The Trump administration on Monday reimposed the last set of sanctions lifted under the Iran nuclear deal. Eight countries got exemptions for six months on importing Iranian oil: China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Japan, and Taiwan.
"The Iranian regime has a choice: It can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble", said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
CBS News added, "The Iranian regime will still be able to import humanitarian goods and other goods and services from the countries that are continuing to import their oil and have been given the exemption from the US".
This is the second round of United States sanctions against Iran after the U.S. withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, in May this year, China's official Xinhua news agency reported on its website today.
USA officials have said the countries given temporary exemptions from the sanctions will deposit Iran's revenue in escrow accounts and Tehran will be able to use the funds for humanitarian purposes.
To keep the deal alive, the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal are trying to maintain trade with Tehran despite scepticism this is possible despite US sanctions to choke off Iranian oil sales. The sanctions have been reimposed in stages, with the final set going into effect on Monday.
Rouhani added, "We are in the economic war situation".
Iran said it would continue to sell oil overseas.
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In addition to hitting Iran's energy sector, Monday's sanctions will target Iran's shipping, shipbuilding and financial sectors.
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The US sanctions have pitted Washington against several of its key allies in Europe, who remain committed to the nuclear agreement. China has publicly defied the United States call for curbs on oil imports from Iran.
Iran's economy has faced stagnant growth and high unemployment, even after sanctions were lifted following the nuclear deal it negotiated with world powers.
It also said the lifting of sanctions allowed Iran to finance militant groups and its own military activity.
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.
Iran on Monday (Nov 5) urged the United Nations to hold the United States accountable for re-imposing sanctions on Tehran, branding the measures illegal and in violation of a Security Council resolution.