Secretary of State Pompeo defends waivers to Iran sanctions

04 November, 2018, 20:35 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Trump announces renewed Iran sanctions in lighthearted tweet critics say the move raises the risk of war

"Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters. Despite threats from the US, India continued oil imports from Iran with now the US agreeing on waivers for eight countries regarding sanctions set to kick in on November 5, 2018.

Pompeo said Washington made a decision to issue the temporary waivers "only because they have demonstrated significant reductions in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts".

The sanctions will penalise countries that do not end importing Iranian oil and foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian firms.

Trump set in motion the resumption of sanctions on May 8, when he announced USA withdrawal from the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers under which Tehran had agreed to curtail its nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions.

His comments came after the US Treasury announced sanctions on a network of businesses it said were tied to the Basij Resistance Force, a group that the department said works with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said his country and other leading oil importers would benefit from the US waivers.

"India said to the United States that they can´t stop before March, they are facing a major currency crisis", explained Joel Hancock, analyst at Natixis.

At a gathering on Saturday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, portrayed the sanctions as part of a long tradition of American hostility toward the Islamic Republic, which he said had nevertheless prevailed. "We have advised Swift that it must disconnect any Iranian financial institution that we designate as soon as technically feasible to avoid sanctions exposure", Mnuchin said.

The people who voted for Trump generally, they didn't like the nuclear agreement, the Republicans opposed the agreement, and the Trump administration is basically playing to its base and the idea is to demonize Iran and then win some votes by saying that they have done what they said they would do.

Of course, what they have said is they want these countries to reduce their import of Iranian oil.

The US will from Monday target buyers of Iranian oil in order to deprive Tehran of its main source of income.

"A loss of 1 million bpd from Iran, further declines in Venezuela, coupled together with geopolitical disruption in Libya and Nigeria could easily wipe out what little spare capacity we have left", Bernstein analysts said this week.

He also said that 700 Iranian persons and entities would be added to the blocked list on Monday, including 300 of which had been removed from it during the time the United States remained a party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran said it was not troubled over the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions.

Struck between world powers and Tehran after years of fraught negotiations, the deal was aimed at limiting Iran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran is heavily dependent on its exports of oil, and renewed sanctions, if effective, would hit the economy hard.

Turkey imports nearly almost half of its oil from neighbouring Iran.

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