US allows India, 7 nations to continue buying Iranian oil

02 November, 2018, 16:57 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • An Iranian and a European flag

India on Thursday said it was engaged with the US, Iran and other stakeholders on the issue of American sanctions on import of Iranian oil, amid indications that the Trump administration may grant New Delhi waiver from punitive measures. The US sanctions have driven away Indian and worldwide shippers and insurers from extending their services for Iranian oil imports. Under the Obama-era deal, involving five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, Iran agreed to stop its nuclear programme in exchange of relief from economic sanctions.

The administration's decision to issue waivers to eight countries also marked a significant reduction from the Obama administration, which issued such exemptions to 20 countries over three years.

Under the law, the USA president must periodically issue a "determination" on whether there is sufficient supply in the market from non-Iranian sources for countries to significantly cut their Iranian purchases.

"This is something that we're going to ask others to help us with and we're going to maintain this pressure on this regime".

The coaliton forming between the European Union and Iran was met with disbelief and anger from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "And that's important, because Iran remains - after a couple years plus of the JCPOA, they still remain the world's largest state sponsor of terror", he said.

Bolton insisted, however, that even if some exceptions were granted, Iran is already feeling pain from the USA sanctions, particularly with the collapse of its currency, the rial, this year.

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"They know the President's words, which are that if you choose to do business with Iran, that is your choice, but if you do you won't do business with America as well".

"If you cross us, our allies or our partners, if you harm our citizens, if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, there will be hell to pay". "So I'm very confident these sanctions will have their intended effect", said the top American diplomat.

However, U.S. officials are compiling a list of those countries that have significantly reduced their oil imports from Tehran, who would qualify for waivers, and India expects to be on that list. Last year, average Chinese imports of Iranian oil were 602,500 bpd, Platts has estimated. Iran is its third-largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10 per cent of total needs.

India prefers Iranian oil as it comes cheap and suits many refineries' technical configuration. These channels would get blocked from November.

In the first three weeks of October, Iran's crude and condensate exports averaged around 1.90-1.95 million bpd according to Platts ship tracking data, but exports could be even higher due to the Iranian tactic to switch off tracking devices to hide some volumes and destinations of its oil exports, sources say.

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