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US will not reissue waivers for Iran oil imports

The Trump administration on Monday told five countries – Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China and India – that they would no longer be exempt from US sanctions if they continued to import oil from Iran after their waivers ended on May 2.

“We’re going to zero. We’re going to zero across the board,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after the White House made the announcement in a statement. “There are no (oil) waivers that extend beyond that period, full stop,” he said, adding that there would be no grace period for those economies to comply.

The United States which has engaged in a maximum pressure campaign against Tehran since Donald Trump came to office, had been giving the countries time to wean themselves off Iranian oil, but has decided that waivers would no longer be issued.

“The goal remains simply: To deprive the outlaw regime of the funds that it has used to destabilise the Middle East for decades and incentivise Iran to behave like a normal country,” Pompeo said.

The administration granted eight oil-sanctions waivers when it reimposed sanctions on Iran after Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. The waivers were granted in part to give those countries more time to find alternate energy sources but also to prevent a shock to global oil markets from the sudden removal of Iranian crude.

The White House said on Monday that the US, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market”.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement that the kingdom was closely monitoring the oil market and “will coordinate with fellow oil producers to ensure adequate supplies are available to consumers while ensuring the global oil market does not go out of balance”.

Tehran remained defiant over Washington’s decision, saying it was prepared for the end of the waivers, while the Revolutionary Guards repeated its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipment channel in the Gulf, Reuters news agency reported, citing Iranian media. Such a move, the Trump administration said, would be unjustified and unacceptable.

Iran’s foreign ministry said the US decision had “no value” but that Tehran was in touch with European partners and neighbours and would “act accordingly”, Iranian news agencies reported.

It added that the sanctions were “illegal”.

“The waivers … have no value but because of the practical negative effects of the sanctions, the Foreign Ministry has been … in touch with foreign partners, including European, international and neighbours and will… act accordingly,” the agencies quoted the ministry as saying.

‘Won’t serve regional stability’

Since November, three of the eight countries receiving waivers – Italy, Greece and Taiwan – have stopped importing oil from Iran. The other five, however, have not, and have lobbied for their waivers to be extended.

NATO ally Turkey had made perhaps the most public case for an extension, with senior officials telling their US counterparts that Iranian oil was critical to meeting their country’s energy needs. They have also made the case that as a neighbour of Iran, Turkey cannot be expected to completely close its economy to Iranian goods.

On Monday, Turkey slammed the US decision, saying it would not serve regional peace and stability.

Turkey “rejects unilateral sanctions and impositions on how we build our relationship with our neighbours,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted. “The US decision … will harm Iranian people.”

Last week, presidential spokesman and senior adviser Ibrahim Kalin told reporters in Washington, DC, that “people should not expect Turkey to turn its back on Iran just like that”.

Turkey did not support US sanctions policy on Iran and did not think it would yield the desired result, Kalin said at the time, but added that Ankara would not want to violate sanctions if a waiver was not extended.

“We will look for alternatives in terms of transactions and other things. We don’t want to break or violate the sanctions but at the same time we don’t want to be deprived of our right to buy oil and gas from Iran,” Kalin said last week.

Geng Shuang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a daily news briefing in Beijing on Monday that it opposed unilateral US sanctions against Iran and that China’s bilateral cooperation with Iran was in accordance with the law.

READ MORE

Iran denounces ‘illegal’ US sanctions as oil waivers end

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted the foreign ministry as saying the South Korean government had been negotiating with the US at all levels to extend the waivers and that it would continue to make every effort to reflect Seoul’s position until the May 2 deadline.

In India, refiners have started a search for alternative supplies but the government declined to comment officially.

Embassies of India, China and South Korea in Washington, DC, did not immediately respond to requests for comment, along with Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be in the US capital on Friday for an official visit.

Oil prices rise

Oil prices rose following the Trump administration’s announcement on Monday.

In morning trading, benchmark US crude surged $1.52, or 2.4 percent to $65.57 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, jumped $1.84, or 2.6 percent to $73.80.

Ritterbusch and Associates, an oil trading advisory firm, said in a morning note that “a complete elimination of Iranian exports is nearly impossible and that a reduction beyond current levels will likely prove limited”.

It said that the overall effect “will hinge to a large degree on the Saudis’ response to what is likely to be some strong requests from the Trump administration to increase productions appreciably”.

Peter Kiernan, an energy analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said: “A severe loss in (Iranian) volumes will put pressure on the supply side, given the political uncertainty currently blighting other oil exporters, such as Venezuela and Libya.”

According to some analysts, ending the waivers was expected to hit Asian buyers, including China and India, the hardest.

