USA exempts Japan and seven other nations from Iran oil sanctions

USA exempts Japan and seven other nations from Iran oil sanctions

USA exempts Japan and seven other nations from Iran oil sanctions

The move restores, and strengthens, sanctions lifted under a 2015 global agreement on Iran's nuclear programme from which Washington withdrew in May at Trump's behest. The Administration has granted waivers to eight countries that have reduced their oil purchases from Iran but not stopped them entirely.

China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were also granted exemptions that will allow them to continue importing Iranian crude oil.

Aside from restrictions on oil imports, the administration added more than 700 names - including individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft linked to the energy and financial sectors and other segments of Iran's economy - to the U.S. list of sanctioned entities.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, "Starting today, Iran will have zero oil revenue to spend on any of these things".

Sanctions expert Stacy Keen of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said the European Union was looking to assist companies doing business in or with Iran despite the US secondary sanctions, and has updated its Blocking Regulation to protect European Union persons from the US Iranian secondary sanctions.

The sanctions hit oil exports, shipping and banking.

"These sanctions have already had an enormous impact", Pompeo said, adding that Trump's policy will be "fully in place" as of Monday.

Rouhani added, "We are in the economic war situation".

The first round of the anti-Iran bans - which had been lifted under the accord - were re-imposed in August.

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Following the USA exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.93 a barrel at 0021 GMT, down 17 cents, or 0.3 per cent, from their last settlement.

The restrictions officially end all economic gains the US permitted Iran after the nuclear agreement of 2015.

Iran's clerical rulers dismissed the curbs.

Schiff said, "The Trump administration's unilateral re-imposition of these sanctions will also accelerate efforts to facilitate transactions through alternative financial channels that are not reachable by the U.S. sanctions and into which we will have limited visibility".

US President Donald Trump is trying to cripple Iran's oil-dependent economy.

The Iranian official also stressed that Iran's allies are seeking to find ways of defeating United States sanctions.

Aside from restrictions on oil imports, the administration added more than 700 individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft linked to the energy and financial sectors and other segments of Iran's economy to the US list of sanctioned entities.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US, Sept. 26, 2018.

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