Pompeo defends Trump plan to send to troops to southern border

Donald Trump and Iran President Hassan Rouhani. —AFP

Donald Trump and Iran President Hassan Rouhani. —AFP

The restoration of USA sanctions on Monday targeting Iran's oil sales and banking sector is part of an effort by Trump to force Iran to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programs outright, as well as its support for proxy forces in conflicts across the Middle East.

Iran is already in the grip of an economic crisis and has seen sporadic protests in recent months, as Iranian officials tried to downplay the sanctions and their effects.

"On November 5th, the United States will reimpose sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal on Iran's energy, shipbuilding, shipping and banking sectors".

The U.S. oil drilling rig count declined this week for the first time in four weeks, with drillers cutting one oil rig in the week to November 2, bringing the total count down to 874, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in a report on Friday.

Trump set in motion the resumption of sanctions on May 8, when he announced USA withdrawal from the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers under which Tehran had agreed to curtail its nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions. Pompeo said eight nations will receive "temporary allotments" from the sanctions due to their ongoing cooperation with the United States.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, terming it as "disastrous". "We now have in place the toughest ever sanctions on a corrupt regime in Iran", Trump told his supporters at an election rally in West Virginia.

Meanwhile, Iranian state television reported that the Islamic Republic had started production of the locally-designed Kowsar fighter plane for use in its air force. The United States has vowed to end all sales of Iranian oil, the country's crucial export, as well as global banking transactions, snapping back sanctions lifted by Trump's predecessor as U.S. president, Barack Obama.

India and other major energy buyers will benefit from the U.S. waiver on Iran sanctions, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Saturday.

"The administration has indicated it will not support requests by foreign governments or companies for exemptions", the report said.

Red Dead Redemption 2 breaks another record for Rockstar
Yet, it still could not compete with the launch window sales of Federation Internationale de Football Association 19. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told Barron's that Take-Two did a "masterful" job with the release.

"We have advised SWIFT that it must disconnect any Iranian financial institution that we designate as soon as technologically feasible to avoid sanctions exposure", Mnuchin said on the call.

It is part of efforts by Iran and its customers to keep oil flowing ahead of a new U.S. embargo set to hit on Monday.

Pompeo said the latest U.S. sanctions are targeted at the regime, not the people of Iran who have suffered grievously under this regime.

As a result of the latest sanctions, he said the United States expects to have reduced Iranian crude oil exports by more than 1 million barrels even before these sanctions go into effect.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said earlier Friday that the USA would grant eight temporary waivers for countries to keep importing Iranian crude oil after sanctions snap back on Monday.

As the world waits to hear Trump's additional comments on sanctions, we have no doubt that some major memes in response to his tone-deaf tweet are coming.

"Iran is a formidable adversary, well practised in different techniques to keep selling oil and muddle the data, but that won't be a panacea for everything", said Rome.

But for now, Iran seemed likely to try to endure the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign, she said.

The United States believes global oil supplies will exceed demand next year, making it easier for countries to cut Iranian oil imports to zero, Brian Hook, the USA special representative for Iran, told reporters.

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