Iranian president warns of 'war situation' as sanctions resume


Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the "bullying" restoration of oil and banking curbs was backfiring by making Washington more isolated, a reference to other world powers opposed to the initiative.

"The last set of sanctions lifted under the bad nuclear deal will come back into force, including powerful sanctions on Iran's energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors, and sanctions targeting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and sanctioned Iranian banks", the president said.

The US is seeking to "alter" Iranian behavior with the sanctions, and has been leaking out a stream of 12 demands it wants to see Iran agree to in exchange for re-lifting the economic penalties.

The administration's strategy is to punish Iran so severely that it's compelled to negotiate a permanent end to its nuclear ambitions, as well as what the US calls its "malign behavior" in the Middle East.

"We already live in the condition of sanctions".

The new wave of sanctions, the second since August, will target Iran's energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and financial sectors.

However, Iran's clerical rulers have dismissed concerns about the impact of sanctions on the economy.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic republic "will proudly bypass sanctions" by the United States that took effect on Monday (Nov 5) targeting the country's oil and financial sectors.

Among the targets are 92 entities owned or controlled by Ghadir Investment Company, which the U.S. government had previously identified as an investment firm with ties to the Execution of Iman Khomeini's Order, a state-owned enterprise under direct control of Iran's Supreme Leader. "That is who really understands the actions we are taking", he added.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated its objections to sanctions, but would not directly say whether China had been granted an exemption.

One user tweeted in English: "Over the past 40 years, the Islamic regime of Iran tried to present the USA and Israel as Iran's enemies. The goal of this secretive communication is to give the impression of Iran's willingness to compromise and thus prevent the further deterioration of the relationship with the United States lest the Iran hawks in Washington push for military action".

But proponents as well as the other parties to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the European Union - have vehemently defended it. Iran has dismissed these charges and maintains that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking to "Face the Nation" on Sunday, described the measures as the "toughest ever" sanctions on Iran.

USA officials said the jurisdictions that had been given waivers would be identified on November 5, although they have not yet been disclosed.

Oil markets have been preparing for the sanctions for months.

"Iran is a much different country than it was when I took office", said Trump.

On late Friday, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said they have information that the USA will grant Turkey a waiver to continue importing oil from Iran after sanctions, but they don't have all the details yet.

Speaking in Tehran on Sunday, Brigadier General Hossein Salami said that Iran's power has reached a level, that "we can threaten the vital interests" of a country such as the U.S.

Iran's biggest oil customers - all in Asia - have been seeking waivers to sanctions to allow them to continue buying some of the Islamic Republic's oil. But Brent crude was steady at $72.83 by 1230 GMT.

To continue exporting crude oil, Iranian tankers in recent weeks have been turning off their transponders to avoid detection.