United States to end sanction waivers for countries importing Iranian oil

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Russia Today

The White House announced on Monday that the United States will end Iran sanction waivers. Countries that continue to buy Iranian crude after the May 2 deadline will risk facing US sanctions.

According to a statement from the Office of the Press Secretary, President Donald Trump “has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May.” The decision “is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero.”

“The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world’s great energy producers, along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied,” it continued.

“We have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market,” the statement read.

“The Trump administration has taken Iran’s oil exports to historic lows, and we are dramatically accelerating our pressure campaign in a calibrated way that meets our national security objectives while maintaining well supplied global oil markets,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“Today’s announcement builds on the already significant successes of our pressure campaign. We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table.”

Washington re-imposed sanctions on Tehran after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and several world powers. With a goal of completely halting Iran’s oil exports, Washington granted temporary import waivers to China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to ensure low oil prices and avoid disruption to the global oil market.

Ahead of the announcement, oil prices jumped to highs not seen since last fall. Both Brent and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) surged about three percent on Monday. Benchmark Brent was trading at $73.65 a barrel at 1:23pm GMT, while a barrel of WTI crude sold for $65.35.

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