While previous rounds of US sanctions attacked Iran's banking sector and oil industry, they now aim to cripple the country's last sources of foreign currency.
The US would "certainly negotiate" with Iran if Tehran made a move, US President Donald Trump said after downplaying the Iran threat. Separately, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the time was not right for talks.
Pakistan has backed out of a joint gas pipeline deal with Iran due to the threat of US sanctions. Pakistan could face a heavy financial penalty, as it promised to complete the project in a bilateral agreement with Iran.
In a provocative tweet, the US president described retaliation that would mark "the official end of Iran." Iran has remained defiant, saying "genocidal taunts" would not be enough to destroy the country.
Iran's move to partially withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal not only jeopardizes the landmark international agreement, but also puts an end to the era of "moderation, diplomacy and hope" in Iran, says Jamshid Barzegar.
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