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article imageU.S. to end sanctions waivers for countries buying oil from Iran

By Karen Graham     Apr 22, 2019 in Politics
The Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan, South Korea, and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran, officials said Sunday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Trump has decided not to reissue the waivers that expire on May 2. "The decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying its principal source of revenue," Sanders said in a statement, according to U.S. News.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to provide details on Trump's decision not to renew the waivers for the five countries. The other two are Russia and China. It is not clear if the countries involved will be given time to wind down their oil purchases from Iran or if they will be subject to sanctions on May 3, one day after the end of the waivers.
"This decision will deprive the ayatollahs of billions of dollars that they would have spent undermining the security of the United States and our allies, building up Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and financing global terrorism," said Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who applauded the idea of ending the waivers.
President Trump exited the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), better known as the Iran nuclear agreement, in August 2018 as the rhetoric between the White House and Iran started escalating. Trump began imposing sanctions on the state that impacted their financial dealings.
In November, the sanctions hit Iran's oil exports and the country's banking interests. And as Mike Pompeo has increasingly said, the administration wants to get Iran's oil exports down to zero.
When asked in October about China and India's assertion they would continue to receive oil from Iran, the President said the U.S. would take care of the countries that defy its sanctions.
Of the original eight countries given waivers last year over importing Iranian oil, only three have stopped importing from Iran - Italy, Greece, and Taiwan. Reuters is reporting that news of the US plan caused oil prices to jump 3% to their highest level this year.
More about oil sanctions, Iran, waivers, halt imports, Allies
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