White House reimposes oil sanctions on Iran with little worldwide support

White House Hints At Easing Of Iran Sanctions For 'Friends And Allies'

The United States is imposing new sanctions on Iran's oil industry after Washington withdrew from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other global powers.

A waiver will come as a big relief to Indian Oil and MRPL, the two largest Iranian oil consumers.

"We still expect that the global oil market will be in deficit in 4Q18", the USA bank said.

Sources in New Delhi said that India is close to a deal with the USA that will allow it to continue buying crude oil from Iran without attracting any sanction after it agreed to cut imports and escrow payments.

Questioned on the possibility of sanctions or waiver, United States ambassador to India, Ken Juster sidestepped questions from journalists on the margins of a conference on connectivity, refusing to answer in advance of official pronouncement from Washington.

Although China and India's Iranian oil intake in recent months has fluctuated, and although some of their companies most exposed to the USA financial system have drastically reduced or outright stopped imports from Iran (like India's Reliance Industries), the countries saw their imports in the first three weeks of October increase or hold steady around the volumes from recent months.

"Administration officials used to tell us it's OK to give Iran concessions on SWIFT because they would force oil exports down to zero", the source said.

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State-run Indian refiner Hindustan Petroleum said it may resume buying Iranian oil if India secures a waiver from U.S. sanctions, its chairman MK Surana said on Thursday (November 1).

The administration's decision to issue waivers to eight countries also marked a significant reduction from the Obama administration, which issued such exemptions to 20 countries over three years. He has released a list of 12 demands that Iran must meet if it wants the sanctions lifted.

Trump said that in addition to the November sanctions, the U.S.

"We ask that it to modify its behaviour, and the Secretary (of State) has been clear frequently on what we expect from the regime and human rights are certainly an important aspect of that", he said.

Pompeo and Mnuchin both said the sanctions will have exceptions for humanitarian purchases. "The people of Iran should know with certainty that the government has no fear of the new American threats".

The restrictions come six months after President Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign promise and ended an Obama-era nuclear agreement with the Middle East state. During the summer, however, Iranian oil sales to India averaged much higher, topping out at a record 768,000 bpd during July.

In the first three weeks of October, Iran's crude and condensate exports averaged around 1.90-1.95 million bpd according to Platts ship tracking data, but exports could be even higher due to the Iranian tactic to switch off tracking devices to hide some volumes and destinations of its oil exports, sources say.

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