Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Iran trade continues despite United States sanctions: Iraqi official

Iran trade continues despite United States sanctions: Iraqi official

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has cancelled a visit to Iran, his press office said on Sunday, as the premier came under strong Iranian criticism over his stand on renewed United States sanctions against Tehran.

Ambassador Woody Johnson cautioned there would be trade consequences for Britain, which he described as the closest USA ally, unless it breaks with the European Union and follows Trump in re-imposing sanctions on Tehran.

Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that "we are asking global Britain to use its considerable diplomatic power and influence and join us as we lead a concerted global effort towards a genuinely comprehensive agreement".

Woody Johnson, the USA ambassador to London, encouraged Britain to stick with the United States and ditch a "flawed" 2015 nuclear deal with Iran even as the European Union openly defied sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

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The first phase of the unilateral sanctions came into effect on Tuesday, targeting Iran's purchase of U.S. dollars, trade in gold and other precious metals as well as its automotive sector.

The move also upheld a campaign-era promise of Trump's and dealt a significant blow to former President Obama's worldwide agreement.

"We made it clear that we regard the nuclear deal as an important part of the region's security".

Abadi on August 7 said he did not agree with the renewed US sanctions but added that he would abide by them to protect his country's interests and risk retaliatory actions by Washington.

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Earlier this week, British Minister for Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt backed the current deal negotiated with Iran, rejecting the idea that the United Kingdom would "go along with" the US.

Woody Johnson said that America's "closest ally" should reverse its position.

USA sanctions that had been eased by the Obama administration under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, took effect again Tuesday.

May's position is likely to become even more awkward in the coming days as she's forced to choose between European leaders, whose support she needs for a favorable Brexit deal or a US leader determined to secure EU compliance with reimposed sanctions on Iran, fear British officials.

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