United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin on Friday announced a resumption of sanctions that were imposed on Iran prior to the signing of the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, AP reported. The curbs, which cover the shipping, financial and energy sectors, will come into force on Monday,
The Donald Trump administration has granted waivers to eight countries, allowing them to import oil from Iran, officials said. Pompeo said the names of the countries will be released on November 5, added that Washington has recognised their effort to reduce oil imports. Unidentified officials told Bloomberg that India, Japan and South Korea are among the eight countries.
The sanctions are aimed at “fundamentally altering the behaviour of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, Pompeo said. The US has placed 12 demands that Tehran must meet to get the sanctions lifted, including ending support for terrorism and ending military engagement in Syria. “Maximum pressure means maximum pressure,” AP quoted Pompeo as saying.
India, which imports oil from Iran, on Thursday said it was engaged with the United States, Iran and other stakeholders about the decision to reimpose sanctions. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. it supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018.
In May, Trump announced that he was pulling the US out of the Barack Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran and called it “decaying and rotten”. The nuclear deal, signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations, Germany, the European Union and Iran, had lifted decades-old sanctions on Tehran on the promise that the West Asian nation would tone down its nuclear programme considerably.
On October 5, Washington terminated its 1955 Treaty of Amity with Tehran that had set terms of economic relations and consular rights between the two countries. The same day, the International Court of Justice ordered the United States to lift the sanctions on Iran that affect imports of humanitarian goods and products.
The US had said it expects all countries, including India, to reduce their Iranian oil imports to zero by November 5.