08/07/2018, 11.07
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Return of sanctions against Iran. Rouhani: US waging psychological war

US targets financial transactions, the automotive sector and the purchase of commercial and metal aircraft, including gold. The sting expected in November, when oil and banks will be hit. Tehran: the US aims to "create divisions", sanctions damage "ordinary citizens". The EU appeals to the "anti-blockade" law to save the interests of its companies.


Teheran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The first part of US sanctions against Iran has come into force in these hours, following President Donald Trump's decision to cancel the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and the international community last May. The executive order signed by the White House affects financial transactions by prohibiting the use of the dollar, the automotive sector and the purchase of commercial and metal aircraft, including gold.

The trade restrictions imposed by Washington also provide for the revocation of permits - previously bestowed - on the Islamic Republic to export carpets and local food, such as pistachios. However, the real sting will come next November 5 when the United States will impose a further tightening on the oil and banking sectors, a strategic asset for the Iranian economy.

Trump and the US administration, unlike the predecessor Barack Obama who had opened a channel of dialogue with the ayatollahs, invite the international community to show a common front against the Iranian "threat". 

According to the US leader, the "regime" must "make a choice: change its threatening and destabilizing behavior and re-enter the global economy or face the path of economic isolation". At the same time, President Trump says he is still ready to meet the Iranian leader and negotiate new terms of the nuclear agreement.

His Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani immediatley replied accusing the White House tenant of conducting a "psychological war" against his country, saying he was "deeply sorry" for the American attitude.

According to Rouhani, US policy aims only to "create divisions" in the country, theater in the recent past of street demonstrations behind which - according to Tehran - is  the US. 

The Iranian leader says Washington "is turning its back on diplomacy" and aims only at the conflict, because introducing sanctions and proposing negotiations at the same time "makes no sense". "We are always in favor of diplomacy and talks - concludes Rouhani - but words also require honesty".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also intervened saying the US administration "pretends to be interested" in the well-being of the Iranian people. In fact, he adds, the introduction of new sanctions only ends up targeting "ordinary citizens".

In recent weeks, the leaders of Europe have set in motion the highest levels of diplomacy to keep the JCPOA and trade with Tehran alive; an attempt, albeit ineffective, to mitigate the effects of Trump's decision to cancel the nuclear agreement and introduce new sanctions. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif went to Brussels, the last stop on a journey that also touched Russia and China.

European leaders have expressed their perplexity at the US decision, highlighting even more the gap that has been created for some time between Washington and Brussels in terms of foreign policy. 

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, in a joint note with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom, expresses "deep regret" for the return of the sanctions. "Preserving the nuclear agreement with Iran - continues the note - is a question of compliance with international agreements and security". As anticipated in mid-May, Brussels intends to adopt the "anti-blockade" law to protect the interests of its companies.

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