>> The Iranian regime has a choice. They 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.>> The US ramped up pressure on Iran Monday, re-imposing and strengthening sanctions targeting Tehran's oil, banking, and transportation sectors.
>> Our objective is to starve the Iranian regime of the revenue it uses to fund violent and destabilizing activities throughout the Middle East, and indeed around the world.>> The sanctions hit more 700 entities, as the US aims to cripple Iran's economy and halt its nuclear program, following President Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Monday's action brings a total number of Iran-related targets to 900, the highest ever, according the the State Department.>> I promise you that doing business with Iran, in defiance of our sanctions, will ultimately be a much more painful business decision than pulling out of Iran.>> But as the US presses ahead to cut off the oil-rich nation, it will allow some of its closest allies and rival China to keep buying oil from Iran, as long as they work to reduce imports to zero.
>> The US will be granting these exemptions to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey.>> Asked Monday why he issued those waivers, President Trump said he didn't want to shock the world's oil markets.>> Well, number one, the sanctions are very tough. Number two, I don't wanna lift the oil prices worldwide by clamping down 100%, it will be a gradual.
>> Tehran, however, sounding defiant.>>
> The Americans should be punished forever. They are bullying a great nation with an ancient cultural heritage, and are making new excuses every day.>> The Iranian president also vowed the country will keep selling oil, despite the sanctions.