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Trump imposes sanctions, but open to new nuclear deal

Trump imposes sanctions, but open to new nuclear deal

Just after the clock strikes midnight, it will usher in a new day and a return to past US policy: As of 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday, the Trump administration says it will restore some of the sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday said Tehran would be open to negotiations with the USA if President TrumpDonald John TrumpSouth Korea urges Pyongyang to speed up denuclearization process More than a dozen arrested as protesters, counter-protesters clash in Berkeley Trump golfs with Graham at New Jersey club MORE lifts the sanctions that went into effect on Monday.

The second administration official said Iran's economy was already on a "downward spiral" before Trump made a decision to reimpose sanctions and pointed to Iran's weakening currency, rising unemployment and growing protests across the country as evidence.

"Considering the dramatic consequences for USA national security and foreign policy interests, the Trump administration should not be given free reign to plunge the United States into a confrontation with its closest allies and partners". A senior administration official said the United States is "not particularly concerned" by EU efforts to protect European firms from the reimposition of sanctions.

They said the Iranian government's handling of social and labour protests was a concern. But Rouhani on Monday dismissed fresh talks while the sanctions remain in effect. "Trump should go back several steps, at least to the pre-Trump-era, to protect the interests of the U.S., Iran and the world".

Renewed US hostility has already sparked a run on Iran's currency, which has lost around half its value since Trump's announcement.

In late December and early January, protests against Iran's stalled economy took place across the country. The second round of sanctions, due in November, is expected to be tougher, as it will take hundreds of thousands of barrels of Iranian crude oil off the market, according to industry sources.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Sunday that the administration is willing to consider a future without sanctions, but it would "require enormous change" from Iran.

He said Iran had "always welcomed negotiations", but that Washington would first have to demonstrate it can be trusted. They will also limit Iran's access to software and automotive sectors, while blocking its ability to buy commercial aircraft or trade in food and other goods, as well.

"He will meet with the Iranian leadership at any time to discuss a real comprehensive deal that will contain their regional ambitions, will end their malign behavior, and deny them any path to a nuclear weapon".

There have been ongoing rumours that Trump and Rouhani could meet in NY later this month, where they are both attending the UN General Assembly though Rouhani reportedly rejected USA overtures for a meeting at last year's event.

But Obama's successor Trump pulled out of the pact on May 8, fulfilling a 2016 campaign promise to withdraw from a deal which he once described as the "worst ever".

Hours before revived U.S. sanctions were due to kick in, White House national security adviser John Bolton said Iran should pay heed to Trump's willingness to negotiate.

Trump announced in May the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

Under the 2015 agreement, Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.

But they admit it may not be enough to convince European firms to courageous United States penalties in order to do business with Iran.

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