Kim Jae-kyung of the Korean Energy Economics Institute said the move “will be a problem if South Korea can’t bring in cheap Iranian condensate (for) South Korean petrochemical makers”.

Takayuki Nogami, a chief economist at Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), said ending the waivers was “not a good policy for Trump”.

Nogami said he expected oil prices to rise further because of US sanctions and OPEC-led supply cuts.

So far in April, Iranian exports were averaging below one million barrels per day (bpd), according to Refinitiv Eikon data and two other companies that track exports and declined to be identified.

That is lower than at least 1.1 million bpd estimated for March, and down from more than 2.5 million bpd before the renewed sanctions were announced last May.

AlJazeera



116 Comments on "US will not reissue waivers for Iran oil imports"

  1. makati1 on Wed, 1st May 2019 8:57 pm 

    Bursting the Sinophobe’s bubble:

    “China’s investment in education parallels its investment in the high-tech industry. Today China graduates four times as many STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) bachelor’s degrees as the U.S. and twice as many doctoral degrees, and China continues to gain. A third of Chinese students major in engineering, vs 7% in the U.S. Eighty percent of U.S. doctoral candidates in computer science and electrical engineering are foreign students, of whom Chinese are the largest contingent. Most return to China. The best U.S. universities have trained top-level faculty for Chinese universities. American STEM graduate programs reported a sharp fall in foreign applications starting in 2017, partly because Chinese students no longer have to come to the U.S. for a world-class education.” OUCH!

    “China’s debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 253% (47% government, households 50%, corporate 155%). That is about the same as America’s 248% (98% to government, households 77%, corporate 74%). The high corporate debt number is due to the fact that state-owned enterprises fund a great deal of infrastructure, building with debt that is counted as corporate rather than government. China’s debt problem is no worse than ours.”

    Say that again, louder please, so the Missouri Jackass can hear you.

    “CHINA’S DEBT PROBLEM IS NO WORSE THAN OURS.” I’ve been pointing that out for a long time.

    “China is outspending the U.S. in quantum computing, including $11 billion to build a single research facility in Hefei. By contrast, the U.S. allocated $1.2 billion for quantum computing over the next five years. Overall, federal development funding in the U.S. has fallen from 0.78% of GDP in 1988 to 0.39% in 2016.” Gotta fund those ‘wars’ and keep the MIC fat and happy!

    https://pjmedia.com/spengler/the-chinese-tortoise-and-the-american-hare/

    Then the author goes into dreamland with suggestions for the US to get back in the race, none of which are probable. The US is swirling down the shitter. Abandon the USS Debt while you can!

  2. Cloggie on Wed, 1st May 2019 11:30 pm 

    “Most return to China.“

    That’s the difference with Muslims and Africans, who unfortunately prefer to stay.

    Chinese are proud and nationalist like hell and determined to eclipse the kosher-run West, that is in a state of slow suicide, as a result of mass third world immigration, inflicted on the West since the sixties, by The Tribe, and carried out by despicle water carriers like Clinton, Blair and Merkel. And of course the resident despicable water carrier, the mule from Missouri, empire dave.

    Fortunately for Europe, the US are going much faster down the drain, and will reach breaking point much earlier, giving Europe the chance to halt and change course, when it becomes clear where this immigration insanity will lead to: civil war and genocide.

    The Chinese (or any Asian) wouldn’t dream of committing treason to its own posterity and identity and race, so in the battle cry of the stinking empire, they are solid racists. Good for them!

    Back to the Chinese. My home town is the seat of the pearl of the Dutch economy, ASML. This company makes one product only: wafer steppers, machines to make microchips. ASML has a global monopoly. Everybody heard of Intel, Apple, Samsung, etc, but these companies would be nowhere without these 200 million machines, that spit out hundreds of iPhone and other microchips per 20 seconds. ASML is the technological real deal.

    Last month there was uproar in Holland because of this:

    https://nltimes.nl/2019/04/11/chinese-spies-stole-trade-secrets-dutch-chip-maker-asml-report

    ASML has a subsidiary in Silicon Valley and inevitably Chinese employees and these had stolen intellectual property and applied it in a company of its own.

    Additionally there is uproar in Britain, Holland and Germany about the introduction of 5G, to be implemented by the Chinese company Huawei. 5G is essential for the autonomous car and a host of other new applications. But every western intelligence agency is warning against the Chinese government, spying on the West.

    America and its empire is a has-been and doesn’t need to be taken seriously anymore and will disintegrate in a couple of years. Main reason: demographics and exploding inter-ethnic tensions. The real threat is a Chinese-owned planet in a couple of decades and THAT only necessitates PBM.

