US reimposes 'Toughest ever' sanctions, destroys Iran's economy
Washington: United States has come down harsh on reimposing punitive measures against Iranian oil and its financial sectors. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo termed it “the toughest sanctions ever placed” against Iran by US.
The US sanctions have already damaged Iran’s currency, the rial, as oil is Iran’s main source of income. The Iranian currency has declined more than two third of its value since May.
Taking effect on Monday, the measures will directly affect companies from third countries in business with Iran.
“Sanctions from the US will be reimposed at midnight tonight,” Pompeo told media.” He also said Tehran must change its “terror regime.”
Though the US has granted temporary relief to eight countries including India and China, to continue importing oil from Iran.
Replying to a question asked if the US had firm commitments from India and China to stop all oil purchases from Iran within six months, Pompeo said, “Watch what we do. Watch as we’ve already taken more crude oil off the market than any time in previous history.”
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned US’s measures on Saturday, saying Trump had “disgraced” US prestige and would be the ultimate loser in the long-running quarrel between the countries.
An analyst for Energy Aspects, Riccardo Fabiani said, “All eyes will be on Iranian exports, whether there will be some cheating around US sanctions, and on how quickly production will fall.”
Iranian oil exports have seen decline of about a million barrels a day, though India and China have continued to purchase it. Most Europeans, as well as Japan and South Korea, have stopped buying oil from Iran.
It is to be mentioned that Saudi Arabia is the only country with the capacity to make up for lost Iranian oil production.
Hours before the fresh sanctions was imposed, thousands of people in Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 hostage-taking at the US embassy by carrying placards mocking Trump and burning American flags and fake dollars.
Trump has been accusing Iran for so long for the 2015 nuclear deal, as it is badly flawed. Moreover, because its provisions would expire in 10 to 15 years and partly because it does not adequately constrain Iran’s destabilising behaviour in the region.
Trump’s decision was widely criticised abroad and at home, who said that whether imperfect, the pact had placed the Iranian nuclear programme under the tightest scrutiny ever.
The US Treasury Department is also planning to place more than 600 Iranian individuals and entities on a blacklist while imposing crude oil sanctions.
Pompeo also said that any Iranian bank involved in “sanctionable behaviour will be sanctioned by the Department of Treasury, period, full stop.”
Reportedly, Iran is turning off its transponders to avoid detection while exporting crude oil but satellites have continued to track them.