Donald Trump administration wants to stop Tehran's 'malign' activities
Donal Trump administration slaps sanctions but dodges question on whether it has got firm commitments from India and China to stop all oil purchases from Tehran
The US on Monday imposed "the toughest ever" sanctions on a defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime's "behaviour", even as the Trump administration dodged a question whether it has got firm commitments from India and China to stop all oil purchases from Tehran within six months.
The sanctions cover Iran's banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports. The sanctions follow US President Donald Trump's controversial decision in May to abandon the 2015 multi-nation nuclear deal with Tehran. President Trump says that he wants to get Iran back to the negotiating table on the nuclear issue.
The Trump administration also says it wants to stop what it calls Tehran's "malign" activities including cyber attacks, ballistic missile tests, and support for terror groups in the Middle East India and China - the two biggest buyers of Iranian crude, have so far appeared to have skipped the punitive American sanctions targeting the Iranian oil and financial sectors. The two Asian giants are believed to be among the eight countries that have been given the rare temporary exemptions from the Iranian sanctions that kicked off on Monday. The Trump administration said it has asked these countries to bring down their oil purchase to zero as soon as possible.
Iran to 'proudly bypass' sanctions
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic republic "will proudly bypass sanctions". "I announce that we will proudly bypass your illegal, unjust sanctions because it's against international regulations...We are in a situation of economic war, confronting a bullying power. I don't think that in the history of America, someone has entered the White House who is so against law," he said in a televised speech.
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