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US reinstates Iran sanctions

The United States re-imposed a wave of tough, unilateral sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, bringing back into effect harsh penalties that had been lifted under a historic, multi-party nuclear agreement that President Donald Trump abandoned in May.

The first of two rounds of US sanctions kicked in at 12:01 am (0431 GMT), targeting Iran’s access to US banknotes and key industries, including cars and carpets.

Iranians are already seeing the effects of the sanctions, with Iran’s rial currency losing around half its value since Trump announced the US would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord.

Trump’s contempt for the nuclear deal dates back to his time as presidential candidate and on May 8, he made good on a pledge to pull America out of the international agreement.

He blasted the agreement yet again Monday, calling it a “horrible, one-sided deal (that) failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb.”

The unilateral withdrawal came despite other parties to the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the EU — pleading with Trump not to abandon the pact aimed at blocking Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and highlights the US leader’s go-it-alone style and his distaste for multilateral agreements.

In an executive order Monday, Trump said the sanctions seek to pile financial pressure on Tehran to force a “comprehensive and lasting solution” to Iranian threats, including its development of missiles and regional “malign” activities.

The European Union’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc, as well as Britain, France and Germany, deeply regretted Washington’s move.

“We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran,” she said in a statement. (AFP)

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