• 27 June 2018 - 13:59
  • News Code: 87650

The United States said on Tuesday that it will impose sanctions against all importers of Iranian oil by Nov. 4, a surprisingly tough position that roiled oil markets and is likely to further alienate allies and adversaries alike.

The policy shook financial markets that had become accustomed to waivers for American sanctions that in years past had been granted to companies in countries like India and China as long as they showed steady reductions in their imports of Iranian oil, Newyork Times wrote.

Peter Harrell, a former sanctions official in the State Department, dismissed the idea outright. “I don’t see China and India going to zero,” he said.

But a senior State Department official said Tuesday morning that such routine waivers were not likely to be issued by the Trump administration, although he did not rule them out entirely.

The Trump administration may be signaling an unusually tough position to gain leverage ahead of the first official meeting in Vienna of the remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal since President Trump announced in May that he was leaving the accord.

American diplomats will not participate in the Vienna talks, set for next week, since the United States is no longer a party to the deal. But senior Trump administration officials will talk with European diplomats on the sidelines of the meeting about efforts to further restrain Iran.

This month, European leaders applied for waivers to the renewed American sanctions against Iran, saying that preserving the agreement was vital to the security of their respective nations. Few expected the waivers to be granted, but Tuesday’s abrupt announcement, which largely ruled them out, could cause further strains.

Katherine Bauer, a former Treasury Department official, said that countries are likely to balk at the Trump administration’s maximalist posture.

“The risk is that you push countries to look for ways around sanctions,” she said.


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