Israel Thanks Trump as Iran Sanctions Take Effect

A Saudi Arabian oil facility

A Saudi Arabian oil facility

Iran on Monday urged the United Nations to hold the United States accountable for reimposing sanctions on Tehran, branding the measures illegal and in violation of a Security Council resolution.

"They're the strongest sanctions we've ever imposed", said President Donald Trump en route to a rally in Georgia on Sunday evening, hours before the sanctions on Iran's energy, shipbuilding and banking sectors kicked in at midnight.

The sanctions end all the economic benefits America granted Tehran for its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, though Iran continues to abide by the accord that saw it limit its enrichment of uranium. The recipients haven't been officially named, but they reportedly include Japan, India - which previously said it wouldn't play ball on the sanctions - and South Korea.

The sanctions aim to significantly cut Iran's oil exports - which have already fallen by around one million barrels a day since May - and cut it off from global finance.

They were opposed by other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal partly brokered by the Obama administration - Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the EU.

The move restored USA sanctions that were lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the administration of President Barack Obama, and added 300 new designations in Iran's oil, shipping, insurance and banking sectors.

Oil prices fell on Monday as USA sanctions against Iran's fuel exports were softened by waivers allowing major buyers to import Iranian crude for a while, while Tehran said it would defy Washington and continue to sell. SUBSCRIBE NOW and hit the bell to be the first in the know.

Under US law, exceptions can be granted for up to 180 days.

The sanctions target Iran's vital oil industry, although major customers such as China and India were given temporary exemptions. That compromise aside, the Swift move is a victory for Iran hawks in the USA administration, such as National Security Adviser John Bolton, who feared the creation of a sanctions loophole.

The effect of the initial sanctions is already being felt -the rial has plummeted, Iran's economy is depressed and the results are evident.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, "Starting today, Iran will have zero oil revenue to spend on any of these things". "They wanted to take over the whole Middle East".

He said the USA sanctions "brazenly, boldly and blatantly' defy and disregard a UN Security Council resolution".

Pompeo said the eight countries exempted have "already demonstrated reduction of Iranian crude over the past six months and, indeed, two of those eight have already completely ended imports of Iranian crude and will not resume as long as the sanctions remain in place". Thank you, President Trump, for this historic move.

"In close coordination with our European partners, we are monitoring developments and examining options on how to protect the economic basis of this agreement and protect our companies", government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

"US bullying is backfiring".

Switzerland said it was holding talks with the United States and Iran about launching a humanitarian payment channel to help food and drugs keep flowing to Tehran.

A senior Iranian official who declined to be identified said Tehran will not yield to pressure to change its policies.

"That's why they want us to round up our missiles".

Among the anniversary events was an exhibition of cartoons in Tehran called "Donald Salman" - a reference to the close ties between the USA president and King Salman, ruler of Iran's regional rival, Saudi Arabia.

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