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Iran Dismisses US Efforts for Sanctions09/20 12:09

   Iran's president dismissed U.S. efforts to restore all U.N. sanctions on the 
country as mounting economic pressure from Washington pushed the local currency 
down to its lowest level ever on Sunday.

   TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's president dismissed U.S. efforts to restore all 
U.N. sanctions on the country as mounting economic pressure from Washington 
pushed the local currency down to its lowest level ever on Sunday.

   Iran's currency dropped to 272,500 to the U.S. dollar at money exchange 
shops across Tehran.

   The rial has lost more than 30% of its value to the dollar since June as 
sweeping U.S. sanctions on Iran continue to crush its ability to sell oil 
globally. Iran's currency was at 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of 
Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which was signed by the Obama 
administration but which the Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of.

   As the currency plummeted, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani slammed the Trump 
administration's declaration Saturday that all U.N. sanctions against Iran have 
been reimposed because Tehran is not complying with the nuclear deal.

   "If America uses its bullying ... and does something in practice, it will 
have to face our decisive response," Rouhani said in a Cabinet meeting Sunday.

   Rouhani said that, if the deal's remaining signatories fully carry out their 
obligations under the agreement, Iran will walk back its steps away from the 
deal. For Iran, being able to sell oil remains its most important concern.

   The U.S. move to reimpose sanctions has been rejected as illegal by most of 
the rest of the world and sets the stage for an ugly showdown at the world body 
ahead of its annual General Assembly this week.

   Even before the U.S. declaration, other Security Council members had vowed 
to ignore it. They say the U.S. lost legal standing to invoke snapback 
sanctions when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 
and began reimposing U.S. sanctions on Iran.

   France, Germany and Britain issued a joint statement Sunday reiterating that 
they contest the legal basis of the Trump administration's bid to activate the 
"snapback" sanctions mechanism because the United States withdrew from the 
nuclear accord.

   The statement said "it follows that any decision or action taken on the 
basis of this procedure ... are without effect in law." The three countries 
stressed they remain determined to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran.

   Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the snapback 
sanctions have only happened in "the fantastical world" of the Trump 
administration. He said the U.S. stands on the wrong side of history.

   "They are attempting to make everyone believe it, but nobody is buying it 
except for themselves," Khatibzadeh said during his weekly press briefing on 
Sunday.

   "It is a television show whose sole presenter, viewers and those cheering it 
on are Mr. Pompeo himself and a handful of others," the spokesman said, 
referring to the U.S. secretary of state.

   The White House plans to issue an executive order on Monday spelling out how 
the U.S. will enforce the restored sanctions, and the State and Treasury 
departments are expected to outline how foreign individuals and businesses will 
be penalized for violations.

   Tensions are running high between Iran and the U.S., particularly since a 
U.S. strike in January killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani 
in Baghdad, prompting Tehran to retaliate with a ballistic missile strike on 
Iraqi bases housing American troops.

 
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