Washington, United States: Despite the outcry among world leaders including European powers, all of whom affirmed their intention to keep the Iran Nuclear Deal intact, the United States re-imposed a wave of tough, unilateral sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, effecting the Persian country with harsh penalties that were lifted under a historic, multi-nation nuclear agreement. The agreement was abandoned in May.
The US sanctions started with the first two rounds being imposed at 12:01 am (0431 GMT), aiming to target Iran’s access to US banknotes and key industries which included cars and carpets.
Iranians were able to see the effects of the sanctions, with the currency of Iran, Rial, losing half of its total value since the time Trump announced the US would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord.
Trump’s targeting of the nuclear deal dates back to his time when he was a presidential candidate and on May 8, he vowed to pull America out of the international agreement.
He criticized the agreement yet again on Monday by terming it as a “horrible, one-sided deal (that) failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb.”
The withdrawal of the deal unilaterally came despite other parties to the agreement – Britain, France, China, ,Germany, EU and Russia begging with Trump not to abandon the deal that aimed at blocking Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and this actions highlights the US leaders’ style to go alone and his not liking for multilateral agreements.
Trump on Monday said in an executive order that the sanctions demand to pile financial pressure on Tehran to force a “comprehensive and lasting solution” to Iranian threats, which includes the development of missiles and regional “malign” activities.
The diplomatic chief of European Union, Federica Mogherini, said that the bloc including Britain, Germany, France deeply regretted Washington’s step to repeal the deal.
“We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran,” she said in a statement.
European firms, having their bases in Iran have started leaving the country over fear of US penalties, and Trump warned of “severe consequences” against firms and individuals that continued to do business with Iran.
The return of sanctions have made an impact on Iran’s economy which ramped up tensions inside Iran which had already witnessed protests and strikes in multiple towns and cities due to water shortages and high prices.
Many rules restricting the reporting of events have all made it almost impossible to verify the swirl of claims coming through social media.
Trump had earlier said that he was open to reaching a more comprehensive deal with Iran “that addresses the full range of the regime’s malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism.”
But the offer did not impress the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“If you’re an enemy and you stab the other person with a knife, and then you say you want negotiations, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife,” the Iranian leader said in an interview on state television.
“They want to launch psychological warfare against the Iranian nation,” Rouhani said. “Negotiations with sanctions doesn’t make sense.”