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Iran plans to respond in kind if U.S. blocks oil exports
25 July 2018, 02:39 | Vera Richards
Students at a protest rally
However, growing strains with the United States will eventually boost Rouhani's anti-Western hardline rivals who fear losing power if the nuclear accord, championed by Rouhani, ended the country's political and economic isolation.
The head of Iran's Basij militia on Monday dismissed threats by U.S. President Donald Trump as "psychological warfare", local media reported.
The agreement forced Iran to curtail its uranium enrichment capacity to prevent it developing nuclear weapons, and imposed stringent verification processes, in exchange for relief on crippling sanctions.
The Trump administration has threatened to reimpose sanctions on Iran and the looming penalties could further escalate tensions between the USA and its European allies who have expressed the desire to keep the terms of the nuclear deal.
"The president consults with his national security team on a daily basis", she said.
It was reminiscent of Mr. Trump's "fire and fury" warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last summer.
"Anyone who understands the rudiments of politics doesn't say "we will stop Iran's oil exports"...we have been the guarantor of the regional waterway's security throughout history."
And I don't think that's warranted.
Trump's comments came after Pompeo, in a major address to the Iranian diaspora in California, said Washington was not afraid to sanction top-ranking leaders of the "nightmare" Iranian regime.
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"If America wants to take a serious step in this direction it will definitely be met with a reaction and equal countermeasures from Iran", Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying today.
But the US has somewhat eased its stance, saying it may grant sanction waivers to some allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies.
"To our Iranian-American and Iranian friends: The Trump Administration dreams the same dreams for the people of #Iran as you do, and through our labors and God's providence they will one day come true", he tweeted.
There is little interest among United States lawmakers for a conflict with Iran. "On the other hand, he is not going to be reckless in the use of force, but I imagine if the Iranians thought about trying something, the tweet was a reminder they won't get away with it".
In a blistering speech earlier Sunday evening, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo likened the Iranian regime to the mafia, accusing the clerics that rule the country of enriching themselves and funding terrorism at the expense of ordinary Iranians.
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John Cornyn of Texas, said sanctions may be preferable to a nonbinding resolution that amounts to "just some messaging exercise". Former House speaker and longtime Trump ally Newt Gingrich put it bluntly.
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