White House reimposes oil sanctions on Iran with little global support

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After President Donald Trump chose to pull the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the multinational deal under which Iran agreed to suspend its nuclear program, his administration announced that it would reinstate economic sanctions against Iran, including those aimed at its oil exports.

The US Treasury will also demand the SWIFT global financial network stop servicing Iran's banking industry as part of enforcing sanctions over the country's nuclear program and alleged support for terrorism.

Turkey, a key destination for Iranian crude, may be among countries that are getting an exemption, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez told reporters in Ankara on Friday.

Iran hard-liners in Congress and elsewhere probably will be disappointed in the sanctions because they were pushing for no oil import waivers as well as the complete disconnection of Iran from the main worldwide financial messaging network known as SWIFT.

Since 1979, the U.S. made use of the sanctions to influence Iran's policies like the uranium enrichment program that the Western countries fear is being developed to produce nuclear weapons.

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India and South Korea agreed with the USA on the outline of deals that would allow them to keep importing some Iranian oil, according to Asian officials with knowledge of the matter. At a U.N. Security Council meeting in September, Trump defended his administration's decision to pull out of the Obama-era deal, and blasted what he called a "horrible, one-sided deal [that] allowed Iran to continue its path toward a [nuclear] bomb and gave the regime a cash lifeline when they needed it the most".

"We think Trump will agree to China importing some volumes, similar to the treatment that India and South Korea receive", he said.

The identity of the countries getting waivers is expected to be released officially on Monday, when US restrictions against oil dealings with Iran go back into effect.

Hours before he spoke, Iranian President Hassan Rohani warned Iranians they could face more economic hardship in the months ahead as the US imposes a new round of sanctions.

"Year-on-year growth in U.S. crude oil production has averaged nearly 1.5 million barrels per day in the first eight months of the year. with output from many key producing regions reaching new all-time highs", said Barclays bank.

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Nearly all buyers have been negotiating with the USA for waivers.

President Donald Trump, 6 months after being elected, backed out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

That's significantly lower than the peak of 2.7 million bpd in June this year, but still stubbornly high compared to some analyst estimates that the predicted sanctions could possibly choke off close to 2 million bpd of Iran's oil exports.

The Indian side, while building its case for a waiver, assured the U.S. that this payment mechanism ensures Iran can't use oil money from India for any terror-related activity, a key American concern. "There is much more that it's going to need to do", he said. "The message they're sending is don't screw around with these escrow accounts and try to get cute".

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