U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton stressed that Washington will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime, aimed at forcing the Islamic Republic to abandon its malign activities. As part of its efforts, the United States will “drive Iranian oil exports to zero.” That said, the Trump Administration is aware of the challenges its measures pose to several “friends and allies” around the world, and will work with those countries to gradually adhere to Washington’s sanctions regime. “The President said, unmistakably, our goal is maximum pressure and that it would be to drive Iranian oil exports to zero. We understand, obviously, a number of countries — some in the–, immediately surrounding Iran, some which I just visited last week, others that have been purchasing oil — may not be able to go all the way, all the way to zero immediately. So, we want to-, we want to achieve maximum pressure, but we don’t want to harm friends and allies either. And, we’re working our way through that,” US National Security adviser John Bolton said.
While international powers, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, voiced their frustration at President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, attempts to preserve the agreement have not yielded significant results. Contrary to declared intentions to preserve trade with the Islamic Republic, despite U.S. sanctions, Ambassador Bolton stressed that financial institutions and business from those countries are “fleeing the Iranian market.” “I think – it’s important that we not relax in the effort. And I think, already, you see reductions in purchases in countries, like China, that wouldn’t have expected: countries that are still in the nuclear deal. We’ve also seen Chinese financial institutions withdrawing from engaging in transactions with Iran. European businesses are fleeing the Iranian market,” US National Security adviser John Bolton said.
Meanwhile in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned the United States for its decision to re-impose crippling sanctions against the Islamic Republic on the 4th of November, a date that marked – according to the Iranian leader – a series of “unlawful actions” against his country. That said, Rouhani underscored, the Iranian nation will “stand strong” in the face of the American measures. “November 4 has always been a date when America reveals itself as guilty of unlawful actions. This year is the same. November 4 sees a new injustice from the Americans. But our nation has always stood strong and on this date (November 4) it will stand strong again,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
Washington’s decision to re-impose the strongest batch of sanctions against Tehran’s oil and banking sectors, on the 4th of November, is perceived by the Ayatollah regime as a signal by the Trump Administration, that the United States will never forget the Islamic Republic’s past transgressions. It is in reference to the 4th of November 1979, which marked the first stand-off between Iran and the United States – just one month after Iran’s Islamic Revolution – when Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held fifty-two American diplomats and citizens hostage for 444 days. While President Rouhani attempted to reassure the Iranian people of his government’s efforts to lessen the impact of the U.S. sanctions, he admitted to the growing difficulties faced by his country. “The people (of Iran) should know with certainty that the government has no fear of the new American threats. Our people have faced difficulties over the last few months and it is likely that there will be other difficulties in the months ahead, but the government will do all in its power to lessen the impact of any problems that may arise,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.