Scattered protests in Iran as US sanctions loom

Scattered protests in Iran as US sanctions loom

Iran wants to bring home 300 million euros ($347 million) it has in the European-Iranian Trade Bank ahead of new USA sanctions set to be reimposed on Monday.

Videos on social media in recent days have shown people marching in the streets of several cities, chanting "Death to the dictator" and other radical slogans.

On the back of renewed tensions between Iran and the U.S., the Islamic Republic's President Hassan Rouhani delivered a thinly-veiled threat to hamper oil shipments in the Gulf.

Iran has been furious over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an global agreement on Iran's nuclear program and re-impose sanctions on Tehran.

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So far, social media reports suggest the current protests are far from the scale of the unrest seen in December and January, when at least 25 people were killed in demonstrations that spread to dozens of towns and cities.

Tamar Essner, an analyst at Nasdaq Inc., said there are "no signs whatsoever that this trade war is going to clear up anytime soon", and that has "caused investors to continue to trim net length, take profits, and de-risk that position with the sense that oil's upside is limited unless there's material reduction in Iranian barrels".

The U.S. has been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports, according to two officials familiar with the negotiations, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump's efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic after his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord.

Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said the government has imported plane parts along with five ATR turboprop airplanes landing in the country.

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"It's a jittery feel here, as long as we have Iranian sanctions uncertainty and tariff uncertainty, and it doesn't take much to spark a significant swing one way or the other", said Jim Ritterbusch, an analyst in Galena, Illinois.

USA sanctions targeting Iranian trade in automobiles, gold and other key metals will be re-imposed on Monday, while sanctions targeting the country's energy and banking sector will resume November 4.

Iran says the sanctions are endangering lives by blocking the sale of new planes and spare parts for its ageing fleets.

Increased US hostility has also driven a run on Iran's currency, which has lost around two-thirds of its value in six months.

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