  3. Cloggie on Thu, 2nd May 2019 1:23 am 

    Guaido’s car attacked by Maduro supporters:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDpfj7v3TEc

    https://www.rt.com/news/454849-guaido-car-attack-pompeo-venezuela/

    https://www.rt.com/news/458160-bolton-mocks-bunker-maduro-speech/

    “Bolton mocks Maduro’s bunker-bound ‘cowardice’ on day he addresses crowds in Caracas”

    We should not forget that for all the perceived “might” of the US, Cuba is still an independent country, despite all the sanctions and clumsy Bay of Pigs operation.

    Expect a similar anti-gringo attitude among Venezuelans. If the US wants another Vietnam in the jungle of South-America, be our guest. Iraq was flat, open terrain/desert. Venezuela, like Vietnam, is ambush country.

    #BeerAndPopcorn

  4. makati1 on Thu, 2nd May 2019 2:02 am 

    Cloggie, I agree that the US leads the swirl with the EU and Japan close behind, but Japan has an ancient culture to unify it, and a minimum of immigrants, unlike the US and EU. I don’t share your thought that the EU will evade the same future as the US. We shall see.

    As for stealing manufacturing secrets, that has been going on for centuries. The US got their rockets from German refugees after WW2. Japan moved ahead by reverse engineering many things from the US. So what if China did the same and improved on the ideas? It is just BAU.

    Soon the rest of the world will be so far ahead of the US in tech that the US will be stealing…5G anyone? ^_^

  5. Cloggie on Thu, 2nd May 2019 2:26 am 

    “but Japan has an ancient culture to unify it, and a minimum of immigrants, unlike the US and EU. I don’t share your thought that the EU will evade the same future as the US. We shall see.”

    Europe, as everybody agrees upon, is built on Greece and Rome, 3000 years old and just as ancient as China and Japan. Europe has a far stronger sense of identity than “nation of immigrants USA” and populist resistance against invaders is growing fast her. Once America meets its own 1989 (after Trump?), we can start all over again in Europe with Russia as a potential strong new impetus for continental European integration (military!) to be able to balance Chinese power throughout the 21st century. If we can incorporate 100 million white Americans from a smoking pile of rubble, all the better.

    Empire dave needs not apply. He can team up with his “beautiful Amazonians”.

  6. Not Davy on Thu, 2nd May 2019 3:04 am 

    JuanP posted this

    Davy on Wed, 1st May 2019 7:17 pm

  7. Davy on Thu, 2nd May 2019 3:08 am 

    “We have a demented Missouri Jackass on here that should have been banned years ago, but…?”

    But what makato? makato, you just can’t stand the fact I have moderated your nonsense for years and neutering the worst of the crap. If you had some balls you wouldn’t whine about me so much. PUSSY

  8. Davy on Thu, 2nd May 2019 3:14 am 

    “Say that again, louder please, so the Missouri Jackass can hear you.”

    “CHINA’S DEBT PROBLEM IS NO WORSE THAN OURS.” I’ve been pointing that out for a long time.”

    I read the article on Zero Hedge dumbass, unlike your binary delusions that China is a phoenix, I know the US is in trouble also. If I highlight these Chinese issues it is because China’s problems and the US problems are the world’s problems also. You just got an anti-American chip on your shoulder I guess because most of your American life was a failure.

  9. Davy on Thu, 2nd May 2019 3:29 am 

    “Fortunately for Europe, the US are going much faster down the drain, and will reach breaking point much earlier, giving Europe the chance to halt and change course, when it becomes clear where this immigration insanity will lead to: civil war and genocide.”
    The numbers show you are going down the drain quicker, Cloggo. What nation is in a soft civil war now, FRANCE. The US has a soft civil war going on DC. This is not nationwide CW2 like you pretend. A few extremist liberals are howling across the country but they are not rioting.

    “America and its empire is a has-been and doesn’t need to be taken seriously anymore and will disintegrate in a couple of years. Main reason: demographics and exploding inter-ethnic tensions. The real threat is a Chinese-owned planet in a couple of decades and THAT only necessitates PBM.”
    Cloggo, then why are you completely obsessed with the US and GB? You are so full of shit it is pathetic. The US has a large footprint on all fronts. Even if the US imperial empire of a few years is almost over the US still commands positions of strength on all fronts. Not all Americans are bad.

    “Main reason: demographics and exploding inter-ethnic tensions”
    Cloggo, it is more like overshoot and declining affluence. Immigration is increasingly and issue because of this and the hominization of cultures a result. These cultures you whine about are ones you destroyed with your colonialism. Take it in the ass like a big boy, WHINER.

