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How Iran is countering Trump’s new sanctions

Iran's president doesn't know if Trump's sanctions are for domestic consumption or psychological warfare.

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Iran last week — completing his torching of the historic nuclear deal, and putting the Middle Eastern country in a tight spot.

But Iran knew it was coming, and devised a strategy to counter the sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and senior officials met with at least 23 countries over three months to try to convince them they could keep doing business with Iran. And their efforts may be paying off.

The European Union has made it clear it wants to save the Iran deal, and it's even activated a law that protects EU businesses that want to maintain relations with Iran.

But for many companies, the risk of U.S. retribution remains too great. So Iran has also turned to non-European allies who aren't as concerned with what the U.S. thinks.

"[Iran has] very strong ties with Russia, China, India, and also Turkey," Sanam Vakil, an Iran expert with Chatham House told VICE News. "Those four countries together are going to be very important to help Iran buffer against sanctions to maintain the flow of oil sales, which is really the most important thing that Iran needs in order to keep revenue coming into into its markets."

This segment originally aired August 6, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.