United States warns Europe: End business with Iran or face harsh sanctions

Kenny Grant
August 5, 2018

Hundreds took to the streets across the country Friday night, including in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and Karaj, according to videos on social media.

There have been several demonstrations in Iranian cities in recent days over economic conditions and public buildings have been damaged.

Also on Friday, about 500 protesters attacked a seminary in Karaj and broke windows with stones and bricks.

The agency gave only his clerical rank - Hojatoleslam - not his given name.

The protests have often begun with slogans against the high cost of living and alleged financial corruption but quickly turned into anti-government rallies.

Amateur videos sent to RFE/RL appeared to show dozens of protesters in the capital Tehran, with some chanting "Death to Khamenei", in a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Last month, U.S. officials familiar with the matter said the Trump administration had launched a communications campaign to foment unrest and put pressure on Iran to end its nuclear programme and its support of armed groups.

Britain, France, Germany including China, Russia and the European Union are in favor of the Nuclear deal which was approved by former U.S. administration headed by president Barak Obama, from which President Trump pulled out t, describing it as "The worst deal negotiated by the United States".

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In Washington, the U.S. State Department said on its Persian-language Twitter account: "While it is ultimately up to the #people_of_Iran to determine their country's path, #America supports the voice of the Iranian people, which has been ignored for a long time".

The US is due to impose a series of new sanctions on Iran in the next few months.

Ahead of the return of the US sanctions on Iran, India's state refiners boosted their Iranian oil purchases, pushing up Indian oil imports from Iran by 30 percent from June, to a record 768,000 bpd in July, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing preliminary tanker arrival data it had obtained from trade sources.

Sanctions will also be reapplied to USA imports of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs and on certain related financial transactions.

This stance was reported by U.S. website Freebacon, quoting a number of senior USA officials that Washington and many in Congress have been working in tandem to pressure European partners over their ongoing financial ties to Iran ahead of efforts by the United States to fully reinstate harsh sanctions on Iran, including on its lucrative oil sector and banking systems.

Iran's oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of the USA sanctions, putting oil markets under huge strain amid supply outages elsewhere in the world.

People are growing increasingly angry over rising inflation and a dramatic plunge in the currency - the rial - which has lost almost two-thirds of its value in the past six months.

On Sunday Iran Air will take delivery of five ATR commercial aircraft from the French-Italian firm, slipping in under the wire before the sanctions return.

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