Iran Guards says it held Gulf drills as U.S. tensions rise

05 August, 2018, 22:12 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • China Rejects U.S. Request to Cut Iranian Oil Imports

Sporadic protests were taking place in cities in Iran for a fourth day, with demonstrators attacking a Shi'ite seminary west of Tehran, according to Iranian news agencies and social media on Saturday, as Iranians brace for a return of USA sanctions. Demonstrators in the capital chanted "death to the dictator", and there have also been rallies in Shiraz, Isfahan and the holy city of Qom.

On the back of renewed tensions between Iran and the USA, the Islamic Republic's President Hassan Rouhani delivered a thinly-veiled threat to hamper oil shipments in the Gulf.

US President Donald Trump announced in May Washington's withdrawal from a landmark multinational nuclear deal with Iran.

So far, social media reports suggest the current protests are far from the scale of the unrest seen in December and January, when at least 25 people were killed in demonstrations that spread to dozens of towns and cities.

The officials who spoke to Reuters said the campaign, consisting of speeches and online material paints Iranian leaders in a harsh light, at times using information that is exaggerated or contradicts other official pronouncements, including comments by previous administrations.

The three European signatories to the nuclear deal, the United Kingdom, France and Germany agreed with China and Russian Federation last month to continue to support Iran through the reimposition of USA sanctions.

U.S. officials are now travelling the world in a dramatic effort to stop other countries from buying Iranian oil.

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China has rejected a United States demand to cut Iranian oil imports despite Washington's attempts to bring down the Islamic Republic's oil sales to zero, Bloomberg reports.

Their arrival means Iran Air has received 13 of the 20 it ordered from the French-Italian manufacturer in April 2017.

The Trump administration wants Iranian oil exports cut to zero by November 4. However, only 13 planes have been delivered since sanctions on Iran were lifted under the nuclear pact.

People are growing increasingly angry over rising inflation and a dramatic plunge in the currency - the rial - which has lost almost two-thirds of its value in the past six months.

Although smaller foreign firms have vowed to work around the United States measures, multinationals such as France's Total and Peugeot, and Germany's Siemens have already said they will have to pull out.

"There is a massive loss of confidence in the financial system and the government's ability to control things and withstand sanctions", she said.

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