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Greece among 8 countries exempted from US sanctions against Iran

Greece is among the countries to be exempted from the US sanctions against oil imports from Iran. Besides Greece, also China, India, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan get US sanctions waivers for Iran oil imports. The exemption is limited to six months.

The Trump administration’s tough new sanctions on Iran have taken effect, but eight major importers of Iranian oil are being spared from immediate penalties.

The sanctions target Iran’s energy, financial and shipping sectors and are aimed at crippling the country’s economy following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

The measures that came into effect on Monday restore all the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord that gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

But as the administration seeks to cut off Iran’s oil revenue it will allow some of its closest allies and rival China to continue to purchase Iranian oil as long as they work to reduce imports to zero.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending the Trump administration’s reimposition of sanctions against Iran from conservative critics who argue more should be done to isolate the country.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo said the eight nations “need a little bit more time to get to zero.”

He added that already 20 countries have halted imports form Iran, decreasing Iran exports by 1 million barrels per day.

He would not rule out the Trump administration extending the waivers beyond six months.

President Donald Trump removed the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal earlier this year, triggering the sanctions being imposed Monday.

The sanctions go into effect one day after Iranians celebrated the 39th anniversary of when university students supporting Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini stormed the gates of the US embassy, took 52 Americans prisoners and sparked a 444-day hostage crisis.

The country’s military chief, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, used his speech at the rally on Sunday to warn Trump against overreaching when dealing with Tehran.

“I want to say something to America and its weird president,” Jafari said.

“Never threaten Iran, because we can still hear the horrified cries of your soldiers in the [desert] … and you know it better, how many of your old soldiers in American society commit suicide every day because of depression and fear that they suffered in battlefields.

“So, don’t threaten us militarily and don’t frighten us with military threats,” he added.

wowtnews.com, amna.gr, aljazeera.com

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