With US sanctions set to begin, where next for Trump's Iran strategy

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Despite the protests, Iranian leaders have reacted skeptically to Trump's offer of talks, insisting that the USA first rejoin the nuclear deal.

In May, the United States pulled out of a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which global sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

When President Donald Trump said he'd be open to talks with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, Iran dismissed the idea pretty quickly.

Iran's currency plumbed new depths this week ahead of August 7, when Washington is due to reimpose a first lot of sanctions following Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

In short, Trump withdrew from the Iran deal, likely imposed tremendous cost and stress on Tehran's economy, and Iran has responded by staying in the deal and trying to portray itself as a good actor worthy of the world's support against U.S. hegemony.

Earlier, Iranian protesters had clashed with police outside parliament as the plunging rial triggered three days of protests last month in Tehran.


Following the USA exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

Pompeo has insisted Washington is not advocating for regime change in Iran, but veteran Iran-watchers say the administration's demands come pretty close.

USA sanctions targeting Iranian trade in automobiles, gold and other key metals will be re-imposed on Monday, while sanctions targeting the country's energy and banking sector will resume November 4.

Non-oil exporters will be allowed to sell hard currency to importers, and there will be no limit on bringing currency or gold into the country.

"Based on the constitution, military forces are subservient to the orders of the Supreme National Security Council [headed by the president], and they do not have the right to set the political agenda for the country", said Abdollah Ramazanzadeh.

Though the U.S. sanctions post-deal will be unilateral and not as strong as the pre-deal UN-imposed sanctions, fear angering the United States, the world's largest economy, will likely scare off Europeans who are otherwise committed to the deal.


Later, Trump's Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, laid out some preconditions, but the offer remained extended.

ATR, jointly owned by European consortium Airbus and Italy's Leonardo, has been pushing US officials to allow it to finish its delivery of aircraft to Iran.

Donald Trump told Iran's President to "never, ever threaten the United States again".

Protests broke out on Sunday for a sixth night in Iranian cities, including Kazeroon in the south, according to social media.

In this July 30, 2018, photo, an Iranian street money exchanger holds a USA banknote in downtown Tehran, Iran.

The Iranian rial has dropped to a new record low amid growing concerns of renewed American sanctions, due to kick in on Monday.


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