Friday, 16 November, 2018


US sanctions will not force immediate crisis in Iran

AFP  Atta Kenare AFP Atta Kenare
Conrad Doyle | 05 November, 2018, 17:38

Rouhani insisted on state TV that Iran will "sell its oil and it will sell" despite the crippling sanctions.

The Donald Trump administration's decision to issue waivers also marked a significant reduction from the Barack Obama administration, which issued such exemptions in 2012 to 20 countries over 3 years during last sanctions.

They will hit oil exports, shipping and banks, and make it hard to do business with the oil-rich nation.

Iran's military was also quoted as saying it would hold air drills on Monday and Tuesday to prove the country's defensive capabilities. But there are doubts how successful this will be. "Alternatively, we have asked other Opec countries to help us get our requirement of crude at better terms".

The US will reimpose on Monday more sanctions lifted under a 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Iran.

"We are in the war situation", he said.

Iran has greeted the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions with air defence drills and an acknowledgement from President Hassan Rouhani that the nation faces a "war situation".

Avigdor Lieberman said in a tweet on Monday that the Trump administration's decision to restore sanctions "is the sea change the Middle East has been waiting for". "Right now they just want to survive".

"But they're not doing very well", he said, referring to the economic setbacks the country has already faced because of an earlier round of US sanctions.

The new wave of sanctions, the second since August, will target Iran's energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and financial sectors.

Going after Iran's oil money will hit Tehran where it hurts, but it also means hitting a major pillar of the global oil market - Iran is the OPEC cartel's third-largest producer - with major consequences for world supply. "Sagging refining margins at a time of weak crude prices sends a very telling message to us that demand is underperforming", he said.

Rohani also vowed that Iran will "proudly bypass" US sanctions to sell oil. In addition to hundreds of Obama-era sanctions being reinstated, the measures kicking in on Monday also expand the range of targets for USA punishment.

How do other countries see it?

"The US - and not Iran - is isolated".

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

On the campaign trail late on Sunday, Trump said his "maximum pressure" policy against Iran was working. "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 U.S. lest the Iran hawks in Washington push for military action".

Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the former U.S. Embassy, burning American flags and chanting "Death to America!"

The US sanctions are timed to coincide with the siege of the US embassy on 4 November 1979, which took place soon after the fall of the US-backed shah.

It is 39 years since 52 American citizens were taken hostage and held for 444 days after hardline students stormed the United States embassy.

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