U.S. not anxious about European Union move on sanctions

Iranian President Rouhani and his Austrian counterpart Van der Bellen inspect a guard of honor in Vienna

Iranian President Rouhani and his Austrian counterpart Van der Bellen inspect a guard of honor in Vienna

"We are happy to talk if there's an arrangement that is appropriate, that could lead to a good outcome", he said. "But talks need honesty", he added. The president's comments came after Rouhani claimed that a war with Iran would be the "mother of all wars".

He declared that its so-called "sunset clauses" - under which the limits on Iran's nuclear programme will start to expire - were unacceptable; that it did not deal with Iran's ballistic missile programme; and that it failed to stop Iran's "malign behaviour" in neighbouring countries, including Syria and Yemen.

All remaining United States nuclear-related sanctions will resume effective November 5, 2018.

But the USA sanctions strategy has several weak spots, especially a reluctance by Europe and China to curtail business with Iran.

This is why the European Union's updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of USA extra-territorial sanctions.

"To this day, Iran threatens the United States and our allies, undermines the worldwide financial system, and supports terrorism and militant proxies around the world", he said.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an anti-U.S. mural in Tehran, Iran October 13, 2017.

In Washington, the US State Department said on its Persian-language Twitter account: "While it is ultimately up to the #people_of_Iran to determine their country's path, #America supports the voice of the Iranian people, which has been ignored for a long time".

With senior religious authorities calling for a crackdown on graft, the judiciary said on Sunday it had arrested the vice-governor of the central bank in charge of foreign exchange, Ahmad Araghchi, along with a government clerk and four currency brokers.

Iran's net official reserves are projected to decline this year to $97.8 billion, enough to finance about 13 months of imports, the International Monetary Fund estimated in March.

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Iran's parliament has called on Rouhani to answer questions about why more has not been done to buffer Iranians from the full force of United States sanctions, since his American counterpart made crystal clear his intention to pull out of the accord.

She said the collapse in the value of the rial was not driven by purely economic factors but instead by people rushing to buy gold or hard currency as a safe haven for their savings because they do not trust the government to improve the situation.

It has added to tensions inside Iran, which has seen days of protests and strikes in multiple towns and cities over water shortages, high prices and wider anger at the political system.

Trump warned that those who don't wind down their economic ties to Iranian "risk severe consequences" under the reimposed sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said renewed US sanctions on Iran will be rigorously enforced and remain in place until the Iranian government radically changes course.

The EU announced it would take legal steps to protect EU companies "doing legitimate business in Iran".

Washington's withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear deal was criticized across the world.

The comment came just hours after Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, issued a joint statement with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the European Union expressing "deep regret" at America's decision to reimpose sanctions.

Iran needs access to foreign currency and Washington is applying the full weight of the US Federal Reserve to block efforts by Tehran's new central bank governor to provide relief to Iran's exporters and importers.

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