China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey - all top importers of Iranian oil - are among eight countries given temporary exemptions from the sanctions to ensure crude oil prices are not destabilised.
At the same time, the U.S. administration has made exceptions to the eight countries that will continue to be able to import Iranian oil.
Over 700 entities were targeted, according to CBS News; some of the sanctions had been imposed by the Obama administration but were canceled when Obama signed on to the Iran nuclear deal.
The Trump administration on Monday released a list of sanctions against hundreds of entities throughout Iran's economy, promising to exert more pressure on the nation's regime.
Powerful Shia cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda issued the chilling warning to the Trump administration about the consequences of cutting off Iranian oil exports in its latest round on sanctions.
"These sanctions have already had an enormous impact", Pompeo said, adding that Trump's policy will be "fully in place" as of Monday. "True, there can be more bumps along the way, but we must approach this very aggressively and from strength. also morally, economically and vis-à-vis security".
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China's waiver, like the others, is not a pass to purchase Iranian crude oil indefinitely. "We are intent on making sure the Iranian regime stops siphoning its hard currency reserves into corrupt investments and the hands of terrorists".
Iran's economy has faced stagnant growth and high unemployment, even after sanctions were lifted following the nuclear deal it negotiated with world powers.
Sanctions were slapped against 700 individuals, entities, financial, shipping, aviation and energy sectors in Iran, including 50 Iranian banks and their branches at home and overseas, Iran Air and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the US Department of Treasury announced yesterday.
"We have the toughest sanctions ever imposed but on oil we want to go a little bit slower because I don't want to drive the oil prices in the world", Trump told reporters on November 6.
The U.S.is moving to hit Iran economically with what U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calls a "maximum pressure" campaign against the country's energy and banking sectors.
The sanctions bring to an end all the economic benefits the United States granted Tehran for its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, though Iran for now continues to abide by the accord under which it limited its enrichment of uranium.