Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Restoring Sanctions on Iran

There has been some back-and-forth within the administration on whether they'd offer waivers to countries. "Yet the very first sanctions it reimposed have canceled licenses for sales of 200+ passenger jets under absurd pretexts, endangering ordinary Iranians", the country's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted Monday.

However, U.S. officials said that as part of the sanctions, the Iranian government as of 0401 GMT/UTC on August 7 would no longer be able to buy U.S. banknotes.

Trump pulled out of a 2015 pact that the U.S. and a group of world powers, including Germany, negotiated to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic penalties. Trump abandoned the deal in May.

Heavier US sanctions, aimed at Iran's oil sector, are due in November.

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

Last month, Trump said that he would be willing to meet Rouhani without preconditions to discuss how to improve relations. He again justified leaving the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) and left the door open to negotiations for new deal in the future.

"If you stab someone with a knife and then you say you want talks, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife", Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

"We are always in favor of diplomacy and talks", Rouhani said, according to Reuters. "But talks need honesty", Rouhani said.

A senior administration official says the United States is "not particularly concerned" by EU efforts to protect European firms from the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran.

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.

The European Union on Monday said that new measures are ready to take effect to protect European businesses from the impact of USA sanctions on Iran.

A number of other countries have asked European Union officials for details on the blocking regulations as they also explore ways to bypass sanctions and their effect on oil markets: "There is a clear interest around the world", one European Union official said.

"There will be pressure because of sanctions but we will overcome this with unity", he said.

Many believe the U.S. wants to drive a wedge between Iran's leadership and the Iranian people with the potential goal of regime change, which Washington has denied.

Iran acquired five new commercial aircraft on Sunday, a day before the US begins restoring sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.

A summit with Trump would greatly shame the theocratic rulers of Iran, as they frame their whole government as a revolutionary act opposing United States hegemony and cry "death to America".

Iran's economy is in a tailspin, and the nation has seen widespread street protests in recent weeks.

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

With new USA sanctions on Iran taking effect Monday, the US secretary of state said it would take huge changes from Tehran to avoid further pressure.

Trump has repeatedly referred to the Iran nuclear deal as the "worst deal ever", "horrible", "laughable", and "defective at its core".

The UK, France and Germany expressed "deep regret" at the United States pulling out of the nuclear agreement, and have scrambled to rescue the deal.

But major European companies, fearful of being locked out of the USA market and financial system, have already canceled economic deals with Iran, including French oil giant Total and container shipping firm Maersk.

  • Eleanor Harrison