Japan's Biggest Oil Firm Considers to Resume Iranian Oil Imports - Spokeswoman

A gas flare on an oil production platform in Iran's Soroush oil fields

A gas flare on an oil production platform in Iran's Soroush oil fields

The United States on Monday officially slapped sanctions on Iran's oil exports and banking industries, a tough move that has ratcheted up pressure on Iran while meeting with strong oppositions.

President Donald Trump's administration reimposed sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal after pulling out of the worldwide agreement reached between Iran, the United States and five other powers: Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation.

"The Iranian regime has a choice: It can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble", Pompeo said at the press conference. Over 700 entities were targeted, according to CBS News; some of the sanctions had been imposed by the Obama administration but were canceled when Obama signed on to the Iran nuclear deal.

The remaining members believe the agreement is working as intended and is keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for now.

The accord provided Iran with billions of dollars in relief from global sanctions in exchange for sweeping curbs on and inspections of its nuclear program.

Aside from restrictions on oil imports, the administration added more than 700 individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft linked to the energy and financial sectors and other segments of Iran's economy to the US list of sanctioned entities.

The deal saw Iran agree to limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

Some of the banks designated on Monday have served as "financial conduits" for the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, according to the United States government.

Japan said on Monday it was in close communication with the United States on the measures, although Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to provide details.

"We regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S.", May's spokesman James Slack said.

The nations of South Korea, China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, Taiwan and Turkey have been given a temporary exemption of the oil embargo to ensure the well-supplied oil market.

He also stated that over 20 importing nations have already "zeroed out" their crude oil purchases, "taking more than one million barrels of crude oil per day off the market".

Oil prices dipped on Tuesday as concerns that an economic slowdown may curb fuel demand growth overshadowed the reintroduction of sanctions on Iran. "The US-& not Iran-is isolated". He said he had discussed the list with other officials, with many saying it was "less than what we expected".

The president added, "Some think that we negotiated and came to conclusion in nuclear talks which was as a great success, but the USA ruined this success".

But they were opposed by other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal - Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the EU. The first round of the United States sanctions was reimposed in August.

Last year, Iran was the sixth-biggest oil exporter in the world.

In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed what he called Trump's courageous decision in reimposing the sanctions on Iran, an arch-foe of Israel.

Trump administration officials have said eight entities are being given short-term waivers to allow them time to completely wind down their existing Iranian oil imports.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $62.86 a barrel at 0800 GMT, down 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

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