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US imposes ‘toughest’ Iran sanctions 

Washington, November 5

The US on Monday imposed “the toughest ever” sanctions on a defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime’s “behaviour”.

The sanctions cover Iran’s banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports.

The sanctions follow US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision in May to abandon the 2015 multi-nation nuclear deal with Tehran. President Trump says that he wants to get Iran back to the negotiating table on the nuclear issue. The Trump administration also says it wants to stop what it calls Tehran’s “malign” activities including cyber attacks, ballistic missile tests and support for terror groups in the Middle East.

“I am very confident that the sanctions that will be re-imposed this Monday, not only the crude oil sanctions, that the financial sanctions that are being put in place by the Treasury Department and over 600 designations of individuals and companies in Iran will have the intended effect to alter the Iranian regime’s behaviour. That’s our expectation. It’s the reason for President Trump’s policy,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran, Pompeo asserted are “the toughest ever” on Tehran. 

“They’re aimed at a singular purpose, denying the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorists the capacity to do things like they did this past couple weeks, attempted assassination campaign in the heart of Europe,” he said.

“These sanctions have already had an enormous impact. We’ve already reduced Iranian crude oil experts by over a million barrels per day. That number will fall farther. The handful of countries that have already made significant reductions in their crude oil exports need a little bit more time to get to zero, and we’re going to provide that to them,” he said.

Trump told reporters on Sunday that the sanctions are the strongest ever imposed by the US.

“The Iran sanctions are very strong. They’re the strongest sanctions we’ve ever imposed. We’ll see what happens with Iran, but they’re not doing very well, I can tell you,” Trump told reporters at the White House. 

At an election rally on Sunday, Trump said the Iranian regime now just wanted to survive. 

In May, President Trump had pulled US out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) terming it as “disastrous”. Under the Obama-era deal, involving five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, Iran agreed to stop its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. 

 

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