EU, E3 condemn new US sanctions on Iran

AFP  Getty Images

AFP Getty Images

"The other six will import at greatly reduced levels", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. Any country importing Iranian oil that does not receive a waiver will be subject to USA financial penalties.

Pompeo said the president is "trying diligently to get our foolish immigration laws changed", and that "many of the challenges we face today with illegal immigration are because we have a set of rules, a set of laws that don't allow us to fully secure that southern border".

Pompeo said the countries agreed that the payments for the oil will go into offshore accounts that Iran will only be able to tap for "humanitarian trade, or bilateral trade in non-sanctioned goods and services". "The last set of sanctions lifted under the awful nuclear deal will come back into force, including powerful sanctions on Iran's energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors, and sanctions targeting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and sanctioned Iranian banks", the President said. "We now have in place the toughest ever sanctions on a corrupt regime in Iran", Trump told his supporters at an election rally in West Virginia.

"Instead", he said, "they are blowing up an agreement that supports US interests and the aspirations of the Iranian people while planting the seeds for a disastrous war".

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defended the decision not to demand an entire cut-off of Iran from the Brussels-based SWIFT global financial network from criticism by anti-Iran deal activists.

Such is the dominance of the United States in global trade, that even the announcement of the renewed sanctions has been enough to trigger a wave of worldwide companies pulling their investments out of Iran, and its crude oil exports have been falling. In a joint statement from the European Union high representative and foreign ministers of France, Germany, and they United Kingdom, they say they "deeply regret the further re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S".

Already it seems that Oman is involved in back-channel negotiations between Tehran, Washington and Tel Aviv to address concerns such as the presence of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria, and Iranian support for the Houthi militias in Yemen.

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The Doing Business report is published by World Bank , which measures the performance in ease of doing business in 190 countries. The latest reform initiatives included electronic submission of documents and upgrading of port infrastructure.

The sanctions, which take effect on November 5, hit Iran's financial, shipping and energy sectors.

Tehran sold oil to private buyers through its energy exchange for the first time on October 28, as part of efforts to counter the imminent return of sanctions.

Part of the explanation lies in the ambiguous position of the United States, which initially insisted that the sanctions were created to reduce Iranian exports to zero barrels, but has since has softened its position.

As parties to the JCPOA, we have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas.

Most global sanctions on Iran were lifted in early 2016 under a deal Iran signed with world powers the year before under which it curbed its uranium enrichment programme, widely seen overseas as a disguised effort to develop an atomic bomb.

Meanwhile, Iranian state television reported that the Islamic Republic had started production of the locally-designed Kowsar fighter plane for use in its air force.

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