Trump tight­ens screws on Iran oil

■ World oil mar­kets were on alert, ner­vously gauge con­se­quences of sanc­tions

The Asian Age - - Wrap- Up -

The US on Mon­day im­posed “the tough­est ever” sanc­tions on a de­fi­ant Iran aimed at al­ter­ing the Ira­nian regime’s “be­hav­iour”. The sanc­tions cover Iran’s bank­ing and en­ergy sec­tors and re­in­state penal­ties for coun­tries and com­pa­nies in Eu­rope, Asia and else­where that do not halt Ira­nian oil im­ports. The sanc­tions fol­low US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion in May to aban­don the 2015 multi­na­tion nu­clear deal with Tehran.

How­ever In­dia, China, Italy, Greece, Ja­pan, South Korea, Tai­wan and Turkey are among the coun­tries that have been tem­po­rar­ily al­lowed to con­tinue buy­ing Ira­nian oil as they showed ‘ sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion’ in oil pur­chase from the Per­sian Gulf coun­try. The eight coun­tries ac­count for about 75 per cent of all Iran’s oil ex­ports, ac­cord­ing to trade data, and have been al­lowed to im­port oil for an­other 180 days.

Mr Trump said he gave tem­po­rary ex­emp­tions to In­dia and seven other ma­jor im­porters as they sought US “help” and he did not want to drive oil prices “up to $ 100 a bar­rel or $ 150 a bar­rel”. “I am driv­ing them ( oil prices) down. If you look at oil prices, they have come down sub­stan­tially in the last cou­ple of months,” he said.

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