Iran has no fear over new U.S. sanctions - Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran

Iran has no fear about new U.S. sanctions due to take effect in coming days, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The U.S. plans to impose sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector begining Sunday.

“(Nov. 4) of this year signifies a new injustice from the Americans,” the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting news agency quoted Rouhani as saying.

“But the people should know with certainty that the government has no fear of American threats.”

He added: “In the past few months our people have faced difficult times and it’s possible that the next few months will be difficult. But the government will use all its power to reduce these problems.”

Washington reimposed a number of sanctions on Iran in May after pulling out of a multilateral 2015 deal intended to curb the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

The Iranian rial has hit record lows against the U.S. dollar in recent months under the threat of revived U.S. sanctions, with heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings.

The cost of living has also soared, sparking sporadic demonstrations against profiteering and corruption, with many protesters chanting anti-government slogans.

Separately, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday that 280,000 barrels of oil had been sold on the country’s energy bourse and that an additional 720,000 barrels would be offered for sale again on the exchange, according to SHANA, the news website of the Iranian Oil Ministry.

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Iran began selling crude oil to private companies for export on Sunday, part of a strategy to counter the planned sanctions.

On May 8, President Donald Trump announced his decision to cease the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and to begin re-imposing the U.S. nuclear-related sanctions that were lifted to effectuate the JCPOA sanctions relief, following a wind-down period.

In conjunction with this announcement, the President issued National Security Presidential Memorandum-11 directing the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other Departments and Agencies to take the actions necessary to implement his decision.

Consistent with the President’s guidance, Departments and Agencies implemented 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods for activities involving Iran that were consistent with the U.S. sanctions relief specified in the JCPOA.

To effectuate the wind-down periods, the State Department has issued the necessary statutory sanctions waivers for the duration of the relevant wind-down periods.

In addition, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has revoked, or amended, as appropriate, general and specific licenses issued in connection with the JCPOA. OFAC also issued new authorizations to allow the wind down of transactions and activities that were authorized pursuant to the revoked or amended general and specific licenses.

Aug. 6, 2018, marked the final day of the 90-day wind-down period.
Trump, then issued Executive Order 13846, Reimposing Certain Sanctions wth Respect to Iran, which reimposes relevant provisions of five Iran sanctions E.O.s that were revoked or amended by E.O. 13716 of Jan. 16, 2016.

The 180-day wind-down period ends at 11:59 p.m. eastern standard time (EST) on Sunday, and the remaining sanctions that had been lifted or waived pursuant to the JCPOA come back into full effect on the same day.

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