Iran promises to “break” US sanctions

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has promised to “break” US sanctions that were brought back into effect today. The sanctions were initially lifted with the 2015 nuclear deal, but President Trump withdrew the US from the deal calling it the “worst deal ever negotiated”.

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The sanctions will affect oil exports, shipping and banks, and will make it harder to conduct business with the nation. But Rouhani has said he will “continue selling oil”, and that the country would “proudly break the sanctions” imposed.

Trump has said that he would like to get Iran back to the negotiating table, to try and rework a deal that he would see as better for the US. His administration also says it wants to stop what it calls Tehran’s “malign” activities including cyber attacks, ballistic missile tests, and support for terror groups and militias in the Middle East.

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The UK, Germany and France – which are among the five countries still committed to the nuclear pact – have all objected to the sanctions.

They have promised to support European firms that do “legitimate business” with Iran and have set up an alternative payment mechanism – or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) – that will help companies trade without facing US penalties.

A teacher in the Iranian capital Tehran spoke to Reuters last week saying:

“I am scared. I am worried. I am desperate. I cannot even buy rice to feed my children or pay my rent.”

This came as thousands of Iranians began chants of “death to America” during a rally on Sunday, rejecting calls for talks.

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