The first round of the U.S. pre-nuclear deal sanctions on Iran, largely targeting the country’s banking sector, went into effect on Tuesday.
The economic penalties, which will be rigorously enforced, officially went into effect at one minute after midnight Washington time (0401GMT) Tuesday morning.
The sanctions target Tehran’s acquisition of U.S. dollars, precious metals trade, transactions related to Iran’s rial, activities related to Iran’s sovereign debt, and the country’s automotive sector.
Iran’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Ali Rabiei has said that around 1 million Iranians may lose their jobs due to the sanctions.
The actions follow President Donald Trump’s decision May 8 to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that world powers, including the U.S, struck with Iran. The agreement placed unprecedented curbs on Iran’s nuclear program, subjecting it to a rigorous inspection regime in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions.
A second wave of sanctions is set to take effect Nov. 5, targeting Iran’s port operators, petroleum-related transactions, and Iran’s shipping sector and central bank.
Iran FM slams US sanctions,
Zarif said U.S. sanctions will not force Iran to change its policies
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Monday decried the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, which are set to go into force on Tuesday.
“US is waging the propaganda that it is in touch with Iran’s people and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu writes tweets and sheds crocodile tears every day,” Zarif said in statements cited by Iran’s ISNA news agency.
“You claim that you have connection with Iranian people but the first sanction that you re-imposed against Iran was related to airplane sales; airplanes that would have been used in favor of Iranian people,” he said.
The top Iranian diplomat said U.S. economic sanctions and threats would not force Iran to change its policies.
“Yes, we have been passing through a very critical period of time and U.S. sanctions and extortion may cause some problems,” Zarif said. “But the world is talking about an isolated U.S., not a lonely Iran.”