Iranians changing money for gold ahead of U.S. sanctions

President Donald Trump signed a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, on May 8 at the White House in Washington, D.C. On Monday, the White House announced detailed sanctions that would be imposed against Iran as the USA reached a 90-day "wind-down period" since leaving the agreement.

If Iran wants to avoid the reimposition of US sanctions it should take up President Donald Trump's offer to negotiate, White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Monday.

The second phase blocking Iran's oil sales is due to cause more damage, although several countries including China, India and Turkey have indicated they are not willing to entirely cut their Iranian energy purchases. The sanctions are set to go into effect at midnight United States time.

Administration officials said the snapback sanctions would limit Iran's ability to purchase USA dollar banknotes, would impede the country's ability to trade gold and precious metals and would prohibit Iran from selling or transferring Iranian graphite, as well as aluminum, steel, coal and software used to integrate industrial processes.

Foes for decades, the United States and Iran have been increasingly at odds over Iran's growing political and military influence in the Middle East since Trump took office in January 2017.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran deal in May, which lifted worldwide sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. Trump abandoned the deal in May.

While most of the world has been focusing on the sanctions on Iran's vast oil and gas reserves that will be reimposed in November, this first wave of sanctions will hit Iran's vulnerable economy harder than most are now anticipating.

So far, the threat of sanctions seems to have had a big impact, with the Iranian rial plunging in value thanks in part to price controls imposed earlier this year.

The plunge in the currency and soaring inflation have sparked sporadic demonstrations against profiteering and corruption, with many protesters chanting anti-government slogans.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Washington's call for new negotiations at the same time as it reimposes crippling sanctions "makes no sense".

If Iran senses "American steel they back down, if they perceive American mush they push forward and right now they perceive steel", said Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank that lobbied against the nuclear deal.


"We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the USA", said European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini in a statement jointly signed with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany. But talks need honesty.

The first round of renewed U.S. sanctions will take effect on Tuesday with the harshest penalties expected in early November.

"All remaining U.S. nuclear-related sanctions will resume effective November 5, 2018".

"And because of the fear of the U.S. sanctions, they would be very reluctant to invest in Iran or do business with Tehran after this".

European foreign ministers say they "deeply regret" the re-imposition of USA sanctions on Iran.

"The next 90 days will see increased economic pressure", an official said. Kaeser said the company would stop all new deals in Iran.

The measures also aim to save the agreement meant to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions after the U.S abandoned the pact.

They said the Iranian government's handling of social and labour protests was a concern.

Mr Trump warned that individuals or entities who breach the sanctions risk "severe consequences".

Reiterating that the USA is fully committed to enforcing all of its sanctions, and will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance, Trump warned that individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences.

"We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with United Nations security council resolution 2231".


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