WASHINGTON – The Trump administration announced Friday that it was exempting eight countries from the bloody sanctions that the United States has reintroduced against Iran, suppressing their promise to economically punish Tehran's regional aggression while she spread a deep gulf with her European allies.
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, has not identified the eight countries that have been granted exceptions for six months, but one senior official confirmed that they are India, South Korea, Japan and China – the world's largest importers of Iranian oil ,  Mr. Pompeo said that the European Union, which had recently announced the creation of an economic channel for the continuation of its financial relations with Iran, was not among those who were given leave.
They were confirmed on Friday, the eve of a long-awaited deadline for 5 November, when nations must stop importing Iranian goods or face fines, and this is already a few days ago decisive interim elections in which the Trump Government seeks to support Republicans who support its stubborn foreign policy.
Mr. Pompeo said the derogations had been granted to the eight countries "just because they showed a significant reduction in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts." He said two of the eight countries had expected their imports of Iranian oil to be " within a few weeks ". and after six months all have to apply again for exemptions.
South Korea and China are crucial to maintaining pressure on North Korea to abolish its nuclear weapons – another priority of the Trump administration. After the liberation of South Korea, Mr. Trump could not deny the demands of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whom the president often referred to as the Asian leader with whom he has the largest rapport.
And India, like China, will most likely never stop importing Iranian oil; The exceptions help "avoid what might be a very painful confrontation," said Peter Harrell, a sanctioning expert during the Obama administration. He said the waivers also helped keep oil prices in check before the Tuesday elections.
"What happened to maximum pressure?" United Against Nuclear Iran, an anti-Iran group led by ex-Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, wrote on Twitter as an answer to the government's exemptions. "They gave in. Big time. "
The sanctions – and the lack of exceptions for European allies – threaten to worsen the already tense transatlantic relations in a dangerous way. Most major European companies have relied on Iran in recent months to face the looming penalties, but European diplomats on Friday pledged to continue efforts to protect legitimate trade with Tehran.
"Our collective determination to complete this work is unshakable," diplomats state European Union, Britain, France and Germany said in a statement.
Iran remains part of the nuclear agreement that it negotiated in 2015 with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. International inspectors concluded that Tehran is adhering to the agreement by not developing nuclear weapons, and European officials said the agreement is crucial for their national security.
R. Nicholas Burns, a high-ranking diplomat in the administration of President George W. Bush, said it would be a great mistake to impose sanctions on countries because they were part of an agreement that helped the United States negotiate.
"We still need these countries in other countries vital issues such as the inclusion of North Korea and Russia," said Burns.
Many originally lifted as part of the nuclear deal affect more than 700 companies, individuals and others Companies involved in oil, banking and shipping business in Iran, shipbuilding and insurance, came into force on Monday and were jointly announced on Friday by Pompeo and Steven Mnuchin, the Minister of Finance.
Since the United States threw the nuclear deal overboard The Iranian currency, the Rial, has lost more than two-thirds According to official figures from experts and experts, the value of the country has fallen from 2.5 million barrels a day to 1.5 million barrels.
Oil buyers in Europe, Japan and South Korea (19459012) have largely eliminated imports from Iran, but China, India and Turkey are doing so iterhin such purchases.
The sentences are intended to force Tehran to end what the United States calls destabilizing Middle Eastern activities, including support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and Iran Houthi rebelling in Yemen. The sanctions are aimed at "removing from the regime the revenue it uses to spread death and destruction throughout the world," Pompeo said.
Shortly after the new sanctions against Iran – and the waivers – were announced, Mr. Trump tweeted a poster of himself with the words "Sanctions are coming" with the font from the HBO show "Game of Thrones." The words are a game with a familiar phrase from the show, "Winter Comes", an imminent freezing when an army of magical warriors will descend from the north to wipe out all the kingdoms.
Richard Nephew, a high-ranking sanction official during the Obama administration, called Mr. Trump's tweet 'nauseating' because of his economic disgust, painful sanctions imposed on the Iranian public.
"Please take this seriously, Mr. Nephew tweeted back .
The Iranian leaders have insisted that they have no intention of rewarding Mr. Trump's decision to leave the nuclear agreement by joining his demands or even opening a dialogue. It was only this week that the Danish authorities accused Iran of murdering an Arab separatist leader living in Denmark.
In a tweet last month Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for US sanctions against his country as total disregard for the rule of law and the human rights of a whole people. "
It is unclear whether Tehran can hold out as long as its economy suffers. Iran made some of its most aggressive regional moves during the last round of sanctions between 2012 and 2015.
Spontaneous protests in Iran have occurred in recent weeks between groups that have long been reliable supporters of the Islamic Republic and public opinion in May could speak also against the relatively moderate government. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had endorsed the nuclear deal as a means of improving the economy of his country.
The recent sanctions are the second and final round of sanctions suspended under the 2015 Agreement. The first sentence was reintroduced in August and related to transactions with Iran involving US dollar banknotes, gold, precious metals, aluminum, steel, passenger aircraft and coal.
Mr. Mnuchin defended the government's decision not to impose sanctions on the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a Belgian-based financial messaging service known as Swift. Conservatives have insisted that Swift must be punished if Iranian banks are not expelled from their network.
"It is our intention to cut certain units as before," Mnuchin said of Swift.
. Pompeo said the eight countries that were given waivers would only pay for Iranian oil through a barter system. Iran does not have to be paid in cash to limit the country's ability to use oil sales to finance military activities.
Pompeo also said that the list of disclaimers was far lower than that of the 20 states that had been exempted from US sanctions under President Barack Obama.
The peace groups denounced the sanctions as "the latest step in a White House's calculated campaign to provoke a war with Iran," said Paul Kawika Martin of Peace Action.
The Friday announcement is part of Mr. Trump's enthusiastic willingness to support biting economic instruments, including tariffs and sanctions, to further his foreign policy goals. However, American sanctions against Russia, Venezuela and North Korea have so far brought few tangible victories.