Iran supreme leader admits 'mistake' allowing nuke deal negotiations

Iran sanctions

Iran sanctions

Global sanctions on Iran were lifted when the pact with world powers came into force in 2016, but the expected level of foreign investment to help revive the economy has never materialized.

Speaking in Wellington, New Zealand, Ms Mogherini said: "We are doing our best to keep Iran in the deal, to keep Iran benefiting from the economic benefits that the agreement brings to the people of Iran, because we believe this is in the security interests of not only our region but also of the world".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani smiles during a meeting with the North Korean foreign minister in the capital Tehran on August 8, 2018.

US President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal in May and last week the White House confirmed that sanctions would be reimposed on trading with US dollars by the Iranian government, trade in gold and other precious metals, and trade in graphite, aluminum, steel, coal, and software used in industrial processes.

The website said it was putting out a clarification of Khamenei's comments because they had been distorted in earlier media reports, but did not offer any further explanation.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif negotiated the deal with counterparts from six powers, including then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

"We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran", the statement said, explaining that special measures would become effective August 7th in order to "protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of United States extra-territorial sanctions".

The Trump administration has said Iran can avoid the sanctions if it accepts tougher restrictions on its nuclear program.

The US administration nevertheless made a decision to withdraw from the global accord in May, and reimposed its first wave of sanctions against Iran earlier this month.

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"The first priority for all of us under a sanctions situation is to work toward managing the country in a way that brings the least amount of damage to people's lives", Fars News quoted Jahangiri as saying.

Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said that Iran must act to reduce the impact and influence of the reinstated United States sanctions.

Few U.S. companies do much business in Iran so the impact of sanctions mainly stems from Washington's ability to block European and Asian firms from trading there.

President Hassan Rouhani made similar comments to Jahangiri, although he did not specifically refer to the United States.

"The US has destroyed the conditions for holding talks", Rouhani said.

"There were conditions for negotiations and we were negotiating. They are imposing sanctions on Iranian children, patients and the nation", the president said expressing concern that essential supplies such as medicines would be affected by the sanctions. "If you're telling the truth then come now and build the bridge again".

Transactions related to the Iranian rial, Iran's issuance of sovereign debt and the country's large automotive sector will also be sanctioned.

President Trump is set to implement a second wave of sanctions in November, which will target the country's energy and oil industries, which are key for the country's struggling economy.

Thousands of Iranians have protested in recent weeks against sharp price rises of some food items, a lack of jobs and state corruption.

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