The United States warned Tuesday that countries around the world must stop buying Iranian oil before Nov 4 or face a renewed round of American economic sanctions. He said China and India, two major customers of Iran, are among those the USA has warned.
USA sanctions against companies doing business with Iran will go into effect in November and several companies doing business with the Islamic Republic have already reacted to Trump's withdrawal, causing even greater stress to Iran's economy.
Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a deal agreed between Iran and six world powers in July 2015 aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.
The agreement lifted sanctions on Iran but the U.S. now plans to re-impose those measures. He also firmly added that that the USA will surely be requesting both the countries to bring down their export of oil with Iran to zero per cent.
"We have enough foreign currency to inject into the market", Rouhani said according to the Reuters news agency.
More clarity is likely in New Delhi on the extent of cuts and waivers and all other related issues after discussions with the U.S. team that the state department official said could be visiting soon.
As a result of the last round of sanctions, initiated by the United Nations and reinforced by the U.S. and European nations, Indian crude purchases from Iran had dropped from an average of 320,00 barrels a day in 2011 to 190,000 barrels a day on the day the Iran deal - Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - went into effect in 2016 (it was signed in 2015), ending the sanctions.
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Now, Washington is stepping up pressure on other countries to follow suit, including European allies who begged him to stay in the accord and major Iranian customers like India, Japan and China. "And yes, we will certainly be requesting that their oil imports go to zero", said the official.
In May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a wholesale change in Iran's military and regional policies, threatening the "strongest sanctions in history" if it refused.
Noting that America's allies are aware of its concern, the official claimed these countries want to work with the US. However, this spending has come at the expense of the domestic needs of the Iranian people, who have struggled for years under tough global sanctions against the regime.
"For the vast majority of countries they are willing to adhere and support our approach to this because they also view" Iran's behavior as a threat, the official added.
Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Monday's protests in Tehran and around the country - including economically hard-hit cities like Kermanshah in western Iran - included shouts of "Death to Palestine", "No to Gaza, no to Lebanon" and "Leave Syria and think of us".
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday promised Iranians the government would be able to handle the economic pressure of new USA sanctions amid reports of a second day of demonstrations in protest at financial hardship and a weakening rial.