Scattered Protests, Heavy Security Across Iran After New Sanctions

Zarif met on Tuesday with the his foreign ministry counterpart from North Korea a country also under US sanctions

United States sanctions that had been eased by the Obama administration under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal took effect again Tuesday, following President Donald Trump's decision in May to withdraw from the accord, saying it was too generous.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in January that after two years of routine harassment of American vessels, including instances in which the U.S. Navy resorted to firing warning shots, the run-ins dropped off in August 2017. Thus, it is hard for India to stop doing business with Tehran.

Russian Federation called on the global community to save the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and "not to allow such significant achievements in multilateral diplomacy to be sacrificed in the name of American aspirations to settle political scores with Iran".

Mr. Trump considered the accord reached by his predecessor, Barack Obama, to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran suspending development of nuclear weapons to be a bad deal, too full of holes to be effective.

The Iranian parliament voted to remove Labor Minister Ali Rabie during a raucous debate Wednesday on new economic policies to tackle unemployment and bolster the weak economic situation in the country, a day after new USA economic sanctions went into effect.

The general overseeing USA military operations in the Middle East said Wednesday that an Iranian naval exercise around the Strait of Hormuz was meant to send a message to Washington before it reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

The commission said today it hadn't received any such requests despite the growing number of companies who say they are pulling out of Iran.

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But the second tranche of sanctions, which kicks in on 5 November and targets Iran's vital oil sector, could be far more damaging - even if several key customers such as China, India and Turkey have refused to significantly cut their purchases.

The European Union is also embroiled in a trade war with the United States. "We don't find the sanctions right either", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. They remain defiant against the US sanctions threat, a stance which their government obviously supports.

Fearing aggressive Trump administration policies towards Iran, India is also expected to scrap the rupee-based trade agreement it concluded with Iran three years ago, Iranian sources say.

General Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, told Pentagon reporters that Iran was showcasing its military capabilities, amid recent threats by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to close the strait. Critics accused him of mismanagement and blamed him for the country's recent economic problems, which have been exacerbated by the restoration of US sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear agreement. "It has propped up the Syrian regime and participated in crimes against humanity in Syria".

"In the current situation, friendly countries should develop their relations and cooperation in (the) worldwide community", he told Ri Yong Ho, adding the two countries have "always had close views".

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Singapore on Friday that China is willing to work with all parties to continue safeguarding the Iran nuclear deal.

In 2015, Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - plus Germany, signed the nuclear deal in Vienna. Votel singled out Soleimani for driving much of that militant activity.

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