Oil market on alert as Iran sanctions hit

Virginia Carson
November 5, 2018

Trump told reporters Sunday as he left the White House for political rallies in the South that the sanctions, which include an oil embargo, are the strongest ever imposed by the United States.

The reimposition of the sanctions comes as the United States is focused on USA congressional and gubernatorial elections on Tuesday.

On Monday, November 5th, the new United States sanctions against Iran take effect. However, he confirmed that eight countries had permission to keep buying Iranian oil for the time being, despite earlier threats of a tough line.

"This loophole allowed millions of dollars to continue to flow to the regime", said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The US side was unmoved.

The Trump administration's decision to restore sanctions "is the sea change the Middle East has been waiting for", he said. Some even showed a smiling silhouette logo of Kentucky Fried Chicken's founder Colonel Harland David Sanders crossed-out, equating the chain once in Iran before the Islamic Revolution to decadent Americanism.

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And Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has greeted the move by ordering air defence drills. He also said the reimposed USA sanctions were part of a psychological war launched by Washington against Tehran, adding that "America's economic pressure on Iran is futile".

"Iranian exports and production had been declining steadily in advance".

In contrast, with the US-EU trade wars toned down, most large EU businesses are cooperating with US sanctions against Iran. "Sagging refining margins at a time of weak crude prices sends a very telling message to us that demand is underperforming", he said.

These sanctions have already had an enormous impact.

While now not threatening to resume higher enrichment, in recent months Iranian officials have made a point to threaten that it could resume at any time faster than before.

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.

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"Iran is a much different country than it was when I took office", Trump said.

Iran's clerically-led government celebrates the embassy takeover every year as a decisive blow against the United States, which had supported the autocratic rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

"We are in a situation of economic war, confronting a bullying power".

Speaking about whether the European Union can help Iran in solving its problems, the expert stressed that the sanctions increase the risks associated with investing in Iran, which leads to a decrease in the credibility of this country at the global level, and the demand for Iran's goods and services decreases.

In all, 700 Iranian entities will be added to sanctions lists on Monday, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Later, a senior State Department official told reporters that that the US was ready for talks with Iran.

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Some 52 Americans were held hostage in the embassy for 444 days and the two countries have been enemies ever since.

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