The restoration of US sanctions on Monday targeting Iran's oil sales and banking sector is part of an effort by Trump to force Iran to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programs outright, as well as its support for proxy forces in conflicts across the Middle East. The Europeans have mounted a drive to save the agreement without the US, fearing that the new sanctions will drive Iran to pull out and resume all of its nuclear work.
Diplomats told Reuters last week that the new European Union mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian exports should be legally in place by November 4, when the next phase of U.S. sanctions hit, but will not be operational until early next year.
"But many Iranians that we spoke to said that this deadline is meaningless and that foreign investment has already been scared off.and that any economic damage has already been done".
Iranians burn an image of US President Donald Trump during an anti-US demonstration outside the former US embassy headquarters in the capital Tehran on 9 May 2018 after Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran.
The US sanctions on Iran are part of US President Donald Trump's effort to force Tehran to curb its nuclear and missile programmes.
But Trump denounced the nuclear deal, approved by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed in Iran's favour and withdrew Washington from the pact in May.
The US had insisted on cutting exports to zero but that seems unlikely as it would increase the price of oil, says Scott Lucas, a professor of worldwide politics at Birmingham University.
"We have advised SWIFT that it must disconnect any Iranian financial institution that we designate as soon as technologically feasible to avoid sanctions exposure", Mnuchin said on the call. These sanctions hit at core areas of Iran's economy. Trump tweeted a stylized photo of himself standing and looking off to the side as the phrase, "Sanctions are coming November 5" was written across the pic.
Iran said it was not troubled over the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced the decision on Friday, did not identify the eight, which he referred to as "jurisdictions", a term that may include importers such as Taiwan which the US does not regard as a country.
Hosseini was quoted by media as saying that there is no restriction for the participation of buyers in Iran's oil sales. There are no plans to cut crude purchases from Tehran to zero.
They wanted to prohibit Iran from selling any oil, what Secretary Pompeo even said yesterday (Friday), the goal was to prevent Iran from selling oil altogether and they realized that that goal is not achievable, so what they did in effect was they issued exemptions for eight countries and these eight countries are going to continue to buy Iranian oil.
Pompeo added that the sanctions are "aimed at fundamentally altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran".