USA imposes raft of stringent sanctions on Iran

The renewal of sanctions on the Islamic republic comes at a time of major supply disruptions in several producer nations and as US President Donald Trump aims to prevent an oil price hike

Under the Obama-era deal, involving five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, Iran had agreed to stop its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

"We are in the war situation", President Hassan Rouhani said in a television address as the sanctions snapped into place. "We clearly expressed our stance about the USA sanctions".

US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo said these countries have shown significant reduction in oil purchase from Iran.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey, one of those countries, would not abide by the sanctions, which he said were "aimed at unbalancing the world". But there are doubts about how successful this will be. "We continue negotiations to get all of the nations to zero".

However, the Europeans need to figure out a way to maintain that trade with Iran without enraging the U.S. As reported Monday by the Financial Times, the EU has been preparing a "special objective vehicle" to safeguard that trade, but it's not yet ready.

In addition to the oil exemptions, Pompeo said limited waivers had been issued to allow European and other firms to continue conversion work on three of Iran's nuclear facilities.

"This is actually what America is trying to do - to encourage discontent that they hope will be taken out on the Iranian government and lead to a change in regime there".

US officials did not immediately make an announcement as the sanctions took force in the early morning hours of November 5, part of Washington's effort to ramp up pressure on Tehran to "change its behavior" and end what the United States says is its "malign" activities in the region.

The US and Iran have been arch-foes since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

The benefited sites was built underground to protect against military attack.

. Iran denied being behind that attack.

According to a report by the US State Department, since 2012, Iran has spent $16bn on proxy groups in the region as well as support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Iranian official insisted the country had cooperated fully in the implementation of the JCPOA, but could not tolerate having to abide by the agreement but also endure sanctions.

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What could the sanctions' impact be?

This time, however, the USA sanctions are stoking up global tensions to a more severe degree.

Countries that continue to import Iranian oil and do not have a USA waiver risk U.S. sanctions forbidding Americans from doing business with their companies and cutting off access to the United States financial system.

The Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service said on Monday it is suspending some unspecified Iranian banks' access to its messaging system in the interest of the stability and integrity of the global financial system.

Taiwan is among eight nations granted a temporary waiver to continue to import Iranian oil on November 5, as the US rolled out a host of sanctions impacting Iran's energy, financial, shipbuilding, and shipping sectors.

India welcomes the United States decision to grant it a waiver from the anti-Iranian sanctions following intense six-month negotiations, a source from the Indian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party leadership criticised Trump for giving exemptions to some of the major Iranian oil importers. Taking on the running of the country under these conditions could be a poisoned chalice for him and for the hardliners he supports.

How do other countries see the sanctions?

They have set up an alternative payment mechanism - or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) - that will help companies trade without facing United States penalties.

He said the Iranian economy was struggling because of the government's "negligence of its own people".

"It is about Europe also: we all know what they think about Europe, even about their allies". "We are only permitting the continuation for a temporary period of certain ongoing projects that impede Iran's ability to reconstitute its weapons program and that lock in the nuclear status quo until we can secure a stronger deal that fully and firmly addresses all of our concerns".

Israel - Iran's long-time foe in the Middle East - called the move a "courageous, determined and important decision".

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