In a relief to India, the US said on Friday (2) that it will temporarily spare eight jurisdictions from Iran related sanctions to allow them to keep importing crude oil from OPEC member as the it reimposes sanctions on Tehran on Monday (5).
India is one of the leading importer of Iranian crude oil after China. The re-imposition of the US sanctions against Tehran earlier created fear that India’s cheaper crude oil imports may stop amid rising crude oil imports bills of the country. India may have included in the list of the eight counties which are temporarily allowed to import crude oil from Iran.
The US secretary of state Mike Pompeo who made the decision public did not disclose the name of the eight jurisdictions. European Union as a whole, which has 28 member countries, would not receive one, he said.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin said, the US in a communication to the Brussels-based SWIFT financial messaging service clarified that it was expected to curtail all Iranian financial institutions that the US aims to blacklist as of Monday. The names of such targeted financial institutions are yet to be disclosed.
The restoration of sanctions against Tehran is part of efforts undertaken by the US government to put pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear and missile projects as well as its assistance for proxy forces in the Middle East nations, especially-Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and others.
China is continuing its in discussions with the US to continue with its Iranian crude oil imports, however it is among the eight, according to the media reports.
Global benchmark Brent crude prices have declined about 15 per cent from over $85 per barrel last month amid rising speculation that the US will allow only a few counties to import Iranian crude oil and OPEC members other than Iran will supply higher crude oil to prevent any supply shock following the sanctions.
The waivers are only on temporary and the US is expected to ask the crude oil importing countries to move ahead to keep reducing the Iranian crude oil imports in the near future, media reports said on Friday (2).
The names of the jurisdictions getting waivers is likely to be disclosed officially next week, when the US sanctions against Tehran come back into effect.
The US through its pressure campaign against crude oil exports from Iran, has managed to cut crude oil exports from 2.7 million to 1.6 million barrels a month, according the US internal estimates.