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Pompeo was unveiling the latest tranche of U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic, instigated after President Donald Trump tore up the landmark 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.Earlier sanctions, revealed in August, prohibited Iran from using U.S. currency, and prevented trading in aircraft and cars and with metals and minerals.As Pompeo was preaching fire and brimstone, he also confirmed that eight of Iran's biggest customers had been granted waivers to the sanctions.From a peak of 2.8 million barrels per day in April, Iran's oil sales have tumbled to around 1.8 million since Trump pulled out of the nuclear accord.It is also worth pointing out that during the last batch of sanctions, between 2012 and 2015, Iranian exports exceeded 1 million barrels per day, despite an oversupplied market and European Union cooperation in enforcing the boycott.Few believe the sanctions will topple the regime.However, in reality the EU expects to retain less than a third of existing commercial trade deals with Iran.The EU's much talked about special purpose vehicle (SPV), an attempt to establish a centralized barter exchange system between the EU and Iran which would avoid the need to deal in U.S. dollars (and thus sidestep U.S. sanctions), has so far come to nothing.There's little doubt Pompeo's threat to make Iran's economy crumble is credible.
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