USA reimposes tough curbs on Iran’s oil, banking industry

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Pompeo announced on Friday that the administration would allow several countries to continue importing Iranian oil beyond its November 4 deadline. At the same time, the United States temporarily exempted eight nations, including Japan, from the sanctions on importing oil from Iran.

Lord Lamont said the sanctions were aimed at bringing regime change in Iran by encouraging "discontent" among Iranian people.

Iran's clerical rulers dismissed the curbs. Its national currency, the rial, has plummeted over the previous year, sending prices for everything from mobile phones to medicine skyrocketing.

Firing warning shots to countries from engaging in business with Iran, Pompeo said, "I promise you that doing business with Iran in defiance of our sanctions will ultimately be a much more painful business decision than pulling out of Iran".

Switzerland said it was holding talks with the United States and Iran about launching a humanitarian payment channel to help keep food and drugs flowing to Tehran. The trade dispute between the U.S. and China threatens growth in the world's two biggest economies and currency weakness is pressuring economies in Asia, including India and Indonesia.

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They include more corporate entities and individuals compared with sanctions imposed on Iran during the tenure of President Barack Obama, Trump's predecessor. "They wanted to take over the whole Middle East".

Earlier Monday, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the new sanctions a "critical" blow to Iran's actions in the region.

A surprise omission was Iraq, which was not granted a waiver because Iran could have bypassed sanctions by mixing its oil with its neighbour's output.

South Korea, one of Asia's biggest buyers of Iranian oil, last week asked the U.S. for "maximum flexibility" after some of its construction firms cancelled energy-related contracts in the Islamic Republic because of financing difficulties.

Pompeo further stated that the USA hopes "an agreement with Iran is possible", however, failure to change their ways will invite relentless pressure from the US.

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Earlier in the day, Zarif said that the fresh round of US sanctions on Iran has failed to cut Tehran's oil exports to zero.

"Allowing these activities to continue, for the time being, will improve ongoing oversight of Iran's civil nuclear program and make these facilities less susceptible to illicit and illegal nuclear uses", said Pompeo.

The only one he identified was in Bushehr, where Russian Federation is building a second unit at an existing nuclear power plant. "Right now they just want to survive".

In August, the European Commission revamped its Blocking Statute, a 1995 law created to help European companies and banks recover damages arising from USA sanctions on third parties.

However, many European companies with a U.S. presence remain cautious about those European tools, whose effectiveness has yet to be tested.

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