United States grants temporary Iran oil waivers to eight countries

Geraldine Edwards
November 7, 2018

The sanctions end all economic benefits the United States had granted Tehran for its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, though Iran for now continues to abide by the accord that saw it limit its enrichment of uranium.

As part of the new round of measures, the White House has warned Iran's customers they must reduce their purchases of oil to zero or face USA penalties, although it has issued 180-day waivers to eight "jurisdictions" that will allow them to continue importing Iranian oil. On Monday, he revealed those countries include Iran's top two customers, China and India, as well as Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

Trump's moves target Iran's main source of revenue - its oil exports - as well as its financial sector, essentially making 50 Iranian banks and their subsidiaries off limits to foreign banks on pain of losing access to the US financial system.

In an interview with the Fox News Sunday program on November 4, Pompeo said the nations receiving waivers "need a little bit more time to get to zero".

President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in May and published new sanctions for Iran. Those governments make up a majority or Iran's oil exports.

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"They like to say that we have allowed these countries to buy oil from Iran".

"These sanctions have already had an enormous impact", Pompeo said, adding that Trump's policy will be "fully in place" as of Monday.

As a long-time rival of Iran, Israel has carried out deadly airstrikes on Iranian targets in war-torn Syria, where Iranian troops have been fighting along the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Major Japanese oil distributors have suspended Iranian oil imports since their October contracts. "The U.S., not Iran, is isolated", Zarif added.

Jahangiri's remarks came one day after the administration of US President Donald Trump unleashed a second round of sanctions against Iran.

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On Monday, global benchmark Brent crude oil futures were up almost 0.6 percent to $73.23 a barrel and USA crude futures were up 0.4 percent at $63.39 a barrel. The move, which is aimed at pressuring Iran to curb its nuclear programme, brings the total number of entities facing the wrath of America to 900. The U.N.'s atomic energy agency, which was tasked with monitoring the implementation of the agreement, has certified in multiple reports that Iran is in compliance.

"We're going to have sanctions that even go beyond this".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed in a call with reporters that the administration will grant waivers to eight "jurisdictions" when it reimposes oil and gas sanctions.

The punitive measures targeted 700 individuals, banks, aircraft, ships and companies tied to Iran's energy and financial industries.

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