23:07 GMT02 August 2021
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    The US has reportedly discussed possible waivers on sanctions targeting countries that fail to stop importing Iranian oil, which will be introduced next month.

    Washington is “in the midst of an internal process” of considering significant reduction exceptions (SREs): waivers that would be applied to countries which continue to import Iranian oil, a US government official said on condition of anonymity, Reuters reports. 

    READ MORE: Trump Sanctions Dumped: India Continues Importing Usual Volume of Oil from Iran

    It is the first time a US official has admitted to possible exceptions for countries affected by the sanctions against Iran. However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had hinted that temporary allowances might be made during his visit to India last month, when he said that some buyers of Iranian oil would need a “little bit of time” to reconsider their trade relations with Iran.

    The administration is “prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis,” the official said.

    White House National Security Adviser John Bolton had said on Thursday that it was the administration’s objective that there would be no waivers and that “exports of Iranian oil and gas and condensates drop to zero,” while noting that it could be unachievable.

    The official’s comments came after reports that India will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, despite the Trump administration’s second volley of sanctions. The US first imposed the sanctions on Tehran in August, withdrawing from the 2015 accords in order to compel Iran to abandon its alleged involvement in conflicts in Syria and Iraq and shut down its ballistic missile program. The Trump administration also planned to introduce sanctions on Iran’s crude oil consumers on November 4. Iran said it would continue following the rules of the agreement struck with the five other countries that agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.


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