While most of the lead-up to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit this week in Brussels has centered around President Trump pushing military spending, and potentially being less hostile toward Russian Federation than the other nations prefer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Brussels with a mission focused heavily on Iran.
The secretary of State's comments came as the USA steps up pressure on Iran after President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday Kavanaugh offers lengthy judicial record ahead of bitter confirmation fight Hundreds protest Kavanaugh's nomination outside Supreme Court MORE's announcement in May that he would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, which sought to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.
Iran's foreign ministry and the central bank have taken measures to facilitate banking operations despite the USA sanctions, Jahangiri said without elaborating.
Mr. Pompeo spoke as he wound up a short trip to the United Arab Emirates, a staunch US ally, and as senior USA officials were wrapping up three days of talks in neighboring Saudi Arabia centered on Iran. Pompeo said that the USA remained committed to ensuring that shipping lanes remained open.
"That's the commitment we have had for decades", he said.
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In Tehran, Iran's deputy parliament speaker Ali Motahari praised Rouhani for making the threat.
Jahangiri said it would be a mistake to think the USA "economic war" against Iran will have no impact, but added: "We will make Americans understand this year that they can not stop Iranian oil sales".
The prospect of sanctions on oil exports from Iran, the world's fifth-biggest oil producer, has helped push up oil prices in recent weeks with both crude contracts trading near 3-1/2-year highs. Trump himself has been tweeting that oil suppliers must do more to lower prices ahead of midterm elections this fall. "... India is trying to make Chabahar port in Iran operational by 2019... opening up of the Chabahar port would make the CIS countries more accessible", the shipping minister said. He warned such imports largely would be "sanctionable activity and we will enforce those sanctions".
While New Delhi says it does not recognise unilateral restrictions imposed by the USA on any country and instead follows UN sanctions, oil firms have been asked to be prepared for channels to pay for Iranian oil getting blocked by November, following sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation, they said.
Pompeo met Abu Dhabi's powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan while on his short trip to the UAE. The Indian refiners will want to comply with the limits to maintain their access to the US financial system.