US to end waivers for buyers of Iranian oil

World Today

US to end waivers for buyers of Iranian oil

Iran is brushing-off the Trump Administration’s decision to end waivers for some of its biggest oil customers.

China, India, and Turkey were among those initially granted exemptions without facing renewed U.S. sanctions. But those waivers will end May 2.

CGTN’s Nathan King explains the decision.

It’s part of an effort to ramp up pressure on Tehran after the unilateral withdrawal by Washington from the Iran nuclear deal.

The U.S. administration wants to stop all Iranian oil exports.

“Today, I am announcing that we will no longer grant any exemptions,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

“We’re going to zero – going to zero across the board. We will continue to enforce sanctions and monitor compliance. Any nation or entity interacting with Iran should do its diligence and err on the side of caution. The risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi called the sanctions “illegal.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran basically considers the granted waivers as worthless,” Mousavi said.

According to Pompeo, Iran’s oil revenue used to be $50 Billion a year. Pompeo contends that number has been reduced by $10 Billion since the U.S. imposed sanctions last November.

But, because Washington unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal while Tehran was in full compliance, there is little appetite from other nations to comply with U.S. demands. Turkey has already expressed its opposition, as has Iraq and China-the biggest buyer of Iranian oil.

“China has consistently opposed the U.S. implementation of unilateral sanctions and the so-called ‘long-arm jurisdiction,'” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said.

“The cooperation between China and Iran is open, transparent, reasonable and legitimate, and deserves to be respected.”

Whether Washington will follow through with its threat remains to be seen. Several of the nations that rely on Iranian oil are U.S. allies.

Italy, Greece, and Turkey are all members of NATO. Japan and South Korea key U.S. allies in the Asia Pacific.

Washington says energy supply disruptions can be solved by increasing supply from Saudi Arabia – Iran’s main regional adversary – and from other oil producing nations.

But, for many nations, it’s not just about the oil. It’s about standing up to Washington when it comes to global governance over energy supplies and resisting the White House policy of economic and diplomatic warfare against Iran.