US allows eight countries to keep buying Iran oil for now

Washington: The United States said on Friday it will temporarily spare eight jurisdictions from US Iran-related sanctions, allowing them to keep importing Iranian oil after US economic penalties come back into effect on Monday.

US allows eight countries to keep buying Iran oil for now

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced the decision in a conference call, did not name the jurisdictions, but he said that the European Union as a whole, which has 28 members, would not receive one.

Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin also said the United States had made clear to the Brussels-based SWIFT financial messaging service that it was expected to disconnect all Iranian financial institutions that the United States plans to blacklist as of Monday. He declined to name the targeted institutions.

The restoration of sanctions is part of a wider effort by US President Donald Trump to force Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.

Oil prices fell on Friday, heading for a weekly loss of more than 6%, following reports that Washington has granted several countries sanctions waivers allowing them to continue to import Iranian crude.

Brent crude oil was down 10 cents a barrel at $72.79. The contract has fallen by almost 12% since the beginning of October, when it reached its highest since 2014. US light crude weakened by 30 cents to $63.39, down more than 13% since hitting four-year highs a month ago.

Investors are concerned about the prospects for oil supply when new US sanctions are implemented against Iran on Monday.

source: livemint


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