U.S. sanctions against importers of Iranian oil threaten the crude oil market's precarious balance and risk surging prices, all under Saudi Arabia's watchful gaze, according to experts. "[Iran] wanted to take over the whole Middle East".
The new sanctions will particularly hurt Iran's oil industry, a crucial source of money for its anaemic economy.
The sanctions bring to an end all the economic benefits the United States granted Tehran for its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, though Iran for now continues to abide by the accord under which it limited its enrichment of uranium.
On Fox, Pompeo called the penalties "the toughest sanctions ever put in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran" and defended the U.S.' decision to give eight unidentified countries more time to wean themselves off Iranian crude oil.
Trump has long argued that the 2015 nuclear deal is badly flawed, in part because its provisions would expire in 10 to 15 years and partly because it does not adequately constrain Iran's destabilising behaviour in the region.
The impact of the sanctions was felt early on, with their announcement in May driving many companies to abandon Iran, causing the value of its currency to plummet.
All of the other signatories - China, the European Union, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United Kingdom - have remained in the deal despite the USA action. "But they're not doing very well", he said.
The US said the sanctions were not aimed at toppling the Government, but persuading it to radically change its policies, including its support for regional militant groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles.More news: Melania Trump joins husband’s attacks on Democrats, ‘fake news’ in fundraising appeal
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The UK, Germany and France - which are among the five countries still committed to the nuclear pact - have all objected to the sanctions.
The Trump administration though has granted exemptions to eight countries to continue importing Iranian oil, without naming them.
"All eyes will be on the outcome of negotiations on possible waivers to US sanctions on Iran".
Wallace then asked Pompeo if it's true that the Trump administration will be giving exemptions to China and India, and if so, does the White House "have a firm commitment that within six months, they will stop all oil purchases?"
"Iran is a much different country than it was when I took office", Trump said.
What has the reaction been in Iran?
Salami made the remarks on a day when the authorities in Iran organize anti-U.S. gatherings nationwide, unleashing slogans to mark the 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran.
Iranian state media said millions turned out in towns and cities, swearing allegiance to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, although the BBC was unable to independently verify this figure. We are confronting a bullying enemy.