USA hits Iran with new sanctions; petrochemicals targeted

USA hits Iran with new sanctions; petrochemicals targeted

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is expected to travel to Tehran before Abe's arrival to meet his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

According to Iran's Tasnim news agency, which provided an English translation of his remarks, Zarif was referring to comments Netanyahu made in August 2018 during a visit to Israel's secretive nuclear site in Dimona.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that anyone who starts a war against Iran will not be the one who ends it.

Iran said on Sunday that Europe was not in a position to criticise Tehran for its military capabilities, and called on European leaders to normalise economic ties with the Islamic Republic despite United States sanctions or face consequences. But tensions with the United States have mounted since President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the accord in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions.

Germany is the lead country in Europe trying to set up a special objective vehicle (SPV) to ease trade between Europe and Iran without falling foul of U.S. economic sanctions.

"So far, we have not seen practical and tangible steps from the Europeans to guarantee Iran's interests".

Washington says the nuclear deal should be expanded to cover other issues including Iran's missile program and its role in wars in the region.

The U.S. pulled out of Iran's nuclear deal over a year ago.

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It was noted that the USA government's failed policy of "maximum pressure" is still in place, he said, adding that Washington's claim that it is ready for negotiation with Iran is a sham.

Maas also said that, in his talks, he would stress his concerns about Iranian activity in Syria and Yemen.

Speaking to reporters, Maas said that tension exacerbation will not be to the benefit of anyone in the region, added that he spoke with all parties in the last few days and nobody was in favor of these tensions in the region.

Maas told reporters: "We can not just seek dialogue, we must lead it, precisely where the differences seem insurmountable and long-simmering conflicts run deep", according to the Washington Examiner. All major European companies that had announced plans to invest in Iran have since called them off for fear of USA punishment.

Trump, in withdrawing from the deal, pointed to the accord not limiting Iran's ballistic missile program, nor addressing what American officials describe as Tehran's malign influence across the wider Mideast.

Zarif's hardline stance went public on the day Germany's top diplomat Heiko Maas arrived seeking to defuse regional tensions.

Zarif touched on that economic disparity Sunday when he said it was the E.U.'s "duty" to help fund his country's survival, or face consequences.

In an effort to protect at least some of Iran's economy from USA sanctions, France, Britain and Germany have set up a special-purpose vehicle called Instex, created to allow trade payments that would bypass sanctions. Did we support Al Qaeda? "A financial mechanism called INSTEX has been devised in this respect".

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