Trump warns nations from trading with Iran amid US sanctions

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The top USA general in the Middle East on Wednesday said the military remains "extraordinarily vigilant" about Iranian movements in the Persian Gulf following last week's Iranian naval exercise in and around the Strait of Hormuz.

In November, a second batch of potentially more damaging sanctions will be reinstated on Iran's port operators, and the energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors.

"U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that countries trading with Iran will not be doing business with the United States".

The EU has revived legislation meant to insulate European companies doing business with Iran from United States sanctions, instructing them not to comply with Washington's demands, and providing a mechanism to sue the USA in European courts.

In comments carried by the Office of the President, Rouhani was said to have praised the two countries' "friendly and heartfelt relationship" and mutual support for each other, while warning that Washington should not be seen as trustworthy. But that has proved hard: European companies have quit Iran, arguing that they can not risk their US business.

Anti-government demonstrations have spread across the country in recent months, from Iran's heartland to dozens of cities, including the capital of Tehran, as citizens grow increasingly disillusioned by the weak economy, strict Islamic laws, and chronic drought.

Among large European companies that have suspended plans to invest in Iran are France's oil major Total and its big carmakers, PSA and Renault. Zarif said that Oman and Switzerland have acted as mediators in talks with America in the past but that there are now no direct or indirect talks being held with the United States.

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Turkey, however, said it would continue to buy natural gas from Iran.

"If the Americans want to keep this simplistic and impossible idea in their minds they should also know its consequences".

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country will not oppose third-country mediation between the US and Iran.

The first wave of U.S. sanctions took effect on Tuesday. "We can't get drawn into a confrontation with America by falling into this war room trap and playing on a battlefield".

The Trump tactics have deepened an already serious economic crisis in Iran, fuelling protests around the country.

Lankov said North Korea has been selling arms to Iran at least since the mid-1980s, including missiles used by Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War.

Russia, which remains a signatory of the 2015 deal along with the European Union and others, also slammed the USA sanctions on Iran.

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