- Title: U.S. imposes more sanctions on Iran
- Date: 5th November 2018
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 5, 2018) (STATE TV) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO AND U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN WALKING INTO ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "Our objective is to starve the Iranian regime of the revenue it uses to fund violent and destabilizing activities throughout the Middle East and indeed around the world. Our ultimate goal is to convince the regime to abandon its current revolutionary course." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "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. We hope a new agreement with Iran is possible. But until Iran makes changes in the 12 ways that I listed in May, we will be relentless in exerting pressure on the regime. As a reflection of that resolve, today we're imposing all sanctions that were previously lifted under the nuclear deal. This includes sanctions on energy, banking, shipping and ship-building industries. Since the Trump administration came into office, we've done 19 rounds of sanctions, targeting 168 Iranian entities. Today's sanctions will accelerate the rapid decline of international economic activity in Iran since the implementation of our strategy in May." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "More than 20 importing nations have zeroed out their imports of crude oil already, taking more than 1 million barrels of crude per day off the market. The regime to date since May has lost over two and a half billion dollars in oil revenue. We have decided to issue temporary allotments to a handful of countries responsible to the specific circumstances and to ensure a well-supplied oil market. The U.S. will be granting these exemptions to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey. Each of those countries has already demonstrated significant reductions of the purchase of Iranian crude over the past six months, and indeed two of those eight have already completely ended imports of Iranian crude and will not resume as long as the sanctions regime remains in place. We continue negotiations to get all of the nations to zero." U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN APPROACHING PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN, SAYING: "Today we sanctioned more than 700 individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels as part of Treasury's largest ever single day action targeting Iran. Over 300 of those sanctions are new targets. In addition, we are relisting hundreds of individuals and entities that were previously sanctioned, granted sanctions relief under the JCPOA. These powerful sanctions directly target Iran's banking, energy and shipping sectors. The Iranian regime has funneled billions of dollars for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps force through the banking sector. Today's designation includes 50 Iranian banks and their foreign and domestic subsidiaries in connection with Iran's regime support for international terrorism, proliferation of mass destruction or their means of delivery and human rights abuses." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN, SAYING: "We are making it abundantly clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior. Iran's leaders must cease support for terrorism and end destructive regional activities immediately. They must stop ballistic missiles and abandon their nuclear ambitions if they seek a path to sanctions relief. We are watching the Iranian regime with laser focus. If they try to evade our sanctions, we will take action to disrupt their activity time and time again. The maximum pressure exerted by the United States is only going to mount from here. Companies around the world need to know we will be strictly enforcing our sanctions." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN, SAYING: "I don't think we've ever said that it relates to the European countries that they'll be exempt. I think quite the contrary. We've said that we expect them to honor the sanctions. Having said that, there are certain transactions that they can continue to do, whether they're humanitarian transactions or specific trade in the restricted accounts." REPORTER ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "It is completely clear the Islamic Republic of Iran is the destabilizing force in the Middle East today." POMPEO AND MNUCHIN DURING PRESS CONFERENCE, JOURNALISTS RAISING HANDS
- Embargoed: 19th November 2018 14:24
- Keywords: State Pompeo Mnuchin Iran sanctions
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001958BTXJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United States announced a new raft of sanctions on Iran on Monday (November 5) and threatened further action to pressure its old adversary, steps the Islamic Republic vowed to defy.
The move is part of a wider effort by U.S. President Donald Trump to curb Tehran's missile and nuclear programmes and diminish the Islamic Republic's influence in the Middle East.
It follows Washington's withdrawal from a 2015 international agreement on Iran's nuclear programme.
"We are making it abundantly clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a press conference at the State Department.
The sanctions cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, and targets Tehran's national airline, Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, Mnuchin said.
Hours earlier, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the "bullying" restoration of oil and banking curbs was backfiring by making Washington more isolated, a reference to other world powers opposed to the initiative.
European powers which continue to back the nuclear deal said they opposed the reapplication of sanctions and major oil buyer China said it regretted the move.
The move is part of a wider effort by Trump to force Iran to further limit its nuclear work and halt a missile program, as well as end its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.
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.
U.S. sanctions permit trade in humanitarian goods such as food and pharmaceuticals, but measures imposed on banks and trade restrictions could make such items more expensive.
"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. We hope a new agreement with Iran is possible. But until Iran makes changes in the 12 ways that I listed in May, we will be relentless in exerting pressure on the regime," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during the press conference.
However, Iran's clerical rulers have dismissed concerns about the impact of sanctions on the economy.
Trump announced in May his government was withdrawing from what he called the "worst ever" agreement negotiated by the United States. The other parties to the deal - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia - say they will not leave.
The deal had seen most international financial and economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for Tehran curbing its disputed nuclear activity under U.N. surveillance.
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