Saturday, September 29, 2018

'Close Encounter' Between Iran And U.S. Navy Ship Video Released, Iran Expects EU To Set Up Mechanism To Bypass U.S. Sanctions By November

Iran shows off footage of boats harassing US carrier

Iran’s state TV has broadcast footage purporting to show a close encounter between the Revolutionary Guard’s navy and the USS Theodore Roosevelt early this year.
Press TV’s website said the encounter occurred March 21 in the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, the passageway for nearly a third of all oil traded by sea.
The TV agency said the video was aired Saturday as part of a documentary.

The footage is likely meant as a show of strength amid new US sanctions on Iran and the Trump administration plans to bring Iranian oil exports down to zero.
In the video, Guard speedboats are seen closing in on the US carrier.
Iranian sailors then warn the Americans over radio communication to “keep well clear” of the Guard patrol boats and say they advise the Americans to “refrain from the threat or use of force in any manner.”
There was no immediate comment from the US Navy.
Iranian harassment of US ships in the Gulf was a regular occurrence, but according to the US Navy, the practice declined sharply after the election of US President Donald Trump in 2016 and had totally stopped by 2018.

Iran on Saturday said it expected the European Union to establish a legal framework by November 4 to bypass American sanctions and to allow the continuation of trade between Tehran and EU member states.
The European Union said Monday its members would set up a payment system to allow oil companies and businesses to continue trading with Iran, in a bid to evade sanctions after the US withdrew from a historic nuclear agreement signed in 2015.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said in an interview with the official IRNA news agency that “the mechanisms initiated by Europe should begin at the most by November 4,” according to Hadashot TV.

November 4 is the date on which US sanctions against its vital oil industry are set to begin.
After high-level talks at the United Nations among the remaining members of the nuclear accord, Iran and the European Union announced their defiance towards US President Donald Trump’s administration, saying in a statement that they were determined “to protect the freedom of their economic operators to pursue legitimate business with Iran.”
With the United States and the dollar dominating so much of global trade, the statement said the new mechanism would “facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports (including oil) and imports, which will assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran.”
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, speaking at the United Nations alongside Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, said the countries were still working out the technical details.
“In practical terms, this will mean that EU member states will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world,” she told reporters.

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