Trump Administration Warns Buyers Of Iranian Crude Not To Expect Easy And Frequent Waiver

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New Delhi: A top Trump administration official warned buyers of Iranian crude such as India that they should not expect easy and frequent waiver and exemptions from the second wave of US sanctions that kicks in on November 5, targeting Iranian oil, ports and banking sectors.

“This is not the Obama administration … is my message to them (the importers),” John Bolton, national security adviser to the US president, told reporters at a news briefing on the administration’s new counterterrorism strategy to maintain maximum pressure on Iran.

The latest American threat comes despite the Narendra Modi government conveying to the Trump administration that India is a fit case for a presidential waiver from the provisions of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) on Russia and the sanctions on trade with Iran.

“The frequency and the ease of getting waivers and exemptions is not going to be our policy,” the NSA said.

The Obama administration had allowed large importers of Iranian crude such as India, Japan and South Korea to cut their purchases gradually and verifiably significantly every six months to avoid sanctions. The goal was to wean them away from Iranian oil and give them time to find alternate sources.

Referring to his warning to importers there will be fewer waivers and exemptions Bolton said he and other US officials have had meetings with senior Indian officials including his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval “where we made clear the views we have on trade with Iran”.

Late last month, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed after a meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj at the UN that India is committed to buying Iranian oil and continuing the economic cooperation of the two countries.

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