Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US is imposing the "strongest sanctions in history" on Iran. 
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

 In a speech in Washington, America's top diplomat said Iran would be "battling to keep its economy alive" after the sanctions took effect.

 His Iranian counterpart said the US was a prisoner of its "failed policies" and would suffer the consequences.

 Earlier this month, President Donald Trump took the US out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal. 

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Mr Pompeo had not demonstrated in his speech how abandoning the deal made the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation.

  What can Iran expect to see and when?

 US sanctions lifted after the 2015 deal will be re-imposed, Mr Pompeo said, and those and new measures will together constitute "unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime".

 Danish shipping giant Maersk has said it will stop doing business in Iran The older American sanctions prohibited almost all trade with Iran, making some exceptions only for activity "intended to benefit the Iranian people" such as the export of medical and agricultural equipment.

 The secretary of state did not say what new measures Washington was contemplating but he described sanctions imposed last week on the head of Iran's central bank as "just the beginning".

 Some of Europe's biggest firms who rushed to do business with Iran after the nuclear deal now find themselves forced to choose between investing there or trading with the US.

 What is the nuclear accord? 

Some of the biggest contracts at risk include: French energy giant Total's deal, worth up to $5bn, signed to help Iran develop the world's largest gas field.

Total now plans to unwind those operations by November unless the US grants it a waiver Norwegian firm Saga Energy's $3bn deal to build solar power plants An Airbus deal to sell 100 jets to IranAir Iran is one of the world's largest oil producers, and the export of oil and gas is worth billions of dollars each year.

 The sanctions will not be re-imposed on Tehran immediately but are subject to three-month and six-month wind-down periods.

 "Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East," Mr Pompeo said.

 Javad Zarif said America was "regressing to old habits".

 Iran, he added, was working with the other partners of the nuclear deal to find a solution. Ms Mogherini said there was "no alternative" to the JCPOA.

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