The first set of USA sanctions against Iran that had been eased under the landmark nuclear accord have gone back into effect.
Trump said the new sanctions target the Islamic Republic's automotive sector, its trade in gold and other precious metals, along with its currency, the Iranian rial, and other financial transactions. Perhaps seeking to head off more unrest, Iran announced steps this week to make it easier to access foreign currency, and said it was prosecuting an ex-central bank official for economic crimes.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said Monday he remains open to forging a new nuclear deal with Iran, as he confirmed Washington will go ahead with re-imposing sanctions against Tehran.
Despite Trump's claims, the accord "is working and delivering on its goal" of limiting Iran's nuclear program, said a statement by European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Iran accused the USA of reneging on the nuclear agreement, signed by the Obama administration, and of causing recent Iranian economic unrest.
The European Union's diplomatic chief, Federica Mogherini, said the union, as well as Britain, France and Germany, deeply regretted the U.S. move. The sanctions follow the Trump administration's withdrawal from the 2015 deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
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It has taken longer than Washington had hoped, but a USA state department official says the process so far has been smooth. Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told senators that Pyongyang was continuing to produce fuel for nuclear bombs.
"I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!" he said.
"The Iranian regime faces a choice", Mr. Trump said in a statement.
"We have ceased our already restricted activities in Iran in accordance with the applicable sanctions", said German vehicle and truck manufacturer Daimler.
Iranians believe that their leaders will need to "drink the poison cup" and negotiate with US.
The renewed sanctions were among those lifted under a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran's nuclear program. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.
"If the ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down".
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The U.S., he added , has "to know what they have before talking about caps and arms control". They believe North Korea is building at least one of its Hwasong-15 missiles there.
But his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani dismissed the idea of talks while crippling sanctions were in force.
Iran's central bank, acting on the eve of the United States move, scrapped most currency controls introduced this year in a bid to halt a plunge in the rial that has stirred protests against the government.
Mr Rouhani said: "They want to launch psychological warfare against the Iranian nation".
US trade with Iran stood at $258 million (Dh948m) in 2016, according to the US Census Bureau, while exports to Iran from the European Union, which will be affected by secondary sanctions, were worth $13 billion a year ago.
He called on the countries of Europe to join the USA, saying, "The time has come to stop talking; the time has come to do".
"No Iranian politician can risk negotiating with the president who trashed the outcome of 12 years of negotiations over the nuclear issue and can't come to any lasting agreement with his own party and US's traditional allies", he said.
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