The US on Monday imposed "the toughest ever" sanctions on a defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime's "behaviour", even as the Trump administration dodged a question whether it has got firm commitments from India and China to stop all oil purchases from Tehran within six months. The Russian diplomat said the sanctions go against worldwide law and practices, and that the US "policies of issuing an ultimatum and making unilateral moves are unacceptable these days".
Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would to continue to sell its oil despite Washington's "economic war".
In a speech on state TV, Iranian President Hassan Rohani earlier said the country was facing a "war situation" and vowed that Iran will "proudly bypass" U.S. sanctions to sell oil.
South Korea's presidential spokesman says the US has demonstrated the strength of the two countries' alliance by allowing South Korea to continue importing Iranian crude oil products under reinstated sanctions against Iran.
The US on yesterday reimposed all penalties that had been lifted as part of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal as the Trump administration added almost 700 targets, including 50 Iranian financial institutions, to a sanctions list.
Output from these three countries in October exceeded 33 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time, meaning they alone meet more than a third of the world's nearly 100 million bpd of crude oil consumption. Iran is its third-largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10% of total needs.
India, Iran's second-biggest oil customer, also cut orders ahead of the sanctions, hoping its effort to reduce reliance on Tehran would pay off in Washington and win it a waiver once the sanctions restarted.
Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has said that the US move raised economic and security risk internationally and that the European Union would work to realize the 2015 nuclear deal struck with Iran.More news: Armed men in Cameroon kidnap 79 schoolchildren
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The U.S. restored sanctions on Iran's oil industry this week that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord, which President Donald Trump withdrew from in May.
Concerns about oil demand weighed on prices.
Japan says it is pleased to be temporarily spared from penalties as the USA resumes sanctions on Iran. The trade dispute between the United States and China threatens growth in the world's two biggest economies and currency weakness is pressuring economies in Asia.
The eight countries are India, China, South Korea, Japan, Greece, Chinese Taipei, Turkey and Italy, Bloomberg quoted Pompeo as saying.
"These sanctions have already had an enormous impact".
House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer said, "Rather than achieving its stated goal of eliminating Iran's oil exports altogether, the administration has issued "exemptions" for major Iranian oil importers, allowing Iran to earn billions of dollars from oil sale".
South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong says the waiver "opens breathing room" for South Korea's oil refining industry and companies that export to Iran.
"In May, President Trump had pulled the United States out of the 2015 landmark JCPOA terming it as disastrous".