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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran to sell oil, defy US sanctions: TV

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Iran will sell its oil and break sanctions reimposed by the United States on its vital energy and banking sectors, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday.

“America wanted to cut to zero Iran’s oil sales … but we will continue to sell our oil … to break sanctions,” Rouhani told economists at a meeting broadcast live on state television.

The United States said on Friday it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil when it re-imposes sanctions on Monday aimed at forcing Tehran to curb its nuclear, missile and regional activities.

China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey – all top importers of Iranian oil – are among eight countries expected to be given temporary exemptions from the sanctions to ensure crude oil prices are not destabilised.

The restoration of sanctions is part of a wider effort by U.S. President Donald Trump to force Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.

“Today the enemy (the United States) is targeting our economy … the main target of sanctions is our people,” Rouhani said.

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In May, Trump exited Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and Washington reimposed first round of sanctions on Iran in August.

The deal had seen most international financial and economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for Tehran curbing its disputed nuclear activity under U.N. surveillance.

“ECONOMIC WAR”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday the penalties set to return on Monday “are the toughest sanctions ever put in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

However, Iran’s clerical rulers have dismissed concerns about the impact of sanctions on the country’s economy.

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“This is an economic war against Iran but … America should learn that it can not use the language of force against Iran … We are prepared to resist any pressure,” Rouhani said.

To keep the deal alive, the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal are trying to maintain trade with Tehran despite scepticism this is possible despite U.S. sanctions to choke off Iranian oil sales.

Diplomats told Reuters last month that the new EU mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian oil exports should be legally in place by Nov. 4 but not operational until early next year.

They cautioned, however, that no country had volunteered to host the entity, which was delaying the process.

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“We are in regular contact with other signatories of the nuclear deal … setting up (a) mechanism to continue trade with the European Union will take time,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told a weekly news conference on in Tehran.

He also said the reimposed U.S. sanctions were part of a psychological war launched by Washington against Tehran, adding that “America’s economic pressure on Iran is futile.”

Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Louise Heavens, William Maclean

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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New York Times drops the hammer on the ‘breathtaking arrogance’ of Kelleyanne Conway in brutal editorial

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Addressing a report from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel recommending White House counsel Kellyanne Conway should be fired for flagrant violations of the Hatch Act, the New York Times editorial board hammered President Donald Trump's confidante over her smirking response.

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‘Be ashamed’: Anthony Scaramucci’s wife deletes tweet after Soledad O’Brien opens a can of whoop ass on her

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Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien, a former CNN anchor, clashed with the wife of Trump surrogate Anthony Scaramucci over the weekend.

In a tweet on Friday, O'Brien complained that cable new networks were continuing to book the former White house communications director even though he has little of substance to add to the discussions.

"Why do you guys put this crap on tv?" O'Brien wrote after seeing an interview with Scaramucci. "Seriously it’s an insult to your viewers. And also absurd. Is there no one else in the whole world to book but this mediocre dude?"

Scaramucci's wife, Deidre, was moved to criticize O'Brien.

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Sen. Tom Cotton calls for unauthorized ‘retaliatory strike’ on Iran with ‘the fire and fury of the military’

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Sunday called for a "retaliatory strike on Iran" after Trump administration officials alleged that the country is behind attacks on oil tankers.

"Well, Iran for 40 years has engaged in this kind of attacks, going back to 1980s," Cotton told CBS host Margaret Brennan.

"These unprovoked attacks a warrant retaliatory strikes," he added. "We can make a military response in the time and matter of our choosing."

"A retaliatory strike?" Brennan pressed. "As someone who sits in Congress, do you believe that he can act, the administration can act without coming to Congress first?"

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