Rouhani says Iran will break U.S sanctions

Marco Green
November 7, 2018

The imposition of sanctions is part of President Donald Trump's wider attempt to force Iran's hand on its nuclear and missile programs.

"Cooperation has its own limits and frames - on the JCPOA we have been cooperating and we have been abiding with the regulations, but Iran can not have both sanctions and cooperation together".

Amid ample supply, top crude exporter Saudi Arabia has cut its December price for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by 10 cents per barrel versus November to a premium of $1.60 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, state oil company Saudi Aramco said on Monday.

The measures bring back bans on the purchase of Iranian oil, which is a major part of the country's economy.

"We continue negotiations to get all of the nations to zero", he said.

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

"With the oil, it's very interesting. But I don't want to do that", he said.

The sanction waiver was created to maintain global oil price stability.

"We will make sure that humanitarian transactions are really going for those purposes", said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Japan and South Korea were previously reported to have fully ceased oil purchases from Iran. Currently, India pays its third largest oil supplier in euros using European banking channels.

President Rouhani said Iran would "continue to sell oil".

That compromise aside, the Swift move is a victory for Iran hawks in the USA administration, such as National Security Adviser John Bolton, who feared the creation of a sanctions loophole. They therefore hope for a Republican loss in the midterm elections, working under the assumption that if the Democrats manage to regain control of at least one house of Congress, Trump would have a hard time governing and would have to invest a lot more efforts into passing budgets, laws and decisions. The legislation also implies that European courts could nullify USA decisions regarding sanctions.

The United States is reimposing sanctions that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear activities.

The US Treasury imposed penalties on more than 700 Iranian and Iranian-linked individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels in the new sanctions.

"In May, President Trump had pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 landmark JCPOA terming it as disastrous".

The US wants to shut down Iran's crude oil exports with the embargo. The sanctions are far-reaching, but eight countries have been granted temporary waivers to buy Iranian oil, including China and India. The U.N.'s atomic energy agency, which was tasked with monitoring the implementation of the agreement, has certified in multiple reports that Iran is in compliance.

Mr Pompeo said more than 100 global companies had withdrawn from Iran because of the looming sanctions.

Three of the eight waiver recipients - Greece, Italy and Turkey - are members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

He said he could not rule out that the US administration would extend the waivers beyond six months.

Ellen R. Wald, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council think tank's Global Energy Center, noted reports of ghost ships "turning off [their tracking devices] for longer periods" and paving the way for ship-to-ship oil transfers and cash sales on the high seas without worldwide detection. For some waiver recipients, domestic concerns were paramount. "Today the USA is executing on the final actions to withdraw from the Obama administration's fatally flawed Iran deal", Mr Mnuchin said. That first round of renewed sanctions reduced Iran's oil exports by a third from when USA sanctions were lifted in 2015 as per the JCPOA agreement, according to an earlier Middle East Eye report. Some leading Iran hawks appeared to agree with the administration's approach.

"There are a lot of questions about the sanctions, about waivers", said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

She also said China stood with those nations that have vowed to keep the agreement alive despite the USA withdrawal, and said Iran has been "strictly fulfilling its obligations" under the accord.

The measure announced on Monday was "interim" and only allowed the continuation of the three non-proliferation projects "under the strictest scrutiny to ensure transparency and maintain constraints on Iran" Efe quoted the State Department as saying.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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