Iran says it can handle fresh sanctions amid unrest reports

Iran says it can handle fresh sanctions amid unrest reports

Iran has also requested European Union nations commit to buying oil from them as part of a deal to remain in the nuclear pact.

The US has told its allies to cut all oil purchases from Iran to zero by November as it prepares to reinstate sanctions against the country.

U.S. President Donald Trump in May pulled his country out of the landmark nuclear deal that provided Iran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Teams of State and Treasury Department officials have been dispatched to Europe and Asia in recent weeks to garner support for the Trump administration's Iran strategy, telling allies that they are expected to cease oil imports from the country, the official said. Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported Tuesday that authorities detained numerous protesters.

Protesters in Iran entered their third day of demonstrations over the country's faltering economy as President Hassan Rouhani claimed it faces "economic war" with the US.

"Their (India and China) companies will be subject to the same sanctions that everybody else's are if they engage in those sectors of the economy that are sanctionable, where there were sanctions imposed prior to 2015". Iran's oil import could emerge as a major topic of discussion between India and the United States during the first 2+2 Dialogue next week. They say purchases must end by November, and the U.S. is unlikely to offer any further exemptions to allow any more purchases. "We are not granting waivers", an official told reporters.

China, which remained in the Iran deal after the US withdrawal, was the largest importer of Iranian oil in 2017.

The US plans to ask other oil producers in the Middle East to help keep supplies steady, the official added.


Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the Iranian petroleum minister, said last week that the country was bracing for the loss of buyers because of new United States sanctions, saying oil majors Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell were among energy companies that have already stopped their purchases. "India has increased oil purchases from Iran to almost pre-2012 levels after sanctions were lifted, and in May 2016 India agreed to transfer to Iran about United States dollars 6.5 billion that it owed for Iranian oil shipments but which was held up for payment due to sanctions", the report said.

It remains unclear who is leading the protests, but analysts say hardliners wanting to challenge Mr Rouhani most likely sparked similar demonstrations last December and into January. The US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last month, and intends to again ban oil purchases. "I don't want to get into the substance of each discussion I've had, but, for a vast majority of countries, they are willing to adhere and support our approach to this because they also view it as a threat". Iranian exports dropped to about 1 to 1.5 million barrels a day during the 2013-2015 period of strong U.S. and European economic sanctions.

Dramatic videos posted on social media showed hundreds of people confronting police in riot gear as traders at Tehran's famed Grand Bazaar shut down their shops in protest.

According to Reuters, Mohammad Shariatmadari, Iran's Industries and trade minister, slapped the import ban on 1,339 goods from overseas, including home appliances, textile products, footwear, leather products, furniture, and healthcare products.

Iran's Supreme leader called on the judiciary to punish those "who disrupt economic security" on Wednesday, following protests earlier this week over the rial's collapse and the prospect of more hardships to come thanks to USA measures against Tehran.

The State Department asserted that there would be no waivers under the new sanctions regime.

"Iranians are exhausted of this situation", the official added.

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