Ongoing reactions to fresh US sanctions against Iran

November 11, The Iran Project –   Widespread reactions to the new round of US sanctions, re-imposed on Iran, are underway both home and abroad condemning Trump’s anti-Iran bans.

The bans – the second of their kind since Washington’s walkout from the Iran nuclear deal on May  8 – sparking criticisms from the United Nations as well as US allies in the European Union.

The previous sanctions on Iran, imposed by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, were supported by the UN Security Council and the European Union. However, this time the US is alone, and the entire world, except for a few countries such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, have vowed to continue trade with Iran.

Currently a broadly united front of world powers that imposed sanctions on Iran previously, pushing Iran into nuclear restraint, has unraveled since Donald Trump came into power and clashed with allies over everything from business to collective security.

The EU is preparing a special mechanism to enable payments for Iranian oil and other exports without U.S. dollars, possibly through a barter system.

On Friday (No. 2), US president decided to trumpet fresh sanctions against the Islamic Republic not with a speech, but a Twitter meme in reference to Game of Thrones, “Sanctions are coming.”  The Trump’s Iran tweet followed up by an official announcement on Monday (Nov. 5) notifying re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against the country  targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transportation sectors.

The Islamic Republic called the new bans “economic warfare” and vowed to defy.

World objection forced Trump back

The United States granted waivers to eight nations — China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Turkey, South Korea and Taiwan — to purchase oil from Iran.

Frustrated with the world rejection to side with Washington in hostility against Iran, the US National Security Advisor John Bolton said that his country seeks heavy pressures against the Islamic Republic but it does not want its allies and friends who buy oil from Iran to be harmed with sanctions.

“Turkey will not abide by US sanctions on Iran”

Turkey will not abide by the United States’ sanctions on Iran, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday (Nov. 6), describing Washington’s move as aimed upsetting the global balance and against international law.

“We don’t find the (Iran) sanctions appropriate,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

“Because to us, they are aimed at upsetting the global balance,” he added. “They are against international law and diplomacy. We don’t want to live in an imperial world.”

“We will not let US be policeman of the world”

During an interview with the Financial Times, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire claimed Europe won’t allow the US to become “trade policeman of the world” in a dramatic outburst as he argued Europe should defy President Trump over Iran sanctions.

Mr Le Maire argued the US measures threaten the EU’s “economic sovereignty” and urged the bloc to “affirm our independence”.

He added European countries will push ahead with plans to create a new financial channel to bypass US sanctions on Iran, allowing European firms to continue their current trading with the state.

Trump repeatedly threatened punitive action against any European companies which ignore these sanctions and continue doing business with Iran.

EU intensifies efforts to preserve Iran nuclear deal

Referring to the formal title of the Iran accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Maja Kocijancic, European Union spokeswoman for foreign affairs, stated on Friday that “The efforts to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA, and economic and trade relations with Iran have been intensified in recent weeks, especially those that are related to the setting up of the special purpose vehicle.”

“One of the key measures from our side was the blocking statute, which was updated in August,” Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels. “This is one of the measures that have been put in place, but it’s the one that’s very relevant for companies because from our point of view, trade with Iran remains legitimate,” she noted.

Celebrities launch petition condemning US sanctions

Iranian celebrities including Oscar-winning film director Asghar Farhadi and Grammy winner Kayhan Kalhor have launched a petition condemning US sanctions on Tehran.

“Once again, the US has imposed sanctions against Iran… Every Iranian will personally pay the price,” reads the petition, named “Voices Against Sanctions” and posted on change.org. “Politicians will come and go, but the fallout from their disastrous decisions will be a nightmare for generations to come,” said the petition, which had picked up nearly 5,000 signatures by Friday.

New US sanctions have no effect on Iran economy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that US sanctions announced last week have had no effect on Iran’s economy because Washington had already practically reimposed them earlier.

He rejected Washington’s claim that it is not after putting pressure on the Iranian nation, but rather on the Iranian government and the Islamic establishment.

The claim, Rouhani said, is “totally incorrect and inaccurate, and they (the American officials) have themselves exposed this fact.”

He further stressed that the Iranian people were already standing against US sanctions contrary to what Washington expected

The new US sanctions come while IAEA repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.

In a statement published on IAEA official website, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano presented a report about the latest developments in IAEA’s activities and said Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).