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Iran’s President Threatens Neighbors, Tries To Escape Looming U.S. Sanctions

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivered an ambiguous threat about the U.S. push to stop its allies from importing Iranian oil while he was in Switzerland on Monday.

“The Americans have claimed they want to completely stop Iran’s oil exports,” Rouhani said, according to Iran’s official presidential websitereported Reuters. “They don’t understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region’s oil is exported.”

Rouhani’s statement could mean that Iran will interfere with the shipping of its neighbors’ oil exports. Iran has threatened to block key shipping routes in response to U.S. actions before, reported Reuters. (RELATED: Trump Drew A Line In The Sand On Defense Spending With ‘Sharply Worded’ Letters to Merkel And Trudeau)

Iran will host a meeting on Friday with five countries that are still involved in the 2015 nuclear deal that the U.S. pulled out of in May.

The U.S. wants its allies to reduce Iranian oil imports to “zero” by November or face sanctions. Iran’s neighbors, like the United Arab Emirates, have offered to increase oil production to fill the void left by banned Iranian oil, reported the StarTribune.

The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China will meet with Iranian officials in Tehran to discuss ways to keep the 2015 deal going. Iran wants the European nations to develop an economic plan to balance U.S. sanctions, reported Reuters.

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