Iran: China "pivotal" to salvaging its nuclear deal

Arturo Kim
August 6, 2018

As the Trump administration readies to re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted by the Obama administration under the nuclear deal, American allies fear greater regional instability. United Nations inspectors said Iran was complying with the deal, but Trump felt the agreement did not go far enough.

In May, the United States pulled out of a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which global sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

"The president is trying to find a way to move forward, but it's going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime", Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said Sunday.

In short, Trump withdrew from the Iran deal, likely imposed tremendous cost and stress on Tehran's economy, and Iran has responded by staying in the deal and trying to portray itself as a good actor worthy of the world's support against United States hegemony.

But Trump and hawks in his administration, such as Pompeo and national security advisor John Bolton, were determined to put Iran back on a blacklist that will harm its economy.

Sanctions will also be reapplied to US imports of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs and on certain related financial transactions.

Countries affected by US sanctions and account freezes - such as Iran, Russia, and Venezuela - have long sought solutions to their woes by weaning themselves from the USA dollar.

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US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal in May.

Dubowitz, who noted that Iran has tested fewer missiles of late, said Trump's rhetoric and position on Iran actually lowers the risk of escalation toward conflict. The sanctions targeting Iran's oil industry could cut off a crucial source of hard currency.

The agency reported all protests had taken place without official permission and were subsequently broken up by police.

US sanctions targeting Iranian trade in automobiles, gold and other key metals will be re-imposed on Monday, while sanctions targeting the country's energy and banking sector will resume November 4.

Senior Iranian officials have warned the country would not easily yield to a renewed US campaign to strangle Iran's vital oil exports. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said in a press conference that the United States has to have respect for Iran and worldwide law in order for dialogue to occur, according to IRNA news agency.

The president also issued an all-caps threat to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last month, warning him not to threaten the USA or "YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE". Authorities reported the first fatality among protesters, with the shooting of a man in Karaj, west of Tehran.

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