U.S. not anxious about European Union move on sanctions

Iran refuses talks with US under coercion - Xinhua | English.news.cn

Senior administration officials briefing reporters Monday repeatedly tied this new economic pressure campaign to Trump's recent comments about meeting with the Iranian leadership, saying the US wants to talk to reach a new Iran deal.

It will take effect from 00:01 EDT (06:01 CEST) on Tuesday.

US officials said on August 2 that the United States believed Iran had started carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington.

It will enable EU-based firms to recover damages resulting from the USA sanctions.

Foes for decades, the United States and Iran have been increasingly at odds over Iran's growing political and military influence in the Middle East since Trump took office in January 2017.

What are the most important sanctions snapping back at midnight?

As of 0401 GMT on Tuesday, the Iranian government can no longer buy United States banknotes and sweeping sanctions will be imposed on the Middle East country's industries.

The European Union issued a "blocking statute" Monday to protect European businesses from the impact of the sanctions.

Iranian forces might decrease its presence in Syria and even cease it after the situation in the war-torn country normalizes and the fight against terrorism there brings significant results, Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Bahram Qassemi said.

Pompeo said the White House would make an announcement on Monday detailing the reinstatement of some sanctions on Iran.

While en route to OH for a political rally, US President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter on Saturday that "Iran, and its economy, is going very bad, and fast".

"The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal, namely to ensure that the Iranian program remains exclusively peaceful, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 11 consecutive reports", the joint statement reads.

On Monday, Trump called the pact a "horrible, one-sided deal" that failed to block Iran's nuclear aspirations and "threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos".

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Washington has said the only way Iran could avert the sanctions would be to agree to new negotiations to abandon its missile and nuclear programmes.

This no doubt will embolden the hardliners who have a high level of mistrust toward Washington, including the offer a week ago by Trump to hold talks with Tehran.

In exchange, United Nations-approved sanctions were lifted in January 2016, and Iran was allowed to resume trading oil and gas on the global market.

The United States has also been pushing its allies to halt their import of Iranian oil ahead of the November deadline.

By dealing through Putin and not Trump, Iran can save face while it deals with the defeat dealt to it by Trump's withdrawal from the deal, and its own economic incompetence.

The sanctions could torpedo Iran's efforts - at least for the remainder of the Trump administration - to realize its full potential. Foreign companies with operations in both Iran and the U.S., such as the oil giant Total, could also be held liable if they choose to stay in Iran. They have also continued to develop their missile systems, including long-range weapons that put Israel and USA interests at risk.

"Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences", Trump said.

Still, Europe's top diplomats vowed on Monday to work together to preserve the 2015 deal.

The second administration official said Iran's economy was already on a "downward spiral" before Trump made a decision to reimpose sanctions and pointed to Iran's weakening currency, rising unemployment and growing protests across the country as evidence.

The EU and other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, China and Russian Federation, are working to maintain trade with Iran, which has threatened to stop complying with curbs on its nuclear work if it fails to see the economic benefits of relief from sanctions under the deal.

Rouhani fell back on the rhetoric of many of his predecessors by referencing the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overthrew Iran's elected prime minister and cemented the shah's rule.

Meanwhile, hardliners in Tehran are opposed to the idea of talks with the USA despite the collapsing Iranian economy.

The currency's collapse and soaring inflation have sparked sporadic demonstrations in Iran against profiteering and corruption, with many protesters chanting anti-government slogans.

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