US Slams Iran with Crippling Sanctions over Weapons Programs

US Slams Iran with Crippling Sanctions over Weapons Programs

To keep the deal alive, the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal are trying to maintain trade with Tehran despite scepticism this is possible despite USA sanctions to choke off Iranian oil sales.

Iran's oil exports have fallen sharply since US President Donald Trump said at mid-year he would reimpose sanctions on Tehran, but with waivers in hand the Islamic Republic's major buyers are already planning to scale up orders again.

"Iran's leaders must cease support for terrorism, stop proliferating ballistic missiles, end destructive regional activities, and abandon their nuclear ambitions immediately if they seek a path to sanctions relief", Mnuchin said.

Oil prices rallied above $85 per barrel in October on fears of a steep decline in Iranian exports.

The Trump administration said it has asked these countries, including Turkey, Iraq, Italy, Japan and South Korea, to bring down their oil purchase to zero as soon as possible.

This group of eight buyers imported over 80% of Iran's roughly 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil exports a year ago, Refiniv Eikon data shows.

After the US' withdrawal from the deal, Trump signed fresh sanctions against Iran, which claims its nuclear programme is peaceful and for civilian goal.

'The sanctions will accelerate the rapid decline of Iran's global economic activity, saying over 20 countries had already cut their oil intake from Iran, reducing its exports by more than 1 million barrels a day, rfe/rl reported quoting Pompeo.

"There's a handful of places where countries that have already made significant reductions in their crude oil exports need a little bit more time to get to zero, and we're going to provide that to them", he said.

- The "largest-ever" USA sanctions list targeting Iran drew mockery from Iranian officials on Tuesday for including mothballed Boeing 747s, a bank that closed years earlier and a sunken oil tanker that exploded off China months ago.

Two Chinese sources familiar with the matter said the country would be allowed to buy 360,000 bpd of Iranian crude during the exemption period.

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.

International Brent crude oil futures were down 21 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $72.96 a barrel. Iran can only use this money for humanitarian trade or bilateral non-sanctioned goods, the Secretary of State asserted.

Even China, locked in a bitter trade war with the United States, bowed to pressure from Washington and dialled back imports. The exemptions are usually created to last up to 180 days.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has said that the USA move raised economic and security risk internationally and that the European Union would work to realize the 2015 nuclear deal struck with Iran. He, however, emphasised that his effort to keep the oil prices down has nothing to do with Iran.

Iran's exports peaked at 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, including 300,000 bpd of condensate, a lighter form of oil that when underground tends to exist as gas.

Related Articles