The White House says the US is ending exemptions from sanctions for countries that import Iranian oil. In a statement, the White House says it is taking “timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to discuss the move at the State Department today. The decision means sanctions waivers for five nations, including China and India and US treaty allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, won’t be renewed when they expire on May 2.
The move comes as the administration toughens its already strict penalties on Iran by trying to choke off all the revenue the country makes from oil sales.
The waivers had been in place since November when the administration reimposed sanctions on Iran after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
They were granted in part to give those countries time to eliminate their purchases of Iranian oil but also to ease any impact on global energy markets with the abrupt removal of Iran’s production.
Pompeo says now that production increases elsewhere will make up for the loss of Iranian oil on the market.