Iran president warns of 'war situation' as sanctions resume
07 November, 2018, 17:21 | Author: Carlos George
India is among eight countries that the United States has allowed to temporarily import oil from Iran despite sanctions on Tehran, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo confirmed on Monday.
The measures are part of a wider effort by US President Donald Trump to curb Tehran's missile and nuclear programs and diminish the Islamic Republic's influence in the Middle East, notably its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
Washington has granted 180-day exemptions to eight importers - China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey. "The regime to date since May has lost over $2.5 billion in oil revenue".
He says it was a "quid pro quo that if you scale it down a bit, then the US would arrange for this sanctions waiver".
Iran has dismissed these charges and maintains that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
However, Iran's clerical rulers have dismissed concerns about the impact of sanctions on the country's economy. Companies that monitor Iran's shipments are already seeing a drop in tanker activity this month.
"This is only the beginning of the Iranian production curtailment story, not the end", said Michael Tran, commodity strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
A USA ally, Japan is one of eight major importers of Iranian oil that received waivers on immediate penalties.
'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.
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Japan's trade minister, Hiroshige Seko, said on Tuesday that Japanese buyers of Iranian oil were expected to resume imports from the Islamic Republic after the country received a waiver from USA sanctions.
The US today imposed the toughest ever sanctions on Iran.
Japan and South Korea, close USA allies, had toed the Washington sanctions line and stopped buying crude from Iran.
"The stiff penalties on the Iranian government, business entities, and individuals comes just days after President Trump hinted at the new sanctions on social media; tweeting 'Sanctions are Coming November 5". However, fears of a supply shortage have been eased by the Trump administration's temporary waivers for China and India and stronger oil output from Saudi Arabia and the United States, CNN reported. "The market was previously overly focused on the number of countries receiving exemptions on imports from Iran".
That would be about half the daily average China has been importing from Iran since January 2016, trade data showed.
The minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said in his letter to OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo that some members of the committee "openly take side with the United States in imposing unilateral and illegal sanctions against Iran".
Trump is targeting Iran's main source of revenue - its oil exports - as well as its financial sector, essentially making 50 Iranian banks and their subsidiaries off-limits to foreign banks, on pain of losing access to the U.S. financial system.
That has helped to take the sting out of the sanctions threat, which helped to lift worldwide benchmark Brent crude futures to four-year highs of nearly US$87 a barrel in early October. The session low was $61.31 a barrel, the weakest since March 16. The exemptions are usually created to last up to 180 days.
The new sanctions particularly hurt Iran's vital oil industry, which provides a crucial source of hard currency. Including condensate, an ultra-light form of crude, shipments peaked around 3 million bpd in mid-2018, according to trade data in Refinitiv Eikon.
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