U.S. Won't Renew Sanction Exemptions For Countries Buying Iran's Oil

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference to announce the Trump administration's plan to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard a

AP sources: US to sanction nations for importing Iranian oil

"If you don't abide by this, there will be sanctions", said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in announcing an end to waivers granted past year to eight countries and jurisdictions that rely heavily on Iranian oil.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery went up another 2.7 percent to $65.70 a barrel by mid-morning in the United States. It earlier touched a high of $65.87, a level not seen since late October.

The administration had granted eight waivers when it re-imposed sanctions on Iran in November after Trump pulled the USA out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

Worldwide benchmark Brent rose 2.6 percent to $73.87 a barrel after earlier touching $74.31, highest since early November.

Cavusoglu added the decision would harm the people of Iran.

A senior Trump administration official, briefing USA reporters on the condition of anonymity on Monday, said any move by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to the U.S. move would be unjustified and unacceptable.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to make an announcement on Monday detailing the decision.

So far in April, Iranian exports were averaging below 1 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Refinitiv Eikon data and two other companies that track exports and declined to be identified. The existing waivers are slated to expire on May 2, 2019.

The move is meant to reduce Iran's oil exports "to zero", depriving the world market of its crude.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey has made perhaps the most public case for an extension, with senior officials telling their USA counterparts that Iranian oil is critical to meeting their country's energy needs.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore, said the end to sanction waivers "could leave regional [Asian] heavyweights scrambling to find alternative supplies in the near term in what is already a very tight structural supply situation globally".

"If not, the campaign with which we've been engaged. will continue", he said.

The U.S. will no longer grant any waivers to countries to purchase Iranian oil, fully implementing the sanctions that President Donald Trump reimposed almost a year ago when he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. "We stand by our allies and partners as they transition away from Iranian crude to other alternatives". Pompeo and his team had been more cautious, though they also maintained that the market was well-enough supplied to ramp up pressure on Iran. "What everybody is going to be pointing to is Trump tightening sanctions on Iran". We're going to zero.

"If OPEC fails to increase output to offset the likely drop from an end to Iran waivers, expect oil prices to continue to rise for now, pulling more money from motorists' pocketbooks".

Latest News