Trump administration officially restores Iran sanctions

US motorists will not welcome any price rise at the pump

US motorists will not welcome any price rise at the pump

The sanctions target Iran's energy, financial and shipping sectors and are aimed at crippling the country's economy following President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Of those added, more than 300 are new designations and the remainder won sanctions relief under the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, from which Trump withdrew the United States in May.

He also stated that over 20 importing nations have already "zeroed out" their crude oil purchases, "taking more than one million barrels of crude oil per day off the market".

Pompeo listed eight places that will enjoy temporary waivers from a ban on all oil transactions with Iran: China, Taiwan, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea and Turkey.

The United States on Monday restored sanctions targeting Iran's oil, banking and transport sectors and threatened more action to stop what Washington called its "outlaw" policies, steps Tehran called economic warfare and vowed to defy.

Many of these companies initially were targeted by sanctions under President Barack Obama, but the restrictions were subsequently lifted when the US struck a deal with Iran in 2015 over its nuclear ambitions.

Diplomats told Reuters last month that a new European Union mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian oil exports should be legally in place by November 4 but not operational until early next year.

"We are making it abundantly clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior", Mnuchin told reporters.

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

"We have the toughest sanctions ever imposed but on oil we want to go a little bit slower because I don't want to drive the oil prices in the world", Trump told reporters on November 6.

Instead, they fell. The global benchmark Brent crude was down 0.25% at $72.65 per barrel on Monday, Price of oil (Brent) has fallen 16% since it reached a high of $86 last month. "Rest assured, Iran will never come close to getting a nuclear weapon on President Trump's watch".

Schiff said, "The Trump administration's unilateral re-imposition of these sanctions will also accelerate efforts to facilitate transactions through alternative financial channels that are not reachable by the U.S. sanctions and into which we will have limited visibility".

Meanwhile, Iran responded to the US's tough new sanctions with air defence drills and confident, confrontational rhetoric.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also commented, saying Iran had a choice.

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".

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