• 3 July 2018 - 11:34
  • News Code: 87913

"We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis,” said Brian Hook, the department’s director of policy and planning.

The Trump administration is softening its earlier demand that countries like China, India and Turkey end all imports of Iranian oil by Nov. 4, as a top State Department official on Monday said the United States would allow reduced oil flows, in certain cases.

His announcement was a delicate attempt at reassuring oil markets and allies that sanctions are not likely to hit them this fall — even if Iranian oil continues to flow around the world, as is likely the case, NY Times said.

India, South Korea and Turkey — all allies or friends of the United States — are major importers of oil from Iran and are unlikely to be able to switch suppliers entirely by November.

That reality was not acknowledged last week when a different senior State Department official told reporters that the United States expected global imports of Iranian oil to go to zero by Nov. 4, when Washington will reimpose sanctions against Tehran’s energy sector. The announcement sent oil prices soaring and markets have been on edge ever since.

That official had briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to predict that it was unlikely — but not impossible — that some importers would be given waivers to protect them from penalties after buying Iranian oil. On Monday, Mr. Hook said, “Our policy is to get to zero as soon as possible” — a subtle shift that is likely to reassure markets.


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