Companies doing business with Iran will be barred from the United States, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, as new US sanctions took effect on Tehran despite pleas from Washington’s allies, Reuters reports.
“These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
Iran dismissed a last-minute offer from the Trump administration for talks, saying it cannot enter into discussions while Washington had reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized Trump’s tweet as a tired cliche and denounced “US unilateralism.”
“And it is not the first time that a warmonger claims he is waging war for ‘world peace’,” Zarif tweeted.
Trump decided this year to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement, ignoring pleas from the other world powers that had co-sponsored the deal, including Washington’s main European allies Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China.
European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out.
But that has proven difficult. European companies have quit Iran, arguing that they cannot risk their US business, the report noted.
White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Monday Iran’s only chance of escaping sanctions would be to take up an offer to negotiate with Trump for a tougher deal.
“If the ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down. The pressure will not relent while the negotiations go on,” Bolton told Fox News.
On Tuesday, Bolton said the sanctions were already working, deterring European companies.
“The European governments are still holding to the nuclear deal, but honestly their businesses are running from it as fast as they can so that the effect of the American sanctions really is proceeding regardless.”
Few American companies do much business in Iran so the impact of sanctions mainly stems from Washington’s ability to block European and Asian firms from trading there, Reuters noted.
Among large European companies that have already suspended plans to invest in Iran are oil major Total and automakers PSA and Renault, according to the report.
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