Israel Thanks Trump as Iran Sanctions Take Effect

Iranian Crowds Chant 'Death To Israel,' 'Down With U.S.'

Iranian Crowds Chant 'Death To Israel,' 'Down With U.S.'

Israel has been a fierce opponent of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal from which the US withdrew this year, saying the deal didn't rein in Iran's regional military activities.

The United States said on Friday it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil.

The administration's strategy is to punish Iran so severely that it's compelled to negotiate a permanent end to its nuclear ambitions, as well as what the USA calls its "malign behavior" in the Middle East.

The sanctions reimposed today are the largest ever single-day action targeting the Iranian regime, the U.S. Department of the Treasury said in a statement, noting that the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned more than 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels.

Senior Iranian officials have dismissed concerns about the impact to its economy.

Among events held on the embassy anniversary was a cartoon exhibit called "Donald Salman" - a reference to the close ties between the US President and King Salman, ruler of Iran's arch-rival for regional predominance, Saudi Arabia.

The US decision to re-introduce sanctions against Iran is absurd and risky in its consequences, Mikhail Ulyanov told Sputnik. "We are in the economic war situation". They wrote the government has "no powers to force commercial banks" to do business with Iran.

"We are in the economic war situation".

"The decision made by the United States is absurd and very unsafe in its consequences as it derails one the most important global agreement approved by the UN Security Council", Ulyanov said. We are confronting a bullying enemy.

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That is why we are increasingly positive on the expectation of reaching a deal", he said at a conference in London today.

Iranian state media said millions turned out in towns and cities, swearing allegiance to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, although the BBC was unable to independently verify this figure.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China's lawful trade cooperation with Iran should be respected, and expressed regret at the re-imposition of sanctions. The Europeans have mounted a drive to save the agreement without the United States, fearing that the new sanctions will drive Iran to pull out and resume all of its nuclear work'.

Asked if the United States had firm commitments from India and China to stop all oil purchases from Iran within six months, Pompeo replied: "Watch what we do". As long as Iran met its obligations under the deal, Britain would be committed to it too.

Bloomberg reported earlier that India, Japan and South Korea were said to be among those approved for waivers, and China - a major importer of Iranian oil - was in discussions on terms but was among the eight countries getting exemptions.

While not threatening to resume higher enrichment, Iranian officials in recent months have said this could resume at any time - and faster than before. But Brent crude was steady at $72.83 by 1230 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 35 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $62.79 a barrel.

Iran's oil exports have already dropped by almost one million barrels per day since President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA and reimposed the first round sanctions, putting the squeeze on a sector that accounts for around 60 percent of the country's overall budget. In granting waivers, Washington is trying to ensure that global oil prices don't spike, especially in the middle of the US election season. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that as of this week, "maximum pressure on Iran will be fully in place". He wouldn't say whether India and China are getting waivers, or if they'd delivered commitments to stop their purchases. "Right now they just want to survive".

To keep the deal alive, the remaining parties to the Iran accord are trying to maintain trade with Tehran, despite skepticism that this is possible.

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