Iranians Condemn US Arrogant Policies in Nationwide Rallies

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On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin unveiled what they described as one of the toughest regimes of sanctions against the Islamic Republic - sanctions that would most significantly comprise banking restrictions and bans on Iran's oil exports.

Pompeo threatened that the United States would mete out "severe, swift punishment" to any nation that continues to buy Iranian oil, but granted a temporary waiver to eight countries - including China, Italy, Greece, and Turkey - to continue imports for the time being.

But others argue that the date of the second round of sanctions is not coincidental, especially following the tweet of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who wrote: "Today marks the 39th anniversary of the USA embassy takeover in Tehran, when more than 50 of our colleagues were taken hostage".

Oil prices fell on Monday as the start to USA sanctions against Iran's fuel exports was softened by waivers that will allow major buyers to still import Iranian crude, at least temporarily.

The Trump administration said it has taken its final steps to remove the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.

While not threatening to resume higher enrichment, Iranian officials in recent months have said this could resume at any time - and faster than before.

Iranian leaders called the sanctions "illegal" and said they would only hurt ordinary people.

The president in May pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal made by the Obama administration.

"The whole world understands that these sanctions are real", Pompeo said.

It comes as Iranian state television aired footage of air defence systems and anti-aircraft batteries in two-day military manoeuvres underway across a vast stretch of the country's north. The SPV will be a European-owned, Luxemburg-based financial clearinghouse, that enables payments to and from Iran while bypassing US-connected companies.

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"In close coordination with our European partners, we are monitoring developments and examining options on how to protect the economic basis of this agreement and protect our companies", government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Iran's oil exports have already dropped by almost one million barrels per day since President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA and reimposed the first round sanctions, putting the squeeze on a sector that accounts for around 60 percent of the country's overall budget.

The PM's official spokesman said: 'We regret the reimposition of sanctions by the US.

Oil is Iran's main source of income.

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

Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Sunday for political rallies in the South that the sanctions are the strongest ever imposed by the United States.

"Iran's leaders must cease support for terrorism, stop proliferating ballistic missiles, end destructive regional activities, and abandon their nuclear ambitions immediately if they seek a path to sanctions relief", he said.

Iranian oil exports have fallen by about a million barrels a day in that time, though India and China have continued to purchase it.

The sanctions in the aggregate are already having an enormous effect on Iran, he said.