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US will not reissue waivers for Iran oil imports: White House

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has decided not to reissue waivers in May to Iran‘s oil buyers, the White House said in a statement on Monday.

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market,” the White House said.

“The Trump administration and our allies are determined to sustain and expand the maximum economic pressure campaign against Iran to end the regime’s destabilising activity threatening the United States, our partners and allies and security in the Middle East,” it added.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that the United States is not extending any waivers exempting importers of Iranian oil from US sanctions and there will be no grace period for those economies to comply.

“We’re going to zero. We’re going to zero across the board,” Pompeo stated after the White House announced an end to waivers in order to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. “There are no (oil) waivers that extend beyond that period, full stop,” he added.

In November last year, the US had reimposed sanctions on exports of Iranian oil after Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers.

Washington, however, granted waivers to Iran’s eight main buyers – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece – that allowed them limited purchases for six months.

An end to the exemptions would hit Asian buyers hardest. Iran’s biggest oil customers are India and China, who have both been lobbying for extensions to sanction waivers.

Trump wanted to end the waivers to exert “maximum economic pressure” on Iran by cutting off its oil exports and reducing its main revenue source to zero.

News credit : Indiatimes