Trump says it 'doesn't matter' if Iran meets with him

Trump says it 'doesn't matter' if Iran meets with him

As the Trump administration readies to re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord, America's European allies fear greater regional instability.

Washington chose to reimpose sanctions and has told other countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face USA financial measures.

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

Pompeo said the United States wants "the Iranian people to have a strong voice of who their leadership will be", although he stopped short of calling for regime change in Tehran.

On July 31, IRGC chief Mohammad Ali Jafari had dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump's tentative offer of talks with Tehran, saying Iran was not like North Korea.

Ironically, Iran's government may regret cracking down on black market operators that facilitated oil sales during the last sanctions regime, such as billionaire Babak Zanjani who was sentenced to death for corruption in 2016.

With a public outcry and heavy sanctions looming, there is no clear sign of a plan from the clerical regime to tackle these issues, to come up with a project or a proposal to ease the internal and worldwide pressure, or make any changes in their behavior.

Iran has started naval exercises in the Gulf amid heightened tensions with Washington, US officials have revealed.

Iran's oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of the US sanctions, putting oil markets under strain amid supply outages elsewhere in the world. Protesters in the Iranian capital swarmed its historic Grand Bazaar on Monday, news agencies reported, and forced shopkeepers to close their stalls in apparent anger over the Islamic Republic's troubled economy, months after similar demonstrations rocked the country.

Countries affected by US sanctions and account freezes - such as Iran, Russia, and Venezuela - have long sought solutions to their woes by weaning themselves from the USA dollar. Sanctions on trade in Iranian metals and automobiles go back into effect Monday. The first round of United States sanctions on Iran goes into effect in August, followed by ones targeting Iran's oil exports in November.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he supports Trump's willingness to sit down and talk with Iranian leaders.

US officials last week said Iran carried out a similar exercise, though Tehran did not immediately acknowledge it.

On Saturday, a man taking part in a protest in Karaj in the northern province of Alborz was fatally shot, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

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