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Iran-US tensions escalate as Trump imposes new sanctions

Posted in World

Published on May 10, 2019 with No Comments

The United States has  announced harsh new sanctions on Iranas tensions surge between the two rivals. President Donald Trump issued an executive order to sanction Iran’s steel, aluminium, copper and iron sectors, which provide crucial foreign currency earnings for its crippled economy. Trump also threatened further action unless Tehran “fundamentally” changed its behaviour. The move came after Tehran earlier said it was quitting parts of the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, which Washington abandoned in 2018 and ignited the current crisis.  The metals sector is the Islamic Republic’s largest non-petroleum-related source of export revenue and represents 10 percent of its export economy, a statement from the White House said. “Because of our action, the Iranian regime is struggling to fund its campaign of violent terror as its economy heads into an unprecedented depression, government revenue dries up, and inflation spirals out of control,” Trump said in a statement.  “We are successfully imposing the most powerful maximum pressure campaign ever witnessed, which today’s action will further strengthen.”

Russia, meanwhile, blamed the US for Tehran’s announcement. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Moscow and said the US sanctions – stopping Western businesses operating in Iran and the export of Iranian oil – had undermined the spirit of the deal.

“The US is to blame for the situation and it makes it difficult for both Iran to fulfil its obligations and for the general state of the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” said Lavrov. He added the Kremlin and Tehran agreed to continue working with all remaining signatories to the deal to honour its obligations, even if the US will not return to the negotiation table.

 

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