New Delhi (Sputnik): The US may provide relief to eight countries, allowing them to continue purchasing Iranian crude oil as per the significant reduction exemptions (SRE) — a waiver on sanctions awarded to them earlier.
Trump administration on Tuesday indicated that the sanctions waiver may continue to be in operation even after the six-month period expires. It nevertheless will continue working with the SRE recipients to end imports of Iranian crude.
"Each of those jurisdictions had already demonstrated significant reductions of the purchase of Iranian crude over the past six months, and indeed two of those eight already completely ended imports of Iranian crude and will not resume as long as the sanctions regime remains in place. We continue working with the remaining SRE recipients to end imports of Iranian crude", a US State Department spokesperson conveyed to media outlet The Hindu.
BREAKING:.@the_hindu has just received a statement on #IranSanctions oil exemptions from a State Dpt Spksprsn:, "We continue working with the remaining SRE [ Signf. Reduction Exemptions] recipients to end imports of Iranian crude." My reading of this is: exemptions continue.👇 pic.twitter.com/RozFZfBdFg— Sriram Lakshman (@slakster) March 13, 2019
"They also discussed counterterrorism cooperation and a range of global and regional issues of mutual interest, including the current situation in Afghanistan, DPRK, Iran, and Venezuela", a statement issued by the US Department of State read.
Earlier this month, India's Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan, while speaking with Sputnik, said that the sanctions waiver on Iranian crude may continue despite a toughening of US stance on other trade matters, including the withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preference (GSP). The Trump administration on 4 March decided to end preferential trade treatment for India — an arrangement that allowed for duty-free entry of up to $5.6 billion worth of Indian export products into the US.
The Indian government had already conveyed to the US that it wants to keep buying Iranian oil at its current level of about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) even after April this year.
New Delhi faced a similar situation in 2012, but on that occasion, it managed to meet the US requirements by significantly reducing its imports from Iran, thus meeting the criteria for exemptions granted under the SRE category of NDAA 2012.