Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

North Korea foreign minister visits Iran

North Korea foreign minister visits Iran

"The Americans have assembled a war room against Iran", he said.

The new U.S. sanctions, imposed on Tuesday, target Iran's access to dollars and its ability to trade in gold and other precious metals.

Zarif said the U.S. president has taken a hostile approach towards the Iranian nation as he first re-imposed those sanctions that targeted activities such as plane purchases.

But, despite Mr Trump's advice to stop dealing with Iran, member states of the European Union look set to defy the sanctions, putting them on a collision course with Washington once again.

The administration will ratchet up pressure on Tehran's economy in early November when USA sanctions on Iranian oil are due to snapback.

"China's commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not violating any United Nations Security Council resolutions", it added.

During his meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho in Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani warned him that USA was "an unreliable and untrustworthy" negotiating partner that did not honour "any of its commitments".

"China's lawful rights should be protected".

Danish engineering company Haldor Topsoe, one of the world's leading industrial catalyst producers, said on Wednesday it would cut around 200 jobs from its workforce of 2,700 due to the new U.S sanctions on Iran, which made it very hard for its customers there to finance new projects.

At current market rates, the imports are worth about $15bn. Turkey buys an estimated 9.5bn cubic metres of gas from Iran.

European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out.

The European Union has also unveiled a "blocking statute" meant to mitigate the impact of the U.S. sanctions on European firms doing legitimate business with Iran.

"The US withdrawal from JCPOA and re-imposition of its sanctions is a serious breach of its legal obligations under the United Nations Charter, which entails its global responsibility".

Since it unilaterally pulled out of the deal in May, Washington has told other countries that they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4, or face United States financial measures.

US President Donald Trump announced the ban on Twitter on Monday, writing: "The Iran sanctions have officially been cast".

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, however, warned that the unilateral U.S. sanctions could further destabilise the Middle East and boost "radical forces" in the region.

However, a senior U.S. official said it was "not particularly concerned" by the move because many major firms had already announced they were pulling out of Iran.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on Tuesday, according to the Foreign Ministry's website. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.

"They fear the application of overwhelming American power, and as long as the overwhelming power is credible, they will be cautious in how they'll escalate", he said.

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