UAE minister: Iran's aggressive policies responsible for current US sanctions

Donald Trump posted this dramatic image on his Twitter account. Pic Donald Trump

Iranians have begun holding rallies across the country to mark the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the USA embassy in Tehran.

Negotiations are still ongoing, he said explaining the reasons for not revealing the names of the countries that are expected to get exemptions from the USA from this latest and so far the toughest American sanctions on Iran.

USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Friday that the U.S. would temporarily allow eight countries to continue buying Iranian oil even after enforcing its sanctions on Tehran.

Later, a senior State Department official told reporters that that the US was ready for talks with Iran.

USA oil futures climbed to a four-year high near US$77 a barrel last month on growing concerns there could be a shortage as sanctions bite deeper.

Pompeo said two of the jurisdictions, which he did not identify, will wind down Iranian oil imports to zero in "weeks". They were in captivity for 444 days in what remains the longest hostage crisis in history. The Europeans have mounted a drive to save the agreement without the US, fearing that the new sanctions will drive Iran to pull out and resume all of its nuclear work.

But Joel Hancock, from analysis firm Natixis, said this did not mean their sales would necessarily remain high.

But for now, Iran seemed likely to try to endure the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign, she said. Pompeo said he will announce them on Monday.

"Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country".

President Donald Trump said the U.S. remains open to reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that blocks its nuclear weapons programme, just days before sanctions on the country's energy and shipping sectors kick back in.

The administration has insisted that the sanctions were aimed at changing Tehran's behaviour rather than regime change. It has announced plans for a legal framework through which firms can skirt USA sanctions, although few major corporations have been eager to risk the wrath of penalties in the world's largest economy.

Pompeo said Washington made a decision to issue the temporary waivers "only because they have demonstrated significant reductions in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts".

"The US has had some success in terms of frightening away major corporations".

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"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.

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

That could make it very hard for Iran to do business with other countries.

Mnuchin also stated that, as it was prior to the deal, "humanitarian transactions to non-designated entities" will be allowed to continue using the system.

Justifying the action, Pompeo has issued a list of demands for Iran that go well beyond the nuclear program that was the focus of Obama's deal.

As part of efforts by Iran and its customers to keep oil flowing, every single one of Iran's vessels "went dark" in late October, switching off their transponders to avoid global tracking systems, according to - a first since the Stockholm-based watchdog began operating in 2016.

We expect Iran to continue implementing all its nuclear commitments in full, as set out by the JCPOA.

"It's basically magical thinking".

His comments came after the US Treasury announced sanctions on a network of businesses it said were tied to the Basij Resistance Force, a group that the department said works with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

He said "economic warfare" was a final bid by Washington to overthrow the Islamic republic after decades of failed attempts.

"I think the end-game depends on who you're asking".

Mahmoud Sadeghi, an Iranian politician, said the move would further unite the Iranian nation against the threat of Trump's "bullying tactics".

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