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Donald Trump warns trading countries against doing business with Iran

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AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a strong warning to America’s trading partners that anyone who does business with Tehran will not be doing business with Washington, following his administration’s re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. Trump described the new sanctions, which hit Iran’s access to dollars, gold and precious metals, as “the most biting ever imposed”.

“In November they ratchet up to yet another level,” he tweeted. “Anyone doing business with Iran will not be doing business with the US. I am asking for world peace, nothing less!” Some re-imposed sanctions already took effect and tougher ones relating to oil exports will begin in November. The sanctions followed the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, earlier this year.

Orchestrated by the Obama administration, the agreement was signed in 2015 between Iran and China, France, Russia, the US, the UK, plus Germany and the EU. It was aimed to restrict Iran’s nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions.


Trump’s new warning appeared to be aimed at the EU, which is attempting to protect European businesses trading in Iran from facing US sanctions, according to CNN. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the measures “psychological warfare” which aimed to “sow division among Iranians”. The sanctions take aim at various sectors, with further punitive action planned against Iran’s oil trade.

Rouhani said the US government had “turned their back on diplomacy” with the action. “They want to launch psychological warfare against the Iranian nation,” he said. However, the Iranian President also said that he was willing to hold talks with Washington to resolve the matter. He indicated that Iran would want the US to scale back sanctions before any talks could begin.

“Negotiations with sanctions doesn’t make sense. We are always in favour of diplomacy and talks… but talks need honesty.” The Iranian President also accused the Trump administration of using Tehran as domestic political leverage ahead of November’s midterm elections in the US. “They will exert pressure on us and cause pain, but we will certainly come out of the end of this healthier,” he said about the penalties that went back into effect at 12.01 a.m. on Tuesday.

Trump has called the deal “one-sided”, “disastrous” and the “worst I’ve ever seen”. He believes renewed economic pressure will force Iran to agree to a new deal and end its “malign” activities. The other signatories to the deal were sticking with the accord. In a statement on Monday, the EU, the UK, France and Germany said they “deeply regret” the US action. The EU announced it would take legal steps to protect European companies “doing legitimate business in Iran.”