USA sanctions on Iran oil officially begins

Eileen GuzmanNov 05, 2018

The move restored USA sanctions that were lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the administration of President Barack Obama, and added 300 new designations in Iran's oil, shipping, insurance and banking sectors.

Washington has indicated that it will increase its pressure on Iran gradually rather than forcing an immediate crisis as President Trump's renewed oil and financial sanctions take effect tomorrow.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was confident Iran will not restart its nuclear weapons program, speaking just a day before Washington is set to reimpose a slew of sanctions on Tehran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued that the new Iran sanctions - going into effect one day before the USA midterm elections - are tough enough to keep the Islamic Republic from pursuing a nuclear weapon.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday that President Donald Trump has "disgraced" United States prestige and would be the ultimate loser from renewing sanctions on the Islamic republic.

"Until then, our historic sanctions will remain in full force", he said, hours after his two Cabinet members, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, announced that the USA would reimpose a series of crippling sanctions on Iran beginning on Monday.

Wallace moved to another point, asking Pompeo if the sanctions are enough, citing the fact that Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) "plan to introduce legislation to cut off Iranian banks from the global financial network known as Swift".

The reimposition of sanctions "is aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues it uses to spread death and destruction around the world", Pompeo said.

He also said Iranian oil exports had dropped by almost one million barrels a day, choking the main source of funding for the country.

He described the sanctions as the "strongest tool" the USA holds, before resorting to military means, to pressure the Iranian regime to adhere to its demands.

They will directly affect companies from third countries doing business with Iran.

The US stance has already inflicted serious pain on Iranians, with the country's currency, the rial, losing more than two thirds of its value since May.

"We have the knowledge and the capability to manage the country's economic affairs", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi told state TV on Friday.

"Iran is a much different country than it was when I took office", said Trump.

A woman holds a picture of Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.

Hours before the fresh sanctions went ahead, thousands of people in Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 hostage-taking at the United States embassy by carrying placards mocking Trump and burning American flags and fake dollars. Its national currency has plummeted over the previous year amid an economic crisis.

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