China continues 'fair and lawful' business in Iran, despite USA sanctions

The minister said the Americans "have assembled a war room against Iran" but Tehran "can't get drawn into a confrontation with America by falling into this war room trap and playing on a battlefield".

"If you stab someone with a knife and then you say you want talks, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife", Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television. "America has zigzagged constantly, so now no one trusts them".

"There is a big difference this time", said Zarif.

"The performance of the USA government over the years is such that today the United States is recognized as an unreliable country in the world that does not adhere to any of its obligations", the President said, calling for the "expansion of relations and cooperation" between Tehran and Pyongyang.

"They can't think that Iran won't export oil and others will export", he said.

The national security adviser explained that the sanctions are meant to motivate the Iranian regime to "commit to give up their nuclear weapons program, their ballistic missiles, their support for terrorism". "But now, all the countries in the world are supporting Iran".

His Tuesday morning tweet came as Washington's new sanctions on Tehran took effect overnight.

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The reimposition of US sanctions followed Trump's decision earlier this year to pull out of a 2015 deal to lift the punitive measures in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear program created to prevent it from building an atomic bomb.

It will be followed in November by other measures affecting the oil and gas sector as well as the Central Bank.

In a White House statement announcing the sanctions, Trump repeated his criticisms of the deal, and argued that Iran's behavior since the pact was implemented has vindicated his long-held position.

Bolton explained that the sanctions will seek to reverse the damage done by the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran, which empowered the regime with billions in cash and access to the global financial system. "The regime has used the windfall of newly accessible funds it received under the JCPOA to build nuclear-capable missiles, fund terrorism, and fuel conflict across the Middle East and beyond".

The objective, the administration has indicated, is to change Iranian behavior. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.

Iran dismissed a last-minute offer from the Trump administration for talks, saying it could not negotiate while Washington had reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear program.

In Israel, the reimposition of U.S. sanctions was lauded as a historic turning point that could ultimately lead to the Islamic Republic's downfall, with senior officials calling on other countries to follow suit.

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