Iran officials mock, warn US over renewed sanctions

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Iran's oil exports have fallen sharply since U.S. President Donald Trump said at mid-year he would re-impose sanctions on Tehran over its disputed nuclear programme, but with waivers in hand, the Middle Eastern nation's major buyers could scale up orders as soon as next month.

The sanctions end all economic benefits the United States had granted Tehran for its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, though Iran for now continues to abide by the accord that saw it limit its enrichment of uranium. "It can either do an 180-degree turn ... and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble". "I announce that we will proudly bypass your illegal, unjust sanctions because it's against global regulations.We are in a situation of economic war, confronting a bullying power".

Since May, over 100 companies have withdrawn from Iran or canceled plans to do business there, according to the chief USA diplomat.

The 2015 Iranian nuclear deal rolled back sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a reduction in the country's nuclear abilities.

Iran's exports peaked at 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, including 300,000 bpd of condensate, a lighter form of oil that when underground tends to exist as gas. Iraqis poured millions of dollars into Iranian banks after Iran's nuclear deal with the U.S. in 2015.

"The US has said they want to cut Iran's oil sale to zero, but we said you can't and they have not succeeded". U.S. crude futures were up about one per cent at $63.85 a barrel.

The countries allowed to keep buying oil from Iran temporarily under the sanctions include China's two biggest oil customers, China and India, Pompeo announced.

"We are in the war situation", Rouhani said, according to the Associated Press.

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During the annual UN gathering of world leaders in September, Trump chaired a council meeting that focused heavily on Iran, laying bare the rift between the United States and other powers on the nuclear deal. The Trump administration is providing waivers to eight countries, allowing them to continue to import oil from Iran, which Pompeo said was necessary "to ensure a well-supplied oil market".

The devil lies in the details on how much respite India and seven others have got from the U.S. to import Iranian oil.

Hedge fund managers were net sellers of petroleum-linked futures and options for a fifth week running last week as concerns about sanctions on Iran evaporated and investors refocused on economic worries.

"Any financial institution, company, or individual who evades our sanctions risks losing access to the U.S. financial system and the ability to do business with the United States or USA companies", Mnuchin said.

In a sweeping list, the Treasury Department labeled an additional 700 entities, including individuals, banks, vessels, aircraft and Iran's energy sector as part of its decision to reapply harsh sanctions that kicked in early Monday morning.

In a statement Friday, Trump said the goal of re-imposing sanctions is to force Iran's leaders to end the country's "destructive behavior".

Analysts and foreign policy observers, however, believe that the government's celebrations, will be short-lived, as cutting down on Iranian crude imports, a process already underway, will have adverse impacts on crude prices globally, like it will in India. The Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated its objections to sanctions, but would not directly say whether China had been granted an exemption.

The Assad government now controls more territory than any other warring party in Syria, courtesy of Iran and Russian Federation. If Iran fails to do this, he said, it would "continue down the path toward economic disaster".