US Warns Russia Against Helping Tehran Evade Oil Sanctions

US Warns Russia Against Helping Tehran Evade Oil Sanctions
US Warns Russia Against Helping Tehran Evade Oil Sanctions

Intensifying its anti-Iran campaign, the United States warned Russia to not even consider helping Tehran to evade the US sanctions on Tehran’s oil, a senior US administration official said.
“Iran might be pushing the idea of Russia selling their oil on the world market to evade sanctions,” Oil Price quoted the senior official as saying.  
“I would discourage Russia from even considering this. It would be in Russia’s best interests not to facilitate Iranian evasion of US sanctions,” the unnamed official noted.  
Russia and Iran agreed last month to a deal allowing Iran to evade the US sanctions.
It is reported that at a Iran-Russia-Turkey summit in Tehran in September—hosted by President Hassan Rouhani and attended by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin—Iran and Russia cut a deal, under which Iran would export crude oil to Russia via the Caspian Sea, Russia would refine the oil in its refineries, and then export the products worldwide to evade the US sanctions on its petroleum industry that will snap back in early November.
Meanwhile, US treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said in an interview with Reuters over the weekend that it would be more difficult for Iranian oil customers to get waivers from the sanctions than it was during the Obama administration.
“I do not expect we will get to zero in November but I do expect we will eventually get to zero,” Mnuchin said of the US administration’s efforts to bring Iranian exports down to zero.  
“There have been already very significant reductions in advance of this date,” Mnuchin told Reuters.  
He warned that countries importing Iranian crude that want to continue importing it will need to reduce their intake by more than 20% to win a sanction waiver. 
In an interview with Reuters, Mnuchin also said “Oil prices have already gone up, so my expectation is that the oil market has anticipated what is going on in the reductions. I believe the information is already reflected in the price of oil.”
The 20% reference number is the reduction in Iranian oil imports that the Obama administration required in the previous round of sanctions to provide waivers. 
Mnuchin did not say exactly how deep the cuts would need to be now, saying only that he “would expect that if we do give waivers it will be significantly larger reductions.”


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