USA unleashes 'toughest ever' sanctions on Iran

USA unleashes 'toughest ever' sanctions on Iran

USA unleashes 'toughest ever' sanctions on Iran

Thousands of Iranians chanted "death to America" at a rally in Tehran yesterday as the country's leaders remained defiant in the last hours before fresh U.S. sanctions came into force.

"In a single move, the United States is dealing a critical blow to Iran's entrenchment in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and Yemen".

The Trump administration is restoring all sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal in a bid to pressure Iran.

Iran reached an agreement with the six world powers including the US and the European Union in 2015, which curtailed its nuclear programme in return for lifting of the global economic sanctions.

Iran exported the equivalent of 2.5 million barrels a day in April before the announcement of sanctions turned buyers away.

Israel had long opposed the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was too limited in scope and timeframe.

Promoted by the Trump administration as the "strongest sanctions in history", the reality of the new restrictions does not match its original hype, according to the BBC.

All of the other signatories - China, the European Union, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United Kingdom - have remained in the deal despite the US action.

The US said the sanctions were not aimed at toppling the Government, but persuading it to radically change its policies, including its support for regional militant groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles. "We very much want to begin work on a new and better deal to replace the insufficient Iran nuclear deal and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is a critical tactic to achieve that goal", Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said.

Rouhani said four countries had approached him during his visit to NY for the UN General Assembly in September, offering to mediate with the United States but he turned them down.

State media reported that "millions" of people rallied in towns and cities across Iran yesterday, swearing allegiance to the clerical establishment and its hardline top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. China, India, Turkey and others in the Middle East and Asia are among Iran's biggest customers and are expected to be among those granted waivers. "The objective of this secretive communication is to give the impression of Iran's willingness to compromise and thus prevent the further deterioration of the relationship with the USA lest the Iran hawks in Washington push for military action".

Mr Pompeo said the countries had already made "significant reductions in their crude oil exports" but needed "a little bit more time to get to zero".

Iranian students stormed the embassy shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Hardliners hold protests to commemorate the siege every year but on Sunday, protestors also vented their fury about the sanctions.

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