USA officials visiting Gulf allies to co-ordinate Iran sanctions

03 July, 2018, 02:08 | Author: Teresa Adams

Last week, Turkey's economy minister said his country does not plan to abide by the us demand for countries to stop importing Iranian oil, calling the request "nonbinding" on Turkey - a stinging rebuke from a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Washington aims to cut Iran's oil sales, First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri said, adding that this is an impossible measure.

"The (Iranian) government has a plan. and God willing we are certain that we will be able to sell as much oil as we want", he said.

In a tweet on Saturday, Trump said the extra Saudi oil would help offset a decline in supply from Iran, after the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May and moved to reimpose oil sanctions.

Some key countries are reliant on Iranian oil imports, including India and Turkey.

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The US "down to zero" plan rests heavily on banning India and China from buying from the Iranians, and while Indian companies have suggested they will dial it back, China remains in the nuclear deal and nearly certainly won't give in to US demands.

Hook also said a delegation under his lead will visit Gulf states "in the coming days", as part of global diplomatic efforts.

Oil prices fell early on Monday, following comments from the White House that the leader of Saudi Arabia promised President Donald Trump that he can raise oil production if needed.

But while US crude was bolstered by supply concerns, a flurry of announcements over the weekend unsettled oil markets.

The Treasury Department said the sanctions on Iran would take effect in 90-day and 180-day periods - after August 6 and November 4.

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"We are not looking to grant licenses or waivers, because doing so would substantially reduce pressure on Iran, and this is a campaign of imposing pressure", Brian Hook, Director of Policy Planning at the State Department told reporters at a news conference.

Under the Obama administration, oil sanctions were targeted so that countries had to continually reduce their Iranian oil imports every 180 days or face USA sanctions, but the Trump administration's tougher line could mean a sudden collapse of the oil-dependent Iranian economy or a sharp spike in oil prices worldwide.

"We are working to minimize disruptions to the global market but we are confident there is sufficient global spare oil capacity".

Looming U.S. sanctions against Iran further contribute to expected tightness. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity under State Department ground rules.

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