Iran to continue exporting crude despite fresh United States sanctions

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes a statement to the media Sept. 17 2018 at the State Department in Washington

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani doubles down on strengthening the country's ballistic missile program, despite sharp criticism from the U.S.

Rouhani said US President Donald Trump will fail in his confrontation with Iran.

Under the accord, most global sanctions against Tehran were lifted in 2016 in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

"In practical terms, this will mean that EU member states will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world", she told reporters.

"South Korea was the first country to halt Iran's oil imports following the USA sanction threats against the country", Kasra Nouri, the public relation manager of the ministry, was quoted as saying by SHANA news agency.

Rouhani, who is in NY for the annual United Nations General Assembly gathering of world leaders, said Iran would only talk to Trump if his administration proved its trustworthiness. In July, Trump said he would be willing to meet Iran's leader without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties.

The statement said that the participants also "welcomed the fact that updates to the EU's "Blocking Statute" and the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate to make Iran eligible entered into force on 7 August".

Only the Israeli prime minister and royal families in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have expressed happiness over Trump's exit from the nuclear agreement and the reimposition of sanctions on Iran. Iran dismissed the offer.

Rouhani has sought to reassure Iranians, many deeply frustrated by high unemployment and low living standards, that Iran's oil-reliant economy could withstand the US pressure.

Despite Iran's fragile economy, weakened by decades of sanctions, corruption and mismanagement, it will be hard for Rouhani to consider diplomacy with the United States, which is rejected by Iran's powerful hardliners.

Washington maintains a fleet in the Gulf that protects oil shipping routes. European countries are trying to salvage the landmark accord.

Remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal have promised to establish a "special objective vehicle" to facilitate payments related to Iran's exports as part of efforts to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action after the US' withdrawal.

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