US reimposes Iran sanctions, Tehran decries ‘bullying’

Saudi oil output capacity may be close to maxing out

All the USA sanctions on Iran that had been removed under the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal were restored by the United States on Friday and came into force on Monday. Iran reacted angrily with air defence drills with its President saying that the nation faces a "war situation", raising tensions in West Asia. Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord in May, but all of the others that signed on to the agreement - including countries belonging to the European Union - are hoping to keep the deal in place.

The 2015 Iranian nuclear deal rolled back sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a reduction in the country's nuclear abilities. It exported nearly three million barrels of crude oil per day on an average.

In May, Trump exited Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and Washington reimposed first round of sanctions on Iran in August. Note, too, that the Administration didn't spare the European Union from the oil sanctions following its refusal to cooperate with helping the us renegotiate Barack Obama's flawed nuclear deal with Tehran. While Washington had threatened that it would impose secondary sanctions against countries that continued to trade in oil with Iran beyond November 4, it made a decision to grant a waiver to eight countries that are dependent on oil imports and have "demonstrated significant reductions" in imports from Iran.

"Any financial institution, company, or individual who evades our sanctions risks losing access to the U.S. financial system and the ability to do business with the United States or USA companies", Mnuchin said.

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.

The United States has granted exemptions to China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea, allowing them to continue buying Iranian oil temporarily, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday.

"Allowing these activities to continue for the time being will improve ongoing oversight of Iran's civil nuclear program", Pompeo said, "and make these facilities less susceptible to illicit and illegal nuclear uses".

Iran and the P5+1, the United Nations Security Council's five permanent members -the U.S., the UK, France, Russia, and China - plus Germany, reached the Iran nuclear deal in July 2015. "But on oil, we want to go a little bit slow because I don't want to drive the oil prices in the world up", Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington on Monday before leaving on a campaign trail for the mid-term polls being held on Tuesday.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic republic "will proudly bypass sanctions".

"I cannot lie and say that sanctions have no effect on the country", he said, adding, "We will do all we can to reduce the effects of the sanctions on the country's economy".

He called on Iran's leaders to immediately give up support for terrorism, stop proliferating ballistic missiles, end destructive regional meddling and abandon their nuclear ambitions in order to escape the crushing sanctions.

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