  10. Davy on Thu, 2nd May 2019 3:37 am 

    “Empire dave needs not apply. He can team up with his “beautiful Amazonians”.

    I am not going to sign up for your NATZSE youth camp that you are promoting cloggo. You can fantasize about nothing and pound your hands on your easy chair in desperation as your fantasy dissolves. I am getting on with my REAL GREEN platform. I am promoting a different way that realizes we are all going down. If I moderated you and makato it is because I enjoy seeing lying low life wimps whine

  11. Davy on Thu, 2nd May 2019 3:53 am 

    “Weeping For Notre Dame… & European Civilization”
    https://tinyurl.com/yye3bw9b Authored by Guillaume Durocher via The Unz Review

    “I must then admit that I was not particularly moved by Notre-Dame burning. I’ve already made my peace with impermanence. I already know that the rot that is consuming France will in all likelihood kill this fair nation within my lifetime. My heart has already been broken. I have already wept for this. Who can claim, in all sincerity, that in a mere hundred years a nation will still exist on this soil – let alone a nation worthy of the name “France”? And I have wept and raged at my countrymen and my fellows who would persecutethose wish to prevent this. How then may I cry for Notre-Dame? This is the despair of all identitarians, most often a silent despair. And I’ve not done much to express my concern, besides a few scribblings and conversations. But others have. You may be crying for Notre-Dame, but others have wept long before you, at the prospect of our nation, indeed our entire European civilization, sleepwalking into nothingness. It is not a coincidence if Dominique Venner, a great historian and European patriot, took his own life in Notre-Dame Cathedral, the spiritual heart of France, in May 2013, in one final effort to awaken the French people. But how many listened then? That was then. We have today, and tomorrow.”

  12. Davy on Thu, 2nd May 2019 3:57 am 

    MORE European Balkanization in the Balkans.

    “Large Protests And Political Crisis In Albania”
    https://tinyurl.com/y2k525fx off guardian

    “Albania seems to be heading toward a civil conflict. In June the European Commission is expected to refuse once again the opening of the negotiations for the Albanian membership in EU. This will be an added fuel to the present situation. The international institutions are observing patiently, awaiting the Albanian political storm to cease. A storm that seems to end only by the decision to step down of one man: the Albanian premier, Edi Rama.”

  13. Davy on Thu, 2nd May 2019 4:06 am 

    “World’s Wealthy Packing Up And Moving As Tensions And Taxes Take Toll”
    https://tinyurl.com/yxnjcfwc zero hedge

    https://tinyurl.com/y4zh72je graph
    “Rich people are picking up sticks and getting out of dodge, according to Johannesburg-based research firm New World Wealth, which notes that around 108,000 millionaires migrated across borders in 2018 – a 14% increase over 2017 and more than double the level in 2013. The top destinations? Australia, the United States and Canada, reports Bloomberg. Around 3,000 of the millionaires left the UK last year – with Brexit and taxes cited as possible motivations.”

  14. Cloggie on Thu, 2nd May 2019 5:06 am 

    After empire:

    https://m.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/matteo-salvini-und-viktor-orban-schmieden-plaene-europas-rechtsabbieger-a-1265304.html

    Rightwingers planning Europe’s future: more Russia, less George Soros.

  15. Hello on Thu, 2nd May 2019 5:06 am 

    >>>> 108,000 millionaires migrated across borders in 2018

    Mostly Chinese, I guess. Not many compared to the millions of 3rd world non-millionairs who moved to Australia the USA and Canada in 2018, right?

  16. Cloggie on Thu, 2nd May 2019 11:18 am 

    What! Maduro still in power? Bolton-Pompous ticket off the rails? LOL

    Maduro can still organize a military parade:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6983779/Guaido-calls-workers-strike-oust-Venezuelas-Maduro-military-uprising-falls-short.html

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6984059/Pentagon-plans-Maduros-downfall-Venezuela.html

    “Pentagon plans for Maduro’s downfall: US military prepares to evacuate Americans and rebuild Venezuelan infrastructure if socialist leader is toppled in coming days”

    Pentagon plans “downfall Maduro” by evacuating Americans. The first pictures of Maduro falling down are just in, breaking:

    https://s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsweek.com/files/styles/embed_tablet/public/2015/04/17/0417namfall01.jpg

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6983861/Nicolas-Maduro-surrounded-scorpions-bottle.html

    “Nicolas Maduro ‘is surrounded by scorpions in a bottle’ at Cuban-run military compound, says John Bolton as he predicts that Venezuelan leader’s inner circle could turn on him”

    Sure Johnny-boy, anything *could* happen, like you *could* drop dead within the next hour.

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