US reimposes sanctions on Iran; India, China among 8 nations exempted

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United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday stated that the US has reimposed sanctions against Iran and they were an ‘unprecedented campaign of economic pressure’ with the objective to ‘starve’ the Iranian regime of revenue it uses to fund violent actions throughout the Middle-East and around the world.’

The former CIA Director said that ‘specific circumstances’ have warranted temporary allotments to a eight of countries, with China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey being exempted from the sanctions, so as not to disrupt energy markets.

Each of those countries has reduced their oil purchases from Iran and two have completely stopped importing Iranian oil until the sanctions are not lifted, Pompeo said.

Addressing a presser here, Pompeo cited Denmark’s intelligence uncovering an Iranian assignation plot as proof for the need to impose the sanctions and warned Iran to ‘either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble.’

Pompeo further stated that the US hopes ‘an agreement with Iran is possible,’ however, failure to change their ways will invite relentless pressure from the US.

“As a reflection of that resolve, today we’re re-imposing all sanctions that were previously lifted under the nuclear deal. This includes sanctions on energy, banking, and ship-building industries,” Pompeo said.

In May, President Trump withdrew from the deal that his predecessor Barack Obama had reached with Iran, calling it a failure because it addressed only the clerical regime’s nuclear program.

“We hope a new agreement with Iran is possible, but until Iran makes changes in the 12 ways I listed in May, we will be relentless in exerting pressure on the regime,” Pompeo said.

The Secretary of State said that the President Donald Trump Administration has targeted as many as 168 Iranian entities through 19 rounds of sanctions since it came into office in 2016, adding that ‘today’s sanctions will accelerate the rapid decline of international economic activity in Iran since the implementation of our strategy in May.’

Firing warning shots to countries from engaging in business with Iran, Pompeo said, “I promise you that doing business with Iran in defiance of our sanctions will ultimately be a much more painful business decision than pulling out of Iran.”

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.’

Speaking on Iran’s nuclear program, three non-proliferation projects have been allowed to continue, which will improve oversight on the country’s civil nuclear program and ‘make these facilities less susceptible to illicit and illegal nuclear uses.’

“Rest assured, Iran will never come close to getting a nuclear weapon on President Trump’s watch,” Pompeo said. Earlier today, Trump said that the US sanctions levied today are the strongest ever on the country’s shipping, financial and energy sectors.

(With ANI inputs)

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