Sanctions aim to starve Iran of revenue: Pompeo

The U.S. has officially imposed what the Trump administration describes as the "toughest ever" sanctions against Iran, meant to curb Tehran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and contain its growing influence in the Middle East.

The US snapped sanctions back in place on Monday to choke off Iran's oil and shipping industries, while temporarily allowing top customers such as China and India to keep buying crude from the Islamic Republic.

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.

In an interview with "Fox News Sunday", Pompeo refused to reveal which countries received waivers from US sanctions to continue importing Iranian oil.

He also noted that the U.S. has only been isolating itself more and more from the rest of the world by imposing sanctions on Iran.

"America wanted to cut to zero Iran's oil sales.but we will continue to sell our oil.to break sanctions", Rohani said.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said even without the waivers Iran would still be able to sell its oil, semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. The first round of the USA sanctions was reimposed in August.

Oil prices rallied above $85 per barrel in October on fears of a steep decline in Iranian exports.

An Iranian protester burns a dollar banknote during a demonstration outside the former United States embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran on November 4, 2018.

While detailing sanctions on Iran's banking sector, the administration announced the USA will allow transactions for humanitarian purposes.

However, Iran's clerical rulers have dismissed concerns about the impact of sanctions on the economy.

Iran and its allies are seeking a way to defeat USA sanctions, Iran's vice president, Es'haq Jahangiri, said during a meeting on November 6.

The global activities at Bushehr, Iran's only nuclear power station, as well as the Fordow enrichment plant and the Arak heavy water reactor will be allowed "to continue under the strictest scrutiny to ensure transparency and maintain constraints on Iran", the State Department said in a statement.

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

"The US maintains it will do that but actually I think it's speaking slightly with a forked tongue because, although they will sometimes allow pharmaceuticals to get through and not be subject to American sanctions, the banks will not finance such trade and will not process payments".

President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May, and Monday was the deadline to reimpose its sanctions. "Rest assured, Iran will never come close to getting a nuclear weapon on President Trump's watch".

  • Leroy Wright