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US wants allies to cease oil imports from Iran by Nov. 4

The U.S. is pressing its allies to cut all oil imports from Iran by Nov. 4, a senior State Department official said Tuesday.

Teams of State and Treasury Department officials have been dispatched to Europe and Asia in recent weeks to garner support for the Trump administration’s Iran strategy, telling allies that they are expected to cease oil imports from the country, the official said.

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The diplomatic efforts will affect several key U.S. allies that import significant amounts of Iranian oil, including Japan, South Korea and Turkey. The Trump administration is not planning to issue waivers that would allow allies to continue importing oil from Iran, according to the State Department official.

“I think the predisposition would be no, we’re not granting waivers,” the official said during a background briefing with reporters.

U.S. crude prices shot up Tuesday to more than $70 per barrel – their highest point since May – after it was revealed that the Trump administration is urging allies to end oil imports from Iran.

The State Department official said the U.S. plans to engage with other countries in the Middle Easter to “ensure that the global supply of oil is not adversely affected by these sanctions.”

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia is planning to ramp up oil production in July as it seeks to bring down soaring prices in response to pressure from President Trump.

The president announced last month that he would withdraw the U.S. from a 2015 deal that sought to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The announcement paved the way for the Trump administration to reimpose aggressive sanctions – including on Iran’s energy sector – that had been lifted under the JCPOA.

China, which remained in the Iran deal after the U.S. withdrawal, was the largest importer of Iranian oil in 2017.

 

Tags crude Donald Trump Donald Trump Iran nuclear deal oil production OPEC Tehran

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