Trump administration discusses waiver on Iran oil sanctions
Administration of the US President Donald Trump is considering waivers on anti-Iran sanctions it plans to re-impose next month, a US top official announced.
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Trump pulled the US out of a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - and re-imposed the first wave of sanctions on August 6 which include a universal ban on Iran’s access to the US dollar, as well as prohibitions against the country’s trade in gold and other precious metals, among other restrictions.
The second wave of sanctions that would hit on November 4 would aim to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero as claimed by US officials.
On Friday, a government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the administration was “in the midst of an internal process” of considering exceptions called SRE waivers, or significant reduction exemptions.
This comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in India last month that the administration would consider waivers and that some purchasers of Iranian oil would take a “little bit of time to unwind” their trade with Iran.
Meanwhile, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said Thursday that the administration’s goal was that there would be no waivers and “exports of Iranian oil and gas and condensates drops to zero.”
However, the US official said Friday the administration was “prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis.”
Despite the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Russia has said it would remain determined to continue cooperating with Iran even if new US sanctions were slapped against the country.
Last month, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow and Beijing were working together with the European Union to counter US sanctions.
President Vladimir Putin has said Russia was prepared to continue its oil investment in Iran at the level of $50 billion despite the re-imposition of the sanctions.
Iran has also vowed full-throttle oil production despite US sanctions, with Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri saying in October, “Notwithstanding all the pressures that the Americans are creating on the oil issue, Iran has its own oil customers, and the work is going on in a way that no problems will arise.”