Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

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

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

"Potential waivers appear targeted at India and South Korea, and they require some reductions over current import volumes while still allowing oil to flow", said Clayton Allen of Height Securities. "Iranian hospitals are already starting to report medical shortages as a result of financial sanctions that make banks reluctant to handle Iranian transactions".

This week, South Korea also asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for "maximum flexibility" on its request for a waiver to prevent companies there from being hit by the sanctions.

"India will cut import by about 35% from past year (2017-18), which is a significant cut", a source said.

According to an Economic Times report, the United States has broadly agreed to grant India a waiver from Iran sanctions, which would allow Indian oil companies to continue to import about 1.25 million tonnes of oil a month till March from Tehran.

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The determination is needed under USA law for Washington to impose sanctions on foreign countries that fail to significantly reduce their purchases of Iranian oil and petroleum products. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has reportedly leased some storage capacity at Dalian. During the summer, however, Iranian oil sales to India averaged much higher, topping out at a record 768,000 bpd during July.

Asked about reports that the USA was going to grant India waiver from the Iran sanctions, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said the government has not heard anything from Washington.

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"We can not end oil imports from Iran at a time when alternatives are costly", the source told Reuters.

The United States is preparing to impose the new sanctions on Iran's oil industry after Washington withdrew from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other global powers earlier this year, but is also considering offering waivers to some allies that rely on Iranian supplies.

"Our goal remains to get to zero oil purchases from Iran as quickly as possible".

European diplomats have described the SPV proposal as a means to create a barter system, similar to one used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands. "The United States government now is in the middle of an internal process to consider significant reduction exemptions for individual countries". In its plan for the 2018-19 fiscal year, set before the United States announced its JCPOA withdrawal, India was to import 25 million metric tons of Iranian oil, or about 490,000 bpd.

"Iranian crude is not a significant item in our crude basket".

India has held several rounds of conversations with the US, Iran and and other stakeholders on the issue.

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