The US has granted waivers on sanctions to eight Asian countries including India, South Korea, and Japan.
By Trista Youssef
Rabat- The eight countries are all major buyers of Iranian oil. China and Turkey, both large importers of Iranian oil, also sought sanction waivers from the US. A full list of countries receiving waivers is expected to be officially released on Monday when the US renews its sanctions on Tehran.
Although Trump’s policy is to limit Iran’s oil revenue, the recent waivers on sanctions aim to prevent spikes in oil prices.
State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told US reporters, “We are determined to implement our policy of maximum pressure on Iran. That’s our strategy.” He continued, “But we are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case by case basis.”
In May, the Trump administration warned importers of Iranian oil to halt all trade with Iran by November 4. Countries continuing to import Iranian oil following the US’s reimposition of sanctions face the risk of economic exclusion from the US market.
Iran’s deputy oil minister, Ali Kardor, responded to the US’s political move, stating, “The waivers granted to these eight countries shows that the market needs Iran’s oil and it cannot be pulled out of the market … I don’t know whether these waivers are permanent or temporary ones.”
So far, the US has managed to reduce Iranian oil exports from 2.7 to 1.6 million barrels per month through sanctions, according to internal US estimates.