The United States said yesterday it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil when it reimposes sanctions on Monday to try to force Iran to curb its nuclear, missile and regional activities.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced the decision, did not name the eight, which he referred to as “jurisdictions,” a term that might include importers such as Taiwan which the United States does not regard as a country.
However, he said that the European Union as a whole, which has 28 members, would not receive a waiver.
Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said Turkey had been told it would be granted a waiver.
India, Iraq and South Korea were also on the list, said a source familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Under US law, such exceptions can only be granted for up to 180 days.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said Washington had told the Brussels-based SWIFT financial messaging service that it was expected to disconnect all Iranian financial institutions that the United States plans to blacklist as of Monday.
He declined to name the targeted institutions.
The restoration of sanctions is part of a wider effort by US President Donald Trump to force Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as its alleged support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.
Trump set in motion the resumption of sanctions on May 8, when he announced US withdrawal from a 2015 deal between Iran and world powers under which Tehran had agreed to curtail its nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions.
“This part of the campaign is aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues, Pompeo said. He said Washington will issue temporary waivers to the eight Iran oil importers “only because they have demonstrated significant reductions in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts.”
Two would stop imports and the other six would greatly reduce them, Pompeo said. Iran said it was not troubled over the re-imposition of US sanctions, which target not only its vital oil and gas sector but also shipping, ship-building and banking industries.
“America will not be able to carry out any measure against our great and brave nation... We have the knowledge and the capability to manage the country’s economic affairs,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told state TV.
The United States believes global oil supplies will exceed demand next year, making it easier for countries to cut Iranian oil imports to zero, a senior US official told reporters.
Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, also said Saudi Arabia had been “very helpful” in bolstering oil supplies while the United States moved to reimpose sanctions.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Nomura CEO signals more job cuts in Europe to reverse losses
RBC eyes more private-equity dealings in 2019 to gain edge
Europe markets test investor nerves in roller coaster ride
Foxconn to begin assembling top-end Apple iPhones in India in 2019: Source
Japan factory output falls, sales slow as risks to economy rise
Nissan to make fewer cars in China as demand slows
UK finance watchdog makes less from fines after a bumper year
Japan stocks are a bargain, but there are few takers
US to extend sanctions waiver for Iraq to import Iranian gas