(February 7, 2019 / JNS) The United States will not renew temporary waivers that were given to more than several countries regarding Iranian oil imports, announced U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook. The renewal would be up in May.
“Iran’s oil customers should not expect new waivers to U.S. sanctions in May,” said the top U.S. State Department official in an interview with the Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
This week, Hook was in Japan, which was one of the countries that received such a waiver and recently began importing oil from the Islamic Republic.
“The November waivers were designed to prevent a spike in oil prices, and it appears that there will be enough oil supply to satisfy demand this year,” said Hook.
He emphasized, “We are not looking to grant any future waivers or exceptions to our sanctions regime, whether it’s oil or anything else,” adding that the United States seeks to “get to zero imports to Iranian crude as quickly as possible.”
China, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Iraq, Turkey, Italy and Greece were among the other countries that received exemptions for importing Iranian petroleum after U.S. sanctions, including those on Iranian oil, that were lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal were reimposed last November.
Hook’s announcement comes as Iran’s oil minister blasted Italy and Greece on Tuesday for not importing the regime’s oil even though they received a temporary U.S. waiver.
“No European country is buying oil from Iran except Turkey,” said Bijan Zanganeh, according to the ISNA news agency. “Greece and Italy have been granted exemptions by America, but they don’t buy Iranian oil, and they don’t answer our questions.”