Trump tightens screws on Iran oil
■ World oil markets were on alert, nervously gauge consequences of sanctions
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.