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No More Extension Of Waivers On Iranian Oil Imports: US

No More Extension Of Waivers On Iranian Oil Imports: US
All the waivers given to some countries linked to the sanctions on Iranian oil by the United States would not be renewed, the Trump administration announced on Monday. Several countries were not imposed additional sanctions by the US for continuing to import Iranian oil even after a sanction on the country targeting its oil exports was imposed by the US last November.
"President Donald J Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May," the White House said in a statement ahead of a press conference by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue," it added.
The list of exemption non-renewal contains five countries that include US allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey and all of the countries would be informed by Pompeo that the waivers given by the Trump administration would not be effective starting May 2 if they continue to import oil from Iran. The waivers are set to expire on May 2 this year. China and India are the other two countries.
The statement however did not mentioned whether additional time to wind down their oil imports from Iran would be given to the five countries or would the Trump administration impose sanctions on the countries if oil was continued to be imported from Iran after Mat 2. 
The White House said that the US, 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."
According to officials speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, the decision to not extend the waivers was finalised on Friday by Trump. This measure would further strengthen the strangle hold on Iran as the revenues from oil export would now dry up completely, sources said.
Following the pull out of US president Donald Trump from the historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal, eight oil sanctions waivers were given by his administration when sanctions were re-imposed on Iran.  These waivers were granted to allow the countries to make arrangements for alternative sources of oil as well not to cause a shock in the global oil market by the sudden removal of a large source of crude.
Importing oil from Iran has been stopped by Italy, Greece and Taiwan – three of the waiver countries, since November. The other five countries continue to import oil from Iran and have been lobbying with the US for extension of the waivers.
Turkey has "made it clear that we would like to continue to buy Iranian oil", said Turkey’s presidential spokesman and senior adviser Ibrahim Kalin while talking to reporters in Washington, DC last week. "People should not expect Turkey to turn its back on Iran just like that," he said.
"We will look for alternatives in terms of transactions and other things. We don't want to break or violate the sanctions but at the same time we don't want to be deprived of our right to buy oil and gas from Iran," Kalin said last week.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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