The Latest: Trump administration Iran sanctions take effect

The Latest: Trump administration Iran sanctions take effect
COMBO - This combination of two pictures shows U.S. President Donald Trump, left, on July 22, 2018, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Feb. 6, 2018. The Trump administration is announcing the reimposition of all U.S. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. The Trump administration is announcing the reimposition of all U.S. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration’s sanctions against Iran (all times local):

8:50 a.m.

The Trump administration’s tough new sanctions on Iran have taken effect, but eight major importers of Iranian oil are being spared from immediate penalties.

The sanctions target Iran’s energy, financial and shipping sectors and are aimed at crippling the country’s economy following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. The measures that came into effect on Monday restore all the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord that gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

But as the administration seeks to cut off Iran’s oil revenue it will allow some of its closest allies and rival China to continue to purchase Iranian oil as long as they work to reduce imports to zero.

Besides China, Greece, India, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan get U.S. sanctions waivers for Iran oil imports.

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12:40 a.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending the Trump administration’s reimposition of sanctions against Iran from conservative critics who argue more should be done to isolate the country.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo refused to reveal which countries received waivers from U.S. sanctions to continue importing Iranian oil. But he said the eight unidentified nations “need a little bit more time to get to zero.” He would not rule out the Trump administration extending the waivers beyond six months

President Donald Trump removed the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal earlier this year, triggering the sanctions being imposed Monday.