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North Korea foreign minister visits Iran

08 August 2018

Trump has pledged to bring Iran's oil exports - now at around 2.4 million bpd - to zero but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that the U.S. leader will not succeed.

"Imagine negotiating now - how can we trust them?" Zarif told state broadcaster IRINN.

"Anyone who knows anything about Iran's behavior knows that the Iranians escalate when they sense American mush and they back down when they perceive American steel".

Zarif was speaking a day after Washington reimposed a first tranche of harsh sanctions following its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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

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".

In comments carried by the Office of the President, Rouhani was said to have praised the two countries' "friendly and heartfelt relationship" and mutual support for each other, while warning that Washington should not be seen as trustworthy.

The administration will ratchet up pressure on Tehran's economy in early November when US sanctions on Iranian oil are due to snapback.

President Donald J. Trump signs an EO on Iran Sanctions in the Green Room at Trump National Golf Club Monday, August 6, 2018, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

In a speech hours before the sanctions were due to take effect on Tuesday, Rouhani rejected negotiations as long as Washington was no longer complying with the deal. It includes blockages on financial transactions and imports of raw materials, as well as penalizing measures on purchases in the automotive sector and commercial aviation.

The next round of punitive measures will come into effect in November and will target Iran's oil industry.

Tuesday evening on his nationally syndicated radio show, LevinTV host Mark Levin interviewed national security adviser John Bolton about the Trump administration's decision to impose further sanctions on the terrorist regime that rules Iran. That announcement came after months of publicly trashing the deal, which he has characterized as one-sided in favor of Iran.

"Since the deal was reached, Iran's aggression has only increased".

Following Trump's announced United States departure from the deal in May, the White House has, through 17 rounds, sanctioned 38 Iran-related targets.

Jim Phillips, a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Heritage Foundation, said this second round of sanctions would be more powerful than the first in curbing Iran's adverse behavior. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.

In Israel, the reimposition of USA 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.

Turkey, however, said it would continue to buy natural gas from Iran.