 member states, including the UK's foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said there was a "determination to protect" the bloc's economic interests and the nuclear deal known as the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), which Brussels, along with China and Russian Federation, continues to support.

"We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the USA, due to the latter's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)", the statement issued in Brussels said.

The collapse of the Iranian rial since Trump declared he would pull out of the nuclear agreement is the best economic indicator of the turbulence ahead.

Iran has its back against a wall and faces economic or military defeat by the USA or a humiliating summit with Trump.

Already, the amount of Iranian crude imports to Korea dwindled by 18-and-a-half percent during the first half of this year from the same period last year to 3-point-3-billion dollars.

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