US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference at the US Department of State in Washington, DC on April 22, 2019. The United States announced that it will no longer grant sanctions exemptions to Iran's oil customers, potentially punishing allies such as India as it tries to squeeze Tehran's top export (Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images).


US president Donald Trump has decided to eliminate all waivers issued to eight economies including India allowing them to buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions, the White House said today (22), while vowing to ensure global oil market was well supplied.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo is expected to make an announcement on Monday (22) detailing the decision.

“The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates … along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied,” the White House said.

Oil prices spiked after Sunday (21) reports that the waivers would end and remained higher on Monday (22).

International benchmark Brent rose 2.6 per cent to $73.87 a barrel after earlier touching $74.31, highest since early November.

US crude futures gained 2.4 per cent, or $1.52 a barrel, to $65.52.

It earlier touched a high of $65.87, a level not seen since late October.

The US reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers.

Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.

Along with sanctions, Washington granted waivers to eight economies that had reduced their purchases of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue buying it without incurring sanctions for six more months. They were China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, and Greece.

(Reuters)