The United States has decided to issue temporary allotments to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey to continue importing Iranian oil, due to the specific countries’ circumstances and to ensure a well-supplied oil market, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday, the day on which U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil return.
Late last week, U.S. government officials signaled that the United States had granted waivers to eight countries to continue temporary buying Iranian oil, on the condition that they had significantly reduced purchases from Iran. At that time, the waivers were not official, and the eight countries were unidentified.
Monday’s announcement specified which countries are getting those waivers, and they include Iran’s top oil customers China and India.
More than 20 importing nations have cut their imports of crude oil already, taking more than 1 million bpd off the market, Secretary Pompeo said at a press conference.
“The regime to date, since May, has lost over $2.5 billion in oil revenue,” he added.
Referring to the eight countries to which the U.S. is granting waivers, Secretary Pompeo said that “each of those countries has already demonstrated significant reductions of the purchase of Iranian crude over the past six months and indeed two of those eight have already completely ended imports of Iranian crude and will not resume as long as the sanctions regime remains in place.”
“We continue negotiations to get all the nations to zero,” Secretary Pompeo noted.
The sanctions reimposed today are the largest ever single-day action targeting the Iranian regime, the U.S. Department of the Treasury said in a statement, noting that the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned more than 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels.
“Treasury’s imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior. Iran’s leaders must cease support for terrorism, stop proliferating ballistic missiles, end destructive regional activities, and abandon their nuclear ambitions immediately if they seek a path to sanctions relief,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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