US Considering Crude Oil Waiver on Iran Sanctions for 1 Country
The Trump Administration is pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian Crude Oil from November on.
The US wants to avoid disrupting global Crude Oil markets as it reimposes sanctions against Tehran and in certain cases will consider waivers for countries which need more time to wind down their Crude Oil imports from Iran, US treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
“We want people to reduce oil purchases to Zero, but in certain cases if people can’t do that overnight, we’ll consider exceptions,” Secretary Mnuchin told reporters Friday, clarifying some US officials’ comments that there would be no exemptions.
Secretary Mnuchin’s comments were released Monday.
Secretary Mnuchin was talking to reporters en route from Mexico where he was part of a high-level US delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet Mexico’s next President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The Trump Administration is pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian Crude Oil from November when the United States reimposes sanctions against Tehran, after President Trump withdrew from the Y 2015 nuclear deal agreed between Iran and 6 major powers, against the advice of allies in Europe.
Secretary Mnuchin said he would meet with counterparts from developed and developing countries on the sidelines of a G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Buenos Aires on 19-22 July. US sanctions against Iran are likely to be raised in his talks.
“We have said very specifically, there’s no blanket waivers, there’s no grandfathering,” Secretary Mnuchin said, “We want to be very careful in the wind-down around the energy markets to make sure that people have the time.”
He added: “The State Department has the ability to issue waivers around significant reductions in the oil markets, that’s something that Treasury and State will be doing.”
Secretary Mnuchin said Washington had made clear to allies that it expects them to enforce the sanctions against Iran “but if there are specific situations we are open to listening.”
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said at the weekend that Washington had rejected a French request for waivers for its companies operating in Iran.
Paris had singled out Key areas where it expected either exemptions or extended wind-down periods for French companies, including energy, banking, pharmaceuticals and automotive.
The Trump Administration has said there are more than 50 foreign companies that have withdrawn their business from Iran since President Trump announced the US was withdrawing from the Y 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.
Secretary Pompeo speaking to reporters Friday, said he had discussed US plans to reimpose sanctions on Iran with “all but 1” country. He did not name the country he had not yet consulted.
“What they’ve asked us to do is review how we get there and the timeline for that,” he said, “and so I’m very confident they understand.”
The likely return of US economic sanctions has triggered a rapid fall of Iran’s currency and protests by bazaar traders usually loyal to the Islamist rulers.
President Trump has said he asked Saudi Arabia to raise Crude Oil production if needed to ensure global supplies and the country has 2-M BPD of spare capacity.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed with Russia and other Crude Oil-producing allies on 23 June to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a “measurable” supply boost.