The White House announced the decision not to reissue waivers on Iranian oil after they expire in May. Washington additionally stressed that the decision "is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero", ruining a vital source of revenue for Tehran.
"President Donald J. Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May. This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue," the statement said.
The statement went on to say that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to ensure that the global market will have sufficient oil supply following Washington's decision to terminate sanctions waivers for countries importing Iranian oil.
"The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world's great energy producers, along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied", the statement said.
Beijing has already commented on the US reported plans to scrap oil sanctions, saying that it stands against Washington's unilateral restrictions against Tehran and will take every effort to defend the interests of national companies doing legal business with Iran.
The United States will now look at ways to cut off Iranian attempts to evade oil sanctions, according to a senior administration official.
US President Donald Trump has posted another statement on Twitter about the matter.
Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil. Iran is being given VERY BAD advice by @JohnKerry and people who helped him lead the U.S. into the very bad Iran Nuclear Deal. Big violation of Logan Act?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 апреля 2019 г.
Commenting on the issue, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the US has been in discussions with other countries to help them wind down Iranian oil imports.
"Before our sanctions went in effect, Iran generated as much as $50 billion annually in oil revenue", Pompeo said. "Overall today, we estimate that our sanctions have denied regime well north of $10 billion".
The secretary of state has also said that US will give no grace period after the end to Iran oil waivers on 1 May.
"The current waivers expire on midnight May 1. There are SRE waivers that extend beyond that period, full stop", Pompeo told reporters.
He also noted that Washington will keep imposing sanctions against Iran until it agrees to negotiate.
"We're going to zero. We're going to zero across the board", Pompeo told reporters. "There are no (oil) waivers that extend beyond that period, full stop".
Despite the increasing economic pressure, Pompeo has recently assured that the Trump administration is not seeking regime change in Iran through direct military intervention, saying that the administration is "not going to do a military exercise inside Iran".
Iran has reacted to US statements by saying that the end of American waivers has no value, but Tehran is in touch with partners and will act accordingly.
"The results of these external and internal contacts will be reflected in decision-making — Iran will soon make the required decision on this issue and announce it," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
The move to end waivers, however, did not come as a surpise: after the US withdrew from the so-called Iran Nuclear Dead (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) last year, it has repeatedly stressed that it wants all importers to eventually cut their oil sales from Iran to zero, which is likely to have a significant impact on the Middle Eastern country.
In early November, Washington, however, granted six-month waivers from oil sanctions against Iran to Greece, Italy, Taiwan, China, India, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea.