Iran seeks EU's support as US oil sanctions loom

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"The other six will import at greatly reduced levels", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo today imposed penalties against more than 700 businesses, individuals and other entities involved in Iran's oil, banking, shipping, shipbuilding and insurance sectors. Some said they're already used to them, while others chose to downplay the effect.

Those factors, along with a spate of recent weak economic reports out of China and other emerging markets, have shifted the conversation back toward worries about oversupply, and pushed USA futures to lows not seen since April, interrupting an upward move that had consistently found support during the rally's modest pullbacks.

In May, Russian oil major, Lukoil said it had decided not to go ahead with plans to develop projects in Iran at the moment due to the threat of US sanctions.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the call that the United States has advised SWIFT, the global messaging network that connects the world's financial institutions, to discontinue its service for the Iranian financial institutions Washington plans to blacklist on Monday.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that the country's objective is to force the Iranian regime to "either abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster".

This is the second major batch of sanctions imposed by the administration of President Donald Trump since he pulled the United States from a landmark nuclear deal in May.

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Still, U.S. crude oil futures prices lost 2.2 percent for the week, marking the third straight weekly loss. Investors awaited industry data on US crude inventories due to be released at 4:30 p.m.

After the US' withdrawal from the deal, Trump signed fresh sanctions against Iran and warned countries against any cooperation with Tehran over its controversial nuclear weapons programme.

The condemnation was expressed in a joint statement by EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and Foreign Ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian (France), Heiko Maas (Germany), and Jeremy Hunt (the UK), and Finance Ministers Bruno Le Maire (France), Olaf Scholz (Germany) and Philip Hammond (the UK).

It also wants Iran to stop backing Yemen's Houthi rebels. Asked if the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was involved, Pompeo said, "We're going to follow the facts wherever they go".

Iran said it was not troubled over the re-imposition of USA sanctions, which target not only its vital oil and gas sector but also shipping, ship-building and banking industries.

"The US has had some success in terms of frightening away major corporations".

Iran said it was not troubled over the re-imposition of United States sanctions. The sanctions will come into effect on Monday. "Hundreds of businesses have departed Iran", Pompeo said. But she said she was struck by the sense of despair she heard, in particular from Iranian officials who had promoted worldwide engagement as a way to solve Iran's security and economic dilemmas, and their sense that that stance was increasingly hard to sustain. "Some may not be so religious but they are sensitive towards domination by foreigners". "There is no exit for us".

"The sanctions that will be reimposed tomorrow are the toughest sanctions ever put in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran", Pompeo said during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday". "There was a sense of "strategic patience" ... to wait to see what happens". "At no point was there any threat made to withdraw from JCPOA", she said.

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