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The United States imposed strict sanctions targeting Iran's oil, banking and industrial sectors on Monday and threatened more action to stop Tehran from pursuing "outlaw" policies, steps the Islamic Republic condemned as economic warfare and vowed to defy.

The restoration of sanctions is part of a wider effort by U.S. President Donald Trump to force Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.

The United States on Monday officially slapped sanctions on Iran's oil exports and banking industries, a tough move that has ratcheted up pressure on Iran while meeting with strong oppositions.

The US President said documents "conclusively" showing the Iranian regime was pursuing nuclear weapons informed his decision to pull out of the landmark nuclear agreement. The deal saw Iran agree to limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

Trump has said the deal, which he unilaterally withdrew from in May, is "defective at its core" and will not prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

Rouhani said even without the waivers Iran would still be able to sell its oil, semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

The US, he added, was seeking to misrepresent the realities by resorting to a propaganda campaign.

Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would continue to sell its oil despite Washington's "economic war". We're going to do everything we can to squeeze Iran hard.

The United States has banned nearly all direct US dealings with Iran for decades.

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The UK's trade envoy to Iran has criticised the USA on the day it reimposed sanctions on Iran. The Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated its objections to sanctions, but would not directly say whether China had been granted an exemption. Other parties to the deal, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation, have said they will not leave the deal. However, the United States gave temporary exceptions to eight importers - China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea - allowing them to keep buying from Iran.

India's Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan confirmed on Saturday that the country, Iran's top oil client after China, had won a waiver from the USA sanctions after a "forceful campaign" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Crude from the Kirkuk field in northern Iraq is being shipped by truck to Iran.

The sanctions target 50 Iranian banks and their foreign and domestic subsidiaries, as well as more than 200 people and vessels in Iran's shipping and energy sectors, Treasury said in a statement.

The US hit Iran with "unprecedented sanctions" yesterday by adding an additional 700 organisations and individuals to its list of entities facing an embargo.

Not all of the sanctions were reimposed.

At Washington's urging, SWIFT, the global messaging network that connects the world's financial institutions, said it is suspending its service for some unspecified Iranian financial institutions.

China has publicly defied the USA call for curbs on oil imports from Iran.


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