'America is isolated' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 07, 2018

'America is isolated'

Says Iran's FM as Washington set to reimpose sanctions on Tehran today; Trump says open to new deal

Iran said yesterday the United States was "isolated" in its hostility to the Islamic republic, as it braced for the return of sanctions against a backdrop of political turmoil inside the country.

"Of course, American bullying and political pressures may cause some disruption, but the fact is that in the current world, America is isolated," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Washington is set to reimpose sanctions on Iran today following President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal in May -- a move opposed by all other parties to the agreement.

"We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US," said EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini in a statement jointly signed with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.

"We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran," the statement added.

But the renewed hostility has already sparked a run on Iran's currency, which has lost around half its value since Trump's announcement.

And it has added to tensions inside Iran, which has seen days of protests and strikes in multiple towns and cities over water shortages, high prices and wider anger at the political system.

Severe reporting restrictions have made it impossible to verify the swirl of claims coming through social media, but journalists did confirm a heavy build-up of riot police on Sunday night in the town of Karaj, just west of Tehran, that has been a focal point of unrest, and said mobile internet had been cut in the area.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said yesterday he remains open to forging a new nuclear deal with Iran, as he confirmed Washington will go ahead with reimposing sanctions against Tehran.

"I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime's malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism," Trump said in a statement.

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