The United States reimposed stiff economic sanctions on Iran on Monday, renewing pressure on the Islamic Republic despite statements of doubt from European allies, three months after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the global accord originally brokered by Barack Obama.
Responding to Mr. Trump's comments, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that Washington's call for new nuclear negotiations at the same time the USA reimposes crippling sanctions "makes no sense". Heavier U.S. sanctions, aimed at Iran's oil sector, are due in November.
European firms must seek a legal exemption for withdrawing from Iran due to United States sanctions and those failing to do so could be penalized by their governments.
"I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime's malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism", Trump said in a statement.
Iran has accused the US of reneging on the nuclear agreement, signed by the Obama administration, and of causing the country's recent economic unrest. The U.S. move has dismayed America's European allies trying to preserve the nuclear deal. Russian Federation and China also signed on to the 2015 deal.
The "Trump Administration wants the world to believe it's concerned about the Iranian people", Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a statement posted to Twitter.
Saudi Arabia and Israel, Iran's key regional rivals, are among the only countries to strongly support the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.
The sanctions, which take effect at midnight on Monday in Washington, bar transactions with Iran in United States currency, gold, precious metals, graphite, coal and semi-finished metals, as well as large sales of Iranian rials, issuing Iranian debt and vehicle sanctions.
"We are always in favour of diplomacy and talks... but talks need honesty".
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Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said that Iran can still rely on China and Russian Federation to keep its oil and banking sectors afloat.
"Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States", the president tweeted.
US sanctions on oil sales snap back are scheduled to snap back in early November.
As a result of the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, Washington's re-imposition of sanctions hit European companies operating in the country from Monday (6 August) onwards.
"They've got to behave like a normal country".
"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.
The US president's move was branded "psychological warfare" by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.
US President Donald Trump has warned other countries against doing business with Tehran, saying he had imposed "the most biting" sanctions on the country.
Among large European companies that have suspended ambitious plans to invest in Iran in response to Trump's sanctions are France's oil major Total and its big carmakers PSA and Renault.