Israel PM overjoyed as U.S. restores sanctions on Iran

This image taken from the Twitter account of President Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump shows what looks like a movie-style poster that takes creative inspiration from the TV series 'Game of Thrones' to announce the re-imposition of sanctions

This is the second major batch of sanctions imposed by the administration of President Donald Trump since he pulled the United States from a landmark nuclear deal in May.

Iran is heavily dependent on its exports of oil, and renewed sanctions, if effective, would hit the economy hard.

"Unlike in prior administrations, we will ensure that the money is not spent on illicit activities, that there isn't any leakage in these escrow accounts, and we will work closely with countries to encourage the sale and purchase of humanitarian goods to benefit the Iranian people".

Shipments have plunged 37 per cent since President Donald Trump announced that he'd reimpose sanctions, and once those penalties kick in on Nov 5, the overall supply disruption could become the biggest since Libya erupted in civil war at the start of the decade.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif spoke by telephone with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and his counterparts from Germany, Sweden and Denmark about pending European measures to counter the USA sanctions, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.

Trump said the deal was weak and favored Iran.

After Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions, European governments vowed to try and preserve the agreement and find ways to continue trading.

Barack Obama, the USA president at the time, had argued the deal would prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.

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It is part of efforts by Iran and its customers to keep oil flowing ahead of a new U.S. embargo set to hit on Monday. Mr Trump argues that the terms of the deal are unacceptable and it has not stopped Iran developing a ballistic missile programme and intervening in neighbouring countries, including Syria and Yemen.

"And just today, we riposted all sanctions that were lifted under that disgusting deal. It can't handle oil in any serious volume", said Henry Rome, a specialist on Iran sanctions for the Washington-based Eurasia Group consultancy.

In a speech on Saturday, Khamenei said Trump's policies faced opposition around the world.

This time, 1.1 million barrels a day have already been cut from Iran's shipments - a combination of crude and a light oil called condensate that was spared from curbs in 2012 - according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

He set out 12 demands that Iran must meet in order to have the sanctions lifted.

Pompeo did not name the jurisdictions but said the European Union as a whole, which has 28 members, would not receive one.

However, Mr Pompeo explained that some countries could not halt imports of Iranian oil immediately and they had been granted waivers on condition that they reduced them and eventually ended them entirely.

However, the USA is expected to give a short-term waiver to eight countries which could include India because of its commitment to significantly reduces import of oil from Iran. These hawks, Politico reported, were apparently in agreement with Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, that the administration's plan was not restrictive enough. Their real goal, as former Secretary of State John Kerry promised, is to overthrow the Iranian government.

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"There's a certain panic this time that they are being required to make very substantial reductions immediately, and also that banking systems are much more intertwined than in the past".

Eight countries, though, are receiving waivers that will allow them to keep buying oil from Iran without coming under USA sanctions: Pompeo did not identify the countries, but Bloomberg reported that four are Japan, India, China and South Korea.

Three Iraqi officials said on Friday that the U.S. has informed Baghdad it will be allowed to keep importing crucial gas, energy supplies and food items from Iran after Washington reimposes sanctions on Tehran's oil sector, according to Reuters.

"Iran is a formidable adversary, well practised in different techniques to keep selling oil and muddle the data, but that won't be a panacea for everything", said Rome.

He added that it had not been determined yet whether the waivers would be temporary or permanent, specifying that additional negotiations were required for making the final decision.

Pompeo noted that oil sanctions would be coupled with financial sanctions involving "over 600 designations of individuals and companies in Iran".

In May, the Trump administration pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with world powers, under which it agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of global sanctions.

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