Pompeo: Removing sanction waivers on Iranian oil sales likely won't impact China trade talks

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris Mnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book MORE said in an interview on Monday that U.S. trade talks with China will likely not be affected by the removal of sanctions waivers that allowed eight foreign governments, including China, to buy Iranian oil without penalties. 

"No, I don't believe so," Pompeo told The Hill’s editor-in-chief, Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackDeGette calls for 'lean and mean' health research agency to tackle diabetes NAACP president pushes for more emails from NFL after Gruden resignation Al Eisele, founding editor of The Hill, dies at 85 MORE, in the interview, which aired Tuesday on Hill.TV's "Rising."

"We've had lots of talks with China about this issue. I am confident that the trade talks will continue and run their natural course," he continued. 

The Trump administration in November granted sanctions waivers to eight governments: China, India, Japan, Turkey, Italy, Greece, South Korea and Taiwan.

The waivers were due for renewal on May 2, but the administration announced earlier this month that they would not be renewed. 

"With respect to the absence of the granting of waivers and what others may do, sovereign nations make their own choices. Individual businesses inside of that will make their own choices. But what we can do is prepare a sanctions regime that makes it incredibly costly," Pompeo said.

"And so, companies that choose to violate the sanctions that we have in place connected to the purchase of crude oil from the Islamic Republic of Iran, we will pursue and we will ensure that they are held accountable for the violations that they engage in," he said. "It's pretty straightforward." 

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMajor Russian hacking group linked to ransomware attack on Sinclair: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report MORE and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are headed to Beijing this week with the hope of finalizing a deal to end the economic dispute between the U.S. and China. 

— Julia Manchester