US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has warned that the United States will exert “relentless” pressure on Iran unless it changes its “revolutionary course”.
His comments came hours after the Trump administration restored all sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, targeting core parts of Iran’s economy.
Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani earlier said the country will “continue selling oil”.
“We will proudly break the sanctions,” he told economic officials.
Pompeo told reporters: “The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble.”
He said more than 20 nations had already cut their oil intake from Iran and its exports had fallen by a million barrels a day.
However, the Trump administration has granted temporary exemptions to eight countries to continue importing Iranian oil – China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.
This is significant as China and India are among Iran’s largest trading partners.
European countries which are still party to the 2015 accord have said they will help businesses bypass the sanctions.