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US sanctions on Iran hit major banks, shipping companies

The tough US sanctions against Iran announced this month, especially targeting the oil, banking and shipping sectors, have been dubbed by analysts as the most significant till now. The list covers more than 700 individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft, including major banks and shipping companies. More than 100 big global firms have withdrawn from Iran.

The US Government reinstated all sanctions removed under the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, targeting both Iran and states that trade with it.

President Donald Trump announced in May that he was pulling the United States out of the deal, but the other parties to the agreement–the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China–have declared their determination to uphold it.

European Union members, China and Russia have said they are trying to keep Iran in compliance by countering US sanctions. But it is reportedly tough for the Europeans to set up an alternative payment mechanism to sidestep the US -dominated banking system and allow Iran to continue selling its oil and goods.

No European nation has till now agreed to host the so-called special purpose vehicle, through which Iran’s proceeds from sales of oil and gas would be offset against Iranian purchases, for fear of US retaliation, according to global news wires.

However, the United States gave temporary exceptions to nine importers –China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey, South Korea and Iraq—allowing them to keep buying oil from Iran.

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