Open to new deal with Iran

Donald Trump posted this dramatic image on his Twitter account. Pic Donald Trump

Smashing another remnant of Barack Obama's reign and throwing some red meat at red states at the same time, the administration was quick to get out the word that "President Donald J. Trump is reimposing the toughest sanctions ever on Iran, targeting numerous corrupt regime's critical sectors". The world's three largest producers - Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States - all indicated they were pumping at record or near-record levels, while the United States said it would allow waivers that could allow buyers to keep importing Iranian oil, lessening the threat of a supply crunch.

Pompeo said that countries like India, if it gets the exemption, would be asked to bring down their oil imports from Iran to zero in six months' time.

"That's the mission, these sanctions are a part of our effort, and they're already being felt by the Iranian leadership", he said.

But for now, Iran seemed likely to try to endure the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign, she said.

In May, the Trump administration pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with world powers, under which it agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of global sanctions.

The US wants Iran to withdraw from war-ravaged Syria, where the Shiite clerical regime is a key ally of President Bashar al-Assad, and end longstanding support to regional militant movements Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as Yemen's Huthi rebels.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this morning that snapback sanctions on Iran will be "just a part of the US government's total effort to change the behavior of the Ayatollah Khamenei" and the regime in Tehran.

More news: Oil prices pulled down by surging output, but Iran sanctions loom

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued a statement on Saturday, saying the Iranian nation will give President Donald Trump a "slap in the face" through their participation in nationwide rallies to mark the embassy takeover. These sanctions hit at core areas of Iran's economy.

The reimposition of sanctions "is aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues it uses to spread death and destruction around the world", Pompeo said. "We have advised SWIFT that it must disconnect any Iranian financial institutions that we designate as soon as technologically feasible to avoid sanctions exposure". The remaining 20 percent stake in the deal was held by Iranian oil concerns.

Pompeo said the U.S. actions have already taken over a million barrels per day of Iranian oil exports off the market even before the sanctions officially go into effect next week.

The names of more than 700 individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft will be put on the sanctions list, including major banks, oil exporters and shipping companies.

The US has been gradually re-imposing sanctions since it unilaterally withdrew from the agreement, but analysts say this move is the most important because it targets the core sectors of Iran's economy.

Most global sanctions on Iran were lifted in early 2016 under a deal Iran signed with world powers the year before under which it curbed its uranium enrichment programme, widely seen overseas as a disguised effort to develop an atomic bomb.

Iran can then use the payment as credit to buy goods from other countries in the European Union through the SPV.

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