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Pompeo confident Iran will not restart nuclear program as U.S. reimposes sanctions

Pompeo confident Iran will not restart nuclear program as U.S. reimposes sanctions

The measures target Iran's vital energy and banking sectors.

Washington has indicated that it will increase its pressure on Iran gradually rather than forcing an immediate crisis as President Trump's renewed oil and financial sanctions take effect tomorrow.

He said: "America wanted to cut to zero Iran's oil sales but we will continue to sell our oil to break sanctions".

In 2012, South Korea received a waiver on U.S. sanctions by importing limited amounts of Iranian oil during the previous round of sanctions that were lifted in early 2016.

Rouhani said in a the meeting on Monday: "I announce that we will proudly bypass your illegal, unjust sanctions because it's against worldwide regulations".

He spelled out U.S. plans to the terrorist MKO organization at a Paris conference previous year, although he later backtracked, saying government change was "not American policy".

Rouhani pledged to government officials in his remarks that Iran would overcome the U.S. embargo.

Iran's economic chaos sparked mass anti-government protests at the end of past year which resulted in almost 5,000 reported arrests and at least 25 people being killed.

Iranian state television aired footage of defense drills taking place in the country's north through Tuesday as President Hassan Rouhani said the nation faces a "war situation" against a "bullying enemy". He has issued a list of 12 demands that Iran must meet to get the sanctions lifted, including an end to its support for terrorism and military engagement in Syria and a halt to nuclear and ballistic missile development. "There is a clear loss of revenue coming from a significantly reduced sale of oil", said former ambassador Dennis Ross, a counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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The US has been gradually re-imposing sanctions, but analysts say this latest round is by far the most significant. For now no other countries, including China, would be part of it, although that could change over time.

"The Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s pushed Iran to go for self-sufficiency on the production of conventional weapons".

The oil market ran higher in anticipation of this week's formal re-imposition of sanctions against Iran by the U.S., and on concerns that supply from producers like Saudi Arabia would not be able to make up the difference.

As NPR's Colin Dwyer reported recently, "Since May, when President Trump vowed to unilaterally pull the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, his administration has telegraphed its intentions to restore the sanctions that had been lifted as part of the pact".

"Constantly they are sending us messages saying 'Let's sit and negotiate.' Negotiations for what?" said Rouhani.

Iranian officials have characterized the sanctions as an economic war.

Acclaimed British journalist Peter Oborne believes the strategy is doomed to failure, and will likely end in humiliation for the US. But Iranian people do not think like mullahs.

Bloomberg News reported that China was negotiating to continue purchasing Iranian oil under an SRE, and that similar agreements were already reached with Japan, India, and South Korea (citing a senior administration official and other anonymous sources). The waiver would be granted for six months period and then would be re-evaluated by the United States, Special US Representative on Iran, Brian Hook told reporters.