Iranian Crowds Chant 'Death To Israel,' 'Down With U.S.'

US sanctions go into force next week but the White House is giving waivers to several nations

US sanctions go into force next week but the White House is giving waivers to several nations

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending the Trump administration's reimposition of sanctions against Iran from conservative critics who argue more should be done to isolate the country. The world's three largest producers - Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States - all indicated they were pumping at record or near-record levels, while the United States said it would allow waivers that could allow buyers to keep importing Iranian oil, lessening the threat of a supply crunch.

Pompeo maintained that despite the waivers, "these sanctions have already had an enormous impact".

On Twitter, in a message created to emphasize his "maximum pressure" policy toward Iran, Trump included a photograph of himself modeled on a entertainment industry poster with the headline: "Sanctions are coming November 5".

President Donald Trump said the USA remains open to reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that blocks its nuclear weapons programme, just days before sanctions on the country's energy and shipping sectors kick back in.

The US said the sanctions are not aimed at toppling the government, but at persuading it to radically change its policies, including its support for regional militant groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles.

Pompeo said the European Union, which has drafted its own plans to circumvent U.S. sanctions, will not be.

On Friday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said the US told the Brussels-based SWIFT financial messaging service that it was expected to disconnect all Iranian financial institutions that the US plans to blacklist as of Monday.

Thousands of students in the government-organised rally in the capital Tehran, broadcast live by state television, burned the Stars and Stripes, an effigy of Uncle Sam and pictures of President Donald Trump outside the leafy downtown compound that once housed the U.S. mission.

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Last month, Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, accused Washington of being "addicted" to sanctions.

Turkey's energy minister also said on Friday that his country had been granted an exemption from the sanctions.

The US sanctions on Iran's petroleum sector are scheduled to go into effect Monday.

On Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for reimposing the sanctions.

Former US-Iran deal negotiator and sanctions official Richard Nephew expressed similar concerns.

The waiver is conditional on Iraq not paying Iran for the imports in United States dollars, said the officials, including a member of Iraq's ministerial committee that oversees energy activities.

However, ordinary Iranians fear an even more painful squeeze on living costs, from businesses struggling to buy raw materials to the sick and elderly unable to afford life-saving medicines.

India, which is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian oil after China, is willing to restrict its monthly purchase to 1.25 million tonnes or 15 million tonnes in a year (300,000 barrels per day), down from 22.6 million tonnes (452,000 barrels per day) bought in 2017-18 financial year, sources in New Delhi said. Under the Obama-era deal, involving five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, Iran agreed to stop its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. It has also sought a carve out from curbs on ports for Chabahar port in Iran which it has helped develop and uses as gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

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