Trump Touts Iran Sanctions

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The nuclear deal is closely associated in Iran with Rouhani, a relative moderate who won two landslide elections on promises to open up the economy to the outside world. "That's the ask", said Pompeo on Sunday ahead of the re-imposition.

Their plans were upended in May, when President Donald Trump chose to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord and reimpose economic sanctions, the first wave of which took effect at midnight on Tuesday.

Iran's president said the measures were "psychological warfare" which aimed to "sow division among Iranians".

The renewed sanctions were among those lifted under a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran's nuclear program. The US wasn't trading with Iran in the first place, so Iran isn't actually losing anything on that front.

So long as that trade continues, the United States will likely face an uphill battle in convincing smaller nations that they can't follow China's lead.

One of the officials said that almost 100 worldwide firms have announced their intention to leave the Iranian market, particularly in the energy and finance sectors.

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"We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the USA, due to the latter's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)", according to a statement on Monday from the foreign ministers of the UK, Germany, France and the EU.

Despite Trump's claims, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom said in a statement that the accord "is working and delivering on its goal" of limiting Iran's nuclear program.

The president called on other nations to join his economic pressure campaign, reminding them that business with Iran excludes them from dealing with the U.S.

The German Economy Ministry said Berlin would continue to offer export and investment guarantees for firms doing business with Iran.

Among large European companies that have suspended ambitious plans to invest in Iran in response to Trump's sanctions are France's oil major Total and its big carmakers PSA and Renault.

In 1998, a political agreement between the USA and the European Union lead to the suspension of some sanctions "as long as the European Union and other allies continue their stepped-up effort to promote democracy in Cuba".

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But Obama's successor Trump pulled out of the pact on May 8, fulfilling a 2016 campaign promise to withdraw from a deal he once described as the "worst ever".

At the time, under then-president Barack Obama, Washington had pledged to waive secondary United States sanctions as long as Iran continued to abide by the agreement.

Whether to comply with USA sanctions or keep doing business in Iran is a "purely economic decision", one senior official argued.

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

EIB sources have confirmed EURACTIV that the bank will maintain this position, as its dependence from global capital markets makes it impossible for the loaner to do business in Iran.

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