U.S. targets Iran with oil sanctions

New U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Go Into Effect

New U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Go Into Effect

Oil prices fell on November 5 as the start of US sanctions against Iran's fuel exports was softened by waivers that will allow major buyers to still import Iranian crude, while Tehran said it would ignore Washington and continue to sell.

Washington in May withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal signed between world powers and Iran under which global sanctions against Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

He also told Fox News Sunday that the eight countries - which he refused to identify - need "a little bit more time to get to zero" in terms of importing Iranian oil and would not rule out the Trump administration extending the waivers beyond six months. They include some of Iran's top oil customers - China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey. The US has granted exceptions to eight countries including big consumers like India and China, which means Iranian oil will keep flowing.

Mr. Trump called the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran the "worst ever" agreement stuck by the U.S. But the other parties to the deal - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - stuck with it. In September, there was no import of Iranian oil, according to the nation's state-run oil agency.

Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would to continue to sell its oil despite Washington's "economic war".

Sanctions are imposed on supplies to the energy sector, on petroleum related transactions with, amongst others, the National Iranian Oil Company, Naftiran Intertrade Company and the National Iranian Tanker Company. The sanctions have been reimposed in stages, with the final set going into effect on Monday.

The first round of the anti-Iran bans - which had been lifted under the accord - were re-imposed in August.

"We'll see what happens with Iran".

"Imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

On Monday, worldwide benchmark Brent crude oil futures were up almost 0.6 percent to $73.23 a barrel and U.S. crude futures were up 0.4 percent at $63.39 a barrel.

Sanctions have already cost Iran billions of dollars in oil revenue since May, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters on a call on Monday.

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

Iran has greeted the reimposition of United States sanctions with air defence drills and an acknowledgement from the president, Hassan Rouhani, that the country faces a "war situation", raising tensions in the Middle East. "We have a plan to counter the new sanctions", he stressed.

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

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