Iran fires minister as sanctions start to bite


Trump Boasts About "Most Biting" Sanctions On Iran

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said 129 of 243 lawmakers present voted to oust Labor Minister Ali Rabiei.

Tuesday's sanctions target Iran's purchases of US dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and the auto sector.

In addition to the labor minister, the Iranian cabinet includes three other economy-related ministers: Finance, Industry and Commerce, and Agriculture.

Rouhani has been under mounting pressure in recent weeks to reshuffle his economic team.

During his meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho in Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani warned him that United States was "an unreliable and untrustworthy" negotiating partner that did not honour "any of its commitments".

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"The considered an uncertain and unaccountable country in the world that does not comply with its commitments", he said.

Votel said that Iran has the capability to plant mines and explosive boats and employ costal defense missiles in and around the worldwide waterway.

"Improving relations with Iran and confronting unilateralism is North Korea's strategic policy", Ri said in response.

Iran's utmost authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic had nothing to be concerned about, a report on his official website said on Wednesday, as the country's clerical leadership faces biting USA sanctions.

Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif turned the tables on Washington's efforts to isolate the regime, saying Monday that it is in fact the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia who are isolated in their hostility towards Iran.

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European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out.

"China's commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not violating any United Nations Security Council resolutions", the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement to Reuters.

"Certainly regional countries like Oman are not willing to see" a crisis, Zarif said.

In comments carried by the Office of the President, Rouhani was said to have praised the two countries' "friendly and heartfelt relationship" and mutual support for each other, while warning that Washington should not be seen as trustworthy.

"It's pretty clear to us that they are trying to use that exercise to send a message to us, that, as we approach this period of sanctions here, that they have these capabilities", he said.

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The first period started Tuesday and marked the reinstatement of sanctions on the purchase of United States bank notes by the Iranian government, Iran's gold trade and other financial and industrial transactions.

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