Iran to sell oil, defy US sanctions, says Rouhani

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

India and South Korea do not border Iran, but they both rely heavily on its oil and they are important countries to overall U.S. interests.

The Trump administration's decision to restore sanctions "is the sea change the Middle East has been waiting for", he said.

However, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and National Security Adviser John Bolton both have made public statements supporting overthrowing Iran's theocratic Government.

US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the pact in May despite objections from close allies in Europe.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending the Trump administration's reimposition of sanctions against Iran from conservative critics who argue more should be done to isolate the country.

Trump said the deal, approved by predecessor Barack Obama, was weak and flawed in Iran's favour.

The renewed sanctions are designed "to paralyse (Iran's) economy and keep it backward".

All of the other signatories - China, the European Union, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United Kingdom - have remained in the deal despite the USA action. "Sagging refining margins at a time of weak crude prices sends a very telling message to us that demand is underperforming", he said.

Kahwaji said the sanctions' primary objective is to get Iran to return to negotiations and agree to a new treaty, whereby it would restrict its ballistic missile program and remove the so-called sunset clause for its nuclear program.

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The students believed the United States would launch a counter-coup to return deposed shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power - similar to the CIA-backed coup that overthrew Iran's elected government in 1953 - unaware that the king was already critically ill with cancer.

In addition, the Brussels-based Swift network for making worldwide payments is expected to cut off links with targeted Iranian institutions, isolating Iran from the global financial system. They could upset world oil markets, though the United States has granted temporary waivers to eight jurisdictions to continue importing Iranian oil.

"The Iranian people will prove to them how loyal they are to their Supreme Leader (Khamenei) and that they will never abandon him".

What has the reaction been in Iran?

With Iran's major oil importers not being affected by the sanctions, it's not really hurting them all too much even if said exemptions are to be temporary.

To continue exporting crude oil, Iranian tankers in recent weeks have been turning off their transponders to avoid detection.

It is 39 years since 52 American citizens were taken hostage and held for 444 days after hardline students stormed the U.S. embassy.

Hardliners hold protests to commemorate the siege every year but on Sunday, protesters also vented their fury about the sanctions.

One user tweeted in English: "Over the past 40 years, the Islamic regime of Iran tried to present the U.S. and Israel as Iran's enemies. Act on your commitments, and we will sit and talk", he said.

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