US Pushes Allies to Halt Iran Oil Imports: Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United States has told countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November and is unlikely to offer any exemptions, a senior State Department official said as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on allies to cut off funding to Iran.
“Yes, we are asking them to go to zero,” the official said when asked if the United States was pushing allies, including China and India, to cut oil imports to zero by November, Reuters reported.
“We’re going to isolate streams of Iranian funding and looking to highlight the totality of Iran’s malign behavior across the region,” the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters.
The official said a US delegation was headed to the Middle East next week to urge Persian Gulf producers to ensure global oil supplies as Iran is cut out of the market starting on Nov. 4 when US sanctions are reimposed.
Officials have yet to hold talks with China and India, among the largest importers of Iran’s oil, as well as Turkey and Iraq.
Asked if any waivers were expected to be granted in the process, the official said the position of the administration was that no exemptions would be permitted. He added, “I would be hesitant to say zero waivers ever.”
Senior State Department and Treasury officials are pressing allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to adhere to the sanctions, which are aimed at pressuring Iran to negotiate a follow-up agreement to halt its peaceful nuclear programs.
“We will be engaging in the next segment coming up in a week or so with our Middle Eastern partners to ensure the global supply of oil is not adversely affected by these sanctions,” the official said.
In May, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had sent separate letters to secretary-general of the United Nations and the European Union foreign policy chief about future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the US breach of the nuclear deal.
He has repeatedly called on European parties to the JCPOA to preserve the accord in a way that the Iranian nation’s interests are guaranteed.
In a speech from the White House on May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear deal, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after around two years of negotiations.
On May 9, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei urged that any decision to keep the deal running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the three European parties to the JCPOA.