US Renews Iran Sanctions, Grants Oil Waivers to China, Seven Others
07 November, 2018, 17:20 | Author: Emmett Rice
China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey - all top importers of Iranian oil - are among eight countries expected to be given temporary exemptions from the sanctions to ensure crude oil prices are not destabilised. The Iranian regime to date since May has lost over $2.5 billion in oil revenue, he said.
"The decision by the U.S".
It also appeared that the USA, in another first, was directly sanctioning the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the government agency that oversees Iran's nuclear program.
However, the new list of sanctions, which also aims to cut Iran's vital oil industry off from worldwide sales, also included for the first time its state airline and its atomic energy commission, further highlighting the maximalist approach of President Donald Trump's administration. Companies that monitor Iran's shipments are already seeing a drop in tanker activity this month.
Iran is already in the grip of an economic crisis. Crude exports contribute one-third of Iran's government revenues.
Output from these three countries in October exceeded 33 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time, meaning they alone meet more than a third of the world's nearly 100 million bpd of crude oil consumption.
Oil prices initially soared on fears that the Iran sanctions would knock the world's fifth-biggest producer offline.
"America wanted to cut to zero Iran's oil sales ... but we will continue to sell our oil ... to break sanctions", Rouhani told economists at a meeting broadcast live on state television.
S&P Global Platts reported on Tuesday that South Korea would be able to take around 4 million barrels a month (130,000 bpd) of Iranian crude and condensate under a U.S. sanctions waiver.
He also said the reimposed US sanctions were part of a psychological war launched by Washington against Tehran, adding that "America's economic pressure on Iran is futile".
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that despite granting the waivers, Washington will "aggressively enforce" the sanctions.
Trading sources said several Asian oil importers were looking to increase their orders for Iranian oil soon.
South Korea says it can also continue exporting non-sanctioned products to Iran after the United States agreed to recognize a transaction system where local companies receive payments through two Korean won-denominated accounts that Iran's central bank opened in South Korea.
That would be about half the daily average China has been importing from Iran since January 2016, trade data showed.
Iran had urged the United Nations to hold the United States accountable for the sanctions targeting its energy, shipping, shipbuilding, and financial sectors, branding the measures "illegal" and in violation of a Security Council resolution.
A merchant trader, who also declined to be named, said "enquiries for cargoes from Iran are ... coming in from several Asian buyers".
But Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Trump administration deserves credit for re-imposing sanctions and dramatically reducing Iran's oil exports and revenues.
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Oil prices fell on Friday for a weekly loss of over 6 percent on worries about crude oversupply due to the US waivers. Avoid fake news! Subscribe to the Standard SMS service and receive factual, verified breaking news as it happens.
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