The US will reimpose on Monday more sanctions lifted under a 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Iran. The reinstated sanctions follow the Trump administration's decision in May to pull out of the global nuclear deal.
Iran's military forces staged war exercises and its president defiantly vowed to "break" USA sanctions on oil sales that were reimposed today, as Tehran resisted a Trump Administration pressure campaign aimed at isolating the country economically.
This means that significant parts of Iran's civilian nuclear program were effectively given a waiver from the U.S. sanctions, imposed on Monday as part of Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said usa "bullying" was backfiring by making Washington more isolated, a reference to other world powers opposed to the initiative. SUBSCRIBE NOW and hit the bell to be the first in the know.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other Administration officials have described the penalties as the "toughest sanctions ever placed" on Iran.
The ministry's spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi, says that Iranians "have experienced more extensive sanctions" and that they are "not a new issue".
He added, "We have iron will to counter sanctions".
However, analysts doubt this will materially lessen the impact of sanctions on Iran.
All of the other signatories have argued the agreement is the best way to ensure Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, and Iranian officials have pledged to remain a party as long as the other non-U.S. parties continue observing it.
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"The Iranian regime has a choice: It can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble", Pompeo said at the press conference.
"We are in the economic war situation".
"We are in a situation of economic war, confronting a bullying power".
The reimposed sanctions will also target Iran's central bank and the country's shipping and shipbuilding sectors.
Pompeo also remarked on President Donald Trump's "sanctions are coming" message, which he tweeted out in the form of a dramatic Game of Thrones-style poster Friday.
The barrel of WTI fell further on Monday after the Iranian President Rouhani said that Iran said it would ignore Washington and continue to sell.
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.
Bolton on Monday said the latest sanctions were only the beginning.
"All eyes will be on Iranian exports, whether there will be some cheating around USA sanctions, and on how quickly production will fall", said Riccardo Fabiani, an analyst for Energy Aspects. The other parties to the deal - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - say they will not leave. "Right now they just want to survive".