Pompeo Allows Sanctions Exception for Chabahar Port

09 November, 2018, 13:53 | Author: Regina Silva
  • A Chinese vessel approaching beleaguered Iranian tanker Sanchi to help extinguish a fire that started after it collided with a Chinese vessel off China's shores

On Monday, the United States restored sanctions that target Iran's oil exports, as well its banking and transport sectors.

In Moscow's first official reaction since the restoration of Washington's bans on Tehran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that the U.S. sanctions are "not legitimate". From then, to pleading for a waiver by accepting United States terms to reduce oil imports from Iran by a third before sanctions came into place on November 5, reveals a steady succumbing to U.S. pressure.

Lavrov emphasized that Russian Federation and its European partners were looking for ways to maintain economic ties with Iran.

However, the administration granted waivers allowing eight major oil-importing countries - including China and India, Iran's top two customers - continue buying Iranian petroleum products without penalty for another six months. The bans had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Big power disunity and European Union moves to circumvent Trump's sanctions regime have given Tehran a psychological boost - but not dissuaded foreign businesses ranging from oil majors to trading houses and shipping concerns from pulling out of Iran for fear of incurring new U.S. penalties. All of them maintain that they will continue to trade with Iran.

If prices close below $61.13 per barrel, crude will be in a bear market.

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China's October crude imports surged 32 percent from a year earlier to 40.80 million tonnes, or 9.61 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday, climbing from 9.05 million bpd in September.

Some market watchers believe the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russian Federation may take steps to reduce supply.

"If Iranian tankers make calls to your ports or transit through your waterways, this comes at great risk", Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative on Iran policy told journalists.

Speaking on background Tuesday, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said that Secretary Mike Pompeo had approved carving an exception from sanctions for Iran's Chabahar port. We have so many countries that are on our side. We are yet to know what are the serious concessions conceded by the Indian government.

The exemption for Chabahar is linked to the port's importance for both India and Afghanistan, and likewise the importance of India and Afghanistan to US foreign policy aims. Shortly after that the White House announced they would re-impose unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. We will bypass sanctions. In May 2018, however, Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, making a return of sanctions all-but-inevitable. Thus, if India had wanted, it could have cooperated with all these major countries in order to ensure that its oil trade with Iran and other business investments could be carried on.

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