Pompeo cancels sanctions waivers, looks to bring Iranian oil exports to "zero"

US to end sanctions waivers for major Iranian oil importers

Trump administration announces new Iran crackdown targeting oil revenue

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2, three US officials said. USA crude futures gained 2.4 per cent, or $1.52 a barrel, to $65.52. The global benchmark price rose as high as $74.31 earlier in the session, its highest intraday level in nearly six months.

Brent rose to $73.96 per barrel after gaining 2.77%, with the price remaining more or less stable.

The countries that received exemptions in November were China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, Greece, and Taiwan.

"In case of any threat, we will have not even an iota of doubt to protect and defend the Iranian waters", Tangsiri added.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "Today I am announcing that we will no longer grant any exemptions". The latter three have already wound down their imports but the others between them buy a million barrels of oil a day from Iran.

The decision not to renew the waivers is a victory for National Security Adviser John Bolton and his allies who had argued that USA promises to get tough on Iran were meaningless with waivers still in place.

Over the past year, Iran has threatened several times to close the Strait of Hormuz for all tanker traffic if the US drives Iranian oil exports to zero. Turkey's already spinning out of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation harness as it is, and India's complicated relationships with Pakistan and China make their reaction hard to gauge.

The decision to end sanctions waivers was finalized by President Donald Trump on Friday. But the price of oil has climbed recently, as US sanctions also hit Venezuela, and the conflict in Libya makes production there volatile.

But some U.S. State Department, Defense and intelligence officials and outside experts warn that the move could backfire by causing ripple effects in countries like China, Turkey and Iraq. "And what is the Trump Administration strategy toward Iran?"

Asked about the potential economic loss for the five countries winding down, a senior administration official told CBS News, "There's commercial risks involved everything but the president said he wanted to get to zero and.that's what he's going to do".

"We do not accept unilateral sanctions and impositions on the issue of how we will establish relations with our neighbors", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in response to the announcement, which he said "will not serve regional peace and stability".

The United States had been deliberating over the past couple of months whether or not to renew some of the waivers while avoiding a spike in oil and fuel prices that could hurt USA consumers.

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