Washington, April 22 : US President Donald Trump has ended exemptions from sanctions for countries that includes China, India, Japan, South Korea that are major importers of oil from Iran.
“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Monday.
The White House said waivers for China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey would expire in May, after which they could face US sanctions themselves.
“The U.S., 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,” according to the statement.
Trump reinstated the sanctions last year after US withdrew from a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers.
Five major countries including India will no longer be exempt from penalties if they continue to import oil from Iran.
India is studying the implications of the decision.
The sources said that the government has seen the announcement made by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States will not extend any waivers to importers of Iranian oil from sanctions and there will be no grace period for them to comply.
Washington, however, granted waiver to Iran’s eight main oil buyers from the sanctions that allowed them limited purchases for six months. These countries were India, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.
The sanctions have led to a sharp downturn in Iran’s economy, pushing the value of its currency to record lows, quadrupling its annual inflation rate and driving away foreign investors, which have triggered protests across the country.
The current set of waivers — issued to China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey — expire May 2.resident Donald Trump said in a tweet that “Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil. ”
The decision not to renew the waivers is a victory for National Security Adviser John Bolton and his allies who had argued that U.S. promises to get tough on Iran were meaningless with waivers still in place.