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Irony of Iran sanctions and falling oil prices

Irony of Iran sanctions and falling oil prices

The move by the White House re-imposes US sanctions that were lifted as part of a 2015 multinational deal with Tehran and impose hundreds of additional sanctions created to hit Iran's key economic sectors - including oil and gas, shipping and banking.

President Donald Trump announced in May he was withdrawing the United States from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, which lifted wide-ranging sanctions on the Iranian economy. More than 20 nations had already cut their oil imports from Iran, reducing purchases by more than 1 million barrels per day, he said.

China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey are allowed to continue to import Iranian oil.

Trump's moves target Iran's main source of revenue - its oil exports - as well as its financial sector, essentially making 50 Iranian banks and their subsidiaries off limits to foreign banks on pain of losing access to the USA financial system.

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The Trump administration's intensifying effort to strangle Iran's economy, critics say, marks a gamble as it divides the U.S. from traditional allies in Europe and casts uncertainty into oil markets.

Hours after sanctions went into effect that ban most trade with Iran, the State Department said it was exempting projects set up through the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated under former president Barack Obama.

Iran is OPEC's third largest oil exporter.

Analysts said expectations of an economic slowdown in coming months was outweighing supply-side risks to crude markets from the reintroduced United States sanctions against Iran, which started on Monday.

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The new sanctions will particularly hurt Iran's oil industry, a crucial source of money for its anaemic economy. "We are intent on ensuring that global funds stop flowing to the coffers of the Iranian regime". That should have driven oil prices up due to concerns over lack of supply. "The US-& not Iran-is isolated".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed in a call with reporters that the administration will grant waivers to eight "jurisdictions" when it reimposes oil and gas sanctions.

The president gave companies a specified period to wind down business with Iran - they face punishment from the US government for failing to do so.

In addition to hitting Iran's energy sector, Monday's sanctions will target Iran's shipping, shipbuilding and financial sectors. The legislation also implies that European courts could nullify United States decisions regarding sanctions. These are the toughest sanctions that we've ever introduced.

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USA officials did not immediately make an announcement as the sanctions took force in the early morning hours of November 5, part of Washington's effort to ramp up pressure on Tehran to "change its behavior" and end what the United States says is its "malign" activities in the region.