Iran will break U.S. sanctions by selling oil: Pres. Rouhani

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that his country "will continue to sell our oil", despite the sanctions.

The Trump administration on Monday reimposed sweeping sanctions on Iran, targeting its financial sector and oil industry to pressure the Islamic regime to cease nuclear weapon development and sponsoring terrorism. The move brought to more than 900 the number of Iran-related targets sanctioned by the Trump administration in less than two years.

The European Union, France, Germany and Britain said they regretted the USA decision and would seek to protect European companies doing legitimate business with Tehran.

Senior Iranian officials have dismissed concerns about the impact to its economy.

Iranian state media claimed millions of people had turned out for rallies in most cities and towns around the country - a figure that has not yet been independently verified.

Iran's government-controlled maritime carrier and oil transportation company were both added to the Treasury Department's list on Monday, as were a host of subsidiary and part-government-owned companies.

"Our objective is to starve the Iranian regime of the revenue it uses to fund violent and destabilising activities throughout the Middle East and, indeed, around the world", he said.

"Sanctions waivers being given to key purchasers of Iranian oil, most alarmingly China, give Iran a financial reprieve, and should be eliminated as soon as possible", Rubio said in a press release on Friday.

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The Trump Administration announced additional sanctions on Iran on a teleconference on November 2 led by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

South Korea, a US ally and one of Asia's biggest buyers of Iranian oil, asked Washington for "maximum flexibility" last week, after some of its construction firms cancelled energy-related contracts in Iran due to financing difficulties.

Oil prices dipped on Monday as the start to US sanctions against Iran's fuel exports was softened by waivers that will allow some countries to still import Iranian crude, at least temporarily.

In a statement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: "Treasury's imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior". The others had sanctions that were lifted as part of a nuclear deal world powers struck with Iran reimposed.

Japan said on Monday it was in close communication with the United States. At that time, the waivers were not official, and the eight countries were unidentified.

Similarly, China also expressed its regret, but said it would continue to uphold the nuclear deal Beijing agreed to as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated its objections to sanctions, but would not directly say whether China had been granted an exemption.

German automaker Daimler called off the production and sale of Mercedes-Benz trucks in Iran indefinitely after the sanctions came into force. As European and Iranian leaders continue working to salvage the deal, the Trump administration has doubled down on its position.

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