Saturday, 17 November, 2018

"Iran will bypass illegal" U.S. sanctions - Rouhani

New U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Go Into Effect US Reimposes Sanctions on Iran's Oil, Financial Sectors
Elsie Buchanan | 07 November, 2018, 03:02

Washington has pledged to completely stop purchases of crude oil from Iran eventually, but for now it said eight countries - China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey - can continue imports for now without penalty.

The move is part of a wider effort by U.S. President Donald Trump to curb Iran's missile and nuclear programmes and diminish its influence in the Middle East.

Besides China, Greece, India, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan get US sanctions waivers for Iran oil imports.

In an interview with the Fox News Sunday program on November 4, Pompeo said the nations receiving waivers "need a little bit more time to get to zero".

Each of those countries has reduced their oil purchases from Iran and two have completely stopped importing Iranian oil until the sanctions are not lifted, Pompeo said.

Note, too, that the Administration didn't spare the European Union from the oil sanctions following its refusal to cooperate with helping the USA renegotiate Barack Obama's flawed nuclear deal with Tehran. Over 700 entities were targeted, according to CBS News; some of the sanctions had been imposed by the Obama administration but were canceled when Obama signed on to the Iran nuclear deal.

The sanctions aim to significantly cut Iran's oil exports - which have already fallen by around one million barrels a day since May - and cut it off from worldwide finance.

Asked if the U.S. had firm commitments from India and China to stop all oil purchases from Iran within six months, Pompeo replied: "Watch what we do".

Keen said the European Union was also looking to implement a payment mechanism via a Special Purpose Vehicle to handle transactions with Iran and avoid payments directly into or out of Iran. "The US-& not Iran-is isolated".

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Trump announced in May his government was withdrawing from what he called the "worst ever" agreement negotiated by the United States.

The sanctions target 50 Iranian banks and their foreign and domestic subsidiaries, as well as more than 200 people and vessels in Iran's shipping and energy sectors, Treasury said in a statement.

Major European allies have opposed the USA decision to reject the nuclear deal with Iran. "So that's a pretty big impact for a country which derives 80% of its tax revenue from oil imports".

Saudi Arabia is the only country with the capacity to make up for lost Iranian oil production.

The United States again restricted Iran's oil and financial industry on Monday. "Now we can not say when and in what form the imports will be resumed, but we aim to resume them and are currently considering this issue", the spokeswoman Michiko Ono said.

The State Department said the waivers were "temporary", without specifying a timeframe, and "conditional on the cooperation of the various stakeholders".

In a statement Friday, Trump said the goal of re-imposing sanctions is to force Iran's leaders to end the country's "destructive behavior".

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said in speech broadcast on state TV on Monday that Iran would break the sanctions and continue to sell its oil.

Even during the last set of sanctions between 2012 and 2015, India had continued to import oil from Iran.

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