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US to Help Purchasers Substitute Iranian Oil

US to Help Purchasers Substitute Iranian OilUS to Help Purchasers Substitute Iranian Oil

Washington will consider waivers for Iranian oil buyers such as India but they must eventually halt imports as sanctions are imposed on Tehran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Pompeo, who is in Delhi with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for talks with their Indian counterparts, told reporters some buyers of Iranian oil would take a little bit of time to unwind their trade with Iran, Reuters reported.

US President Donald Trump is pushing all countries to halt oil imports from Iran after withdrawing from a 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers in May and ordering the reimposition of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Some sanctions came into effect on Aug. 6 and the rest, notably in the petroleum sector, will take hold on Nov. 4.

Trump has warned that anyone trading with Iran would not do business with the United States.

“We will consider waivers where appropriate but that it is our expectation that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country or sanctions will be imposed. So we will work with the Indians; we committed that we will do that,” Pompeo said.

Despite Trump’s efforts, government officials in India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and Iran’s top oil client after China, say that it would be difficult to fully halt supplies from Tehran.

“Many countries are in a place where it takes a little bit of time to unwind and we will work with them I am sure to find an outcome that makes sense,” Pompeo said, adding that the United States would be "happy" if Iranian oil is replaced with American products.

Nevertheless, India’s August oil imports from Iran plunged by a third, as the state refiners waited for government permission to buy oil using Iranian tankers and cover.

In a sign of New Delhi’s desire to keep buying Iranian oil, Reuters reported this week that India had allowed its state refiners to use Tehran’s tanker and insurance cover after western and Indian shippers started winding down their Iran operations ahead of the Nov. 4 deadline.

 

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