Trump Admin Permits Iran to Continue Nuclear Work at Secretive Military Sites

Saudi oil output capacity may be close to maxing out

Saudi oil output capacity may be close to maxing out

The United States will exempt China, India and Japan from oil sanctions on Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday, while vowing to be "relentless" in pressuring Tehran.

Iran's vice president Eshaq Jahangiri said the Tehran government hopes to continue exporting oil despite the USA sanctions.

The diplomat suggested that countries were beginning to see through the frequent use of the Iranian threat by the USA and its allies in shaping Middle East policy.

The PM's official spokesman said: 'We regret the reimposition of sanctions by the US.

Iranian state television aired footage of air defence systems and anti-aircraft batteries in two-day military manoeuvres which got under way across a vast stretch of the country's north.

"The shadow of the sanctions has already affected the economy in a disastrous way, people's purchasing power has plunged", said Ehsan Attar in his herbal remedy shop.

"This oversight enhances our ability to constrain Iran's program and keep pressure on the regime while we pursue a new, stronger deal", the administration maintained, hinting at efforts to preserve the landmark nuclear deal that Trump abandoned in frustration over what he described as glaring loopholes that have empowered Iran's global terror operations.

"We are making it abundantly clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior", Mnuchin told reporters.

More than 20 countries had already cut their oil imports from Iran, reducing purchases by more than 1 million barrels per day, he said. The U.N.'s atomic energy agency, which was tasked with monitoring the implementation of the agreement, has certified in multiple reports that Iran is in compliance.

Imposing maximal economic pressure on Iran is vital for getting Tehran back to the table, he said.

Pompeo further said the US has chose to grant "narrow and temporary waivers to permit the continuation of three nonproliferation projects now underway".

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"These exemptions are premised on significant reductions of Iranian oil imports by countries such as China and Turkey when there is minimal evidence of such reductions".

That was evident when the Obama administration attempted to hold up a global embargo on Iranian crude prior to the nuclear negotiations with Tehran. The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted have in USA jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them. China has publicly defied the U.S. call for curbs on oil imports from Iran.

He further stepped up the rhetoric, comparing Iran's situation in the 1980s war against Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein with the current one and Trump's move to reinstate USA sanctions.

The move intensifies a campaign by Trump to force Iran to further limit its nuclear work and halt a missile program, as well as end its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.

Iran said it would defy United States sanctions reimposed on it by Washington on Monday.

"Sagging refining margins at a time of weak crude prices sends a very telling message to us that demand is underperforming", he said.

"We have to make Americans understand that they can not talk to the great Iranian nation with the language of pressure and sanctions", Rouhani said in televised remarks.

Iranian officials, meanwhile, reported a cyberattack targeting the country's communication infrastructure, blaming the purported attack on Israel.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour said in a speech at the Chatham House think tank in London that the SPV was "an interesting procedure, but what is lacking is speed and efficiency".

He said he could not rule out that the USA administration would extend the waivers beyond six months.

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