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Iran vows to defy 'bullying' as U.S. triggers more sanctions


By Lesley and Hafezi

WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) - said it would defy tough sanctions reimposed by on Monday, dismissing as "economic war" the U.S. drive to curb Tehran's missile and nuclear programs and diminish its influence in the

said the "bullying" restoration of and curbs was backfiring by making more isolated, a reference to other world powers opposed to the initiative.

The reimposition of sanctions lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal adds 300 new designations in Iran's oil, shipping, insurance and sectors, to try to sharply reduce the country's petroleum revenues, a mainstay of its economy.

European powers which continue to back the nuclear deal said they opposed the reapplication of sanctions and major buyer said it regretted the move.

The move is part of a wider effort by U.S. to force to further limit its nuclear work and halt a missile program, as well as end its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, and other parts of the

said it was holding talks with the and about launching a humanitarian payment channel to help and drugs keep flowing to

U.S. sanctions permit trade in humanitarian goods such as and pharmaceuticals, but measures imposed on banks and trade restrictions could make such items more expensive.

U.S. of State said on Sunday the penalties returning on Monday were "the toughest sanctions ever put in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran".

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

"Today the enemy (the United States) is targeting our economy...the main target of sanctions is our people," Iranian said.


"wanted to cut to zero Iran's sales...but we will continue to sell our break sanctions," Rouhani told economists, adding the sanctions were illegal and unfair.

"This is an economic war against Iran but... should learn that it cannot use the language of force against Iran ... We are prepared to resist any pressure," Rouhani said.

Zarif said had made itself more isolated by pursuing the sanctions.

"US bullying is backfiring... The US - and not Iran - is isolated," Zarif said in a tweet.

Trump announced in from what he called the "worst ever" agreement negotiated by the The other parties to the deal - Britain, France, Germany, and - say they will not leave.

The deal had seen most international financial and economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for curbing its disputed nuclear activity under U.N. surveillance.

Details of the sanctions will be released at a conference scheduled for 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) with Pompeo and

The European Union, France, and Britain said they regretted the U.S. decision and would seek to protect European companies doing legitimate business with

Diplomats told last month that a new EU mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian should be legally in place by Nov. 4 but not operational until early next year.

"We continue to believe that the Iran nuclear deal makes the world a safer place," British Theresa May's said. As long as Iran met its obligations under the deal, Britain would be committed to it too.

China, India, South Korea, and - all top importers of Iranian oil - are among eight countries expected to be given temporary exemptions from the sanctions to ensure are not destabilised.

The countries will deposit Iran's revenue in an escrow account and the funds will be used for humanitarian purposes, according to US officials.


of the waivers initially helped early on Monday, since they allow major buyers to import Iran's oil for a while. But Brent crude was steady at $72.83 by 1230 GMT. U.S. light crude was 15 cents lower at $62.99.

Rouhani said even without the waivers Iran would still be able to sell its oil, semi-official agency reported.

The curbs come as the is focused on U.S. congressional and gubernatorial elections on Tuesday. Campaigning in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Sunday, Trump said his "maximum pressure" against Iran was working.

"Iran is a much different country than it was when I took office," said Trump, adding: "They wanted to take over the whole Right now they just want to survive."

To keep the deal alive, the remaining parties to the Iran accord are trying to maintain trade with Tehran, despite scepticism that this is possible.


Iran's nuclear programme

Iran's crude exports 1975-2018

Iran's crude exports, production

(Editing by and Jon Boyle)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 05 2018. 18:57 IST