US will not renew sanctions waivers for allies buying Iranian oil

Another turn of the screw on the Iranian terrorist regime will really hit the mullahs where they live.

Last week, the U.S. designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.  Now the AP has learned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce that the U.S. will no longer issue sanctions waivers to nations buying Iranian oil — including three close U.S. allies.

The Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran, officials said Sunday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2, three U.S. officials said.  The others are China and India.

It was not immediately clear if any of the five would be given additional time to wind down their purchases or if they would be subject to U.S. sanctions on May 3 if they do not immediately halt imports of Iranian oil.

It's probable some of those contracts with Iran would run for a few more months.  The U.S. is not likely to demand an immediate halt to these nations buying Iranian oil, but the grace period will probably be short.

The administration granted eight oil sanctions waivers when it re-imposed sanctions on Iran after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.  They were granted in part to give those countries more time to find alternate energy sources but also to prevent a shock to global oil markets from the sudden removal of Iranian crude.

U.S. officials now say they do not expect any significant reduction in the supply of oil given production increases by other countries, including the U.S. itself and Saudi Arabia.

Since November, three of the eight — Italy, Greece and Taiwan — have stopped importing oil from Iran.  The other five, however, have not, and have lobbied for their waivers to be extended.

NATO ally Turkey has made perhaps the most public case for an extension, with senior officials telling their U.S. counterparts that Iranian oil is critical to meeting their country's energy needs.  They have also made the case that as a neighbor of Iran, Turkey cannot be expected to completely close its economy to Iranian goods.

Why shouldn't we expect Turkey to close its economy to Iranian goods?  Erdoğan wants an easy way out, and he's not going to get it. 

China will probably find a way to circumvent the sanctions and buy Iranian oil anyway.  They're selling oil to North Korea despite a ban on such sales, so sanctions don't appear to phase them much.

It will take a few months for the sanctions to bite, but once they do, Iran will be hurting.  Their oil is a primary means of obtaining foreign currency, which the regime uses to buy luxury goods for the elites from the west, including top commanders in the Revolutionary Guards and military.  You can imagine them not being pleased to have that pipeline cut off.

Another turn of the screw on the Iranian terrorist regime will really hit the mullahs where they live.

Last week, the U.S. designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.  Now the AP has learned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce that the U.S. will no longer issue sanctions waivers to nations buying Iranian oil — including three close U.S. allies.

The Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran, officials said Sunday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2, three U.S. officials said.  The others are China and India.

It was not immediately clear if any of the five would be given additional time to wind down their purchases or if they would be subject to U.S. sanctions on May 3 if they do not immediately halt imports of Iranian oil.

It's probable some of those contracts with Iran would run for a few more months.  The U.S. is not likely to demand an immediate halt to these nations buying Iranian oil, but the grace period will probably be short.

The administration granted eight oil sanctions waivers when it re-imposed sanctions on Iran after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.  They were granted in part to give those countries more time to find alternate energy sources but also to prevent a shock to global oil markets from the sudden removal of Iranian crude.

U.S. officials now say they do not expect any significant reduction in the supply of oil given production increases by other countries, including the U.S. itself and Saudi Arabia.

Since November, three of the eight — Italy, Greece and Taiwan — have stopped importing oil from Iran.  The other five, however, have not, and have lobbied for their waivers to be extended.

NATO ally Turkey has made perhaps the most public case for an extension, with senior officials telling their U.S. counterparts that Iranian oil is critical to meeting their country's energy needs.  They have also made the case that as a neighbor of Iran, Turkey cannot be expected to completely close its economy to Iranian goods.

Why shouldn't we expect Turkey to close its economy to Iranian goods?  Erdoğan wants an easy way out, and he's not going to get it. 

China will probably find a way to circumvent the sanctions and buy Iranian oil anyway.  They're selling oil to North Korea despite a ban on such sales, so sanctions don't appear to phase them much.

It will take a few months for the sanctions to bite, but once they do, Iran will be hurting.  Their oil is a primary means of obtaining foreign currency, which the regime uses to buy luxury goods for the elites from the west, including top commanders in the Revolutionary Guards and military.  You can imagine them not being pleased to have that pipeline cut off.