China, Japan, India among those exempt from Iran oil sanctions, says US

The renewal of sanctions on the Islamic republic comes at a time of major supply disruptions in several producer nations and as US President Donald Trump aims to prevent an oil price hike

On Monday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on his official twitter account slammed US defiance to the worldwide conventions.

"Moscow will do everything it can to preserve and expand global trade, economic and financial cooperation with Iran despite the U.S. sanctions", the state-run TASS news agency declares, citing the Russian foreign ministry.

"The Iranian regime has a choice: It can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble", Pompeo said at the press conference.

Among the targets are 92 entities owned or controlled by Ghadir Investment Company, which the U.S. government had previously identified as an investment firm with ties to the Execution of Iman Khomeini's Order, a state-owned enterprise under direct control of Iran's Supreme Leader. Western nations say Iran aims to build nuclear weapons.

The accord provided Iran with billions of dollars in relief from worldwide sanctions in exchange for sweeping curbs on and inspections of its nuclear program.

In a statement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the move "should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilising behavior".

In particular the sanctions target Iran's vital energy sector and its shipping and shipbuilding sector and banking sector.

Major European allies have opposed the USA decision to reject the nuclear deal with Iran.

Two of the countries have agreed to reduce imports to zero while six others "will import at greatly reduced levels", Pompeo said.

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Trump announced in may that Washington is out of agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. The head of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned America that it would threaten Iran at its own peril.

"This new american president (...) has discredited what was left of the prestige of the United States and of democracy", tweeted Saturday, the supreme leader of iran, Ali Khamenei. "Therefore, we will proudly break the sanctions". However, it allowed China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan, China to continue to import crude from Iran for now, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday.

He said Washington believed the Iranian nation had lost their confidence in its clerical rulers. "Today the enemy (the United States) is targeting our economy. the main target of sanctions is our people", Rouhani said.

Tehran has launched a plan to counter the negative effects of USA oil sanctions, the First Vice-President of Iran Eshaq Jahangiri said November 6, TASS reported.

But as Mr Rouhani stepped up the rhetoric, comparing Iran's current situation with the 1980s war against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Iran's foreign ministry shrugged off the re-imposition of sanctions, saying it was nothing new and that the country had gone through a wider range of sanctions in the past.

"We have also told the U.S. that we can not accept non-allies to the United States - such as China - benefitting from the ally's (South Korea's) sacrifice", the official said.

But they were opposed by other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal - Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the EU.

China expressed regret over Washington's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran. "We will take a look at the letter and respond accordingly", he said.

Major Japanese oil distributors have suspended Iranian oil imports since their October contracts.

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