India, Korea, US Said to Agree Iran Oil Waiver Outline

Erika Holt
November 2, 2018

The objective of the law, which came into effect during the Obama administration, was to put pressure on Iran to curtail its nuclear programme by forcing its major oil customers to reduce their purchases.

China's crude oil imports from Iran averaged 798,423 bpd in August, the customs data showed on Thursday.

But the Obama White House later lifted the sanctions when it agreed to Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, which granted sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear activities.

The U.S. had called for all countries to "zero out" their oil purchases from Iran, which India has not done. Donald Trump said he will continue to monitor the situation.

Several countries "may not be able to go all the way to zero" right away on purchases of Iranian oil after US sanctions take effect, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday at an event in Washington. He hoped that this will convince them to change their ways. "And our effort is to get them to change that behaviour". "And the sanctions that are reimposed on November 5 will target critical sectors of Iran's economy, such as energy, shipping and the ship-building sectors, as well as the provision of insurance and transactions involving the Central Bank of Iran and designated Iranian financial institutions".

United States sanctions on Iran's oil buyers snap back Monday, forcing importing countries to negotiate with the USA for waivers by making cuts in purchases or risk getting blocked from the U.S. financial system.

India, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, has imported about 22 million tons of crude oil from Iran in 2017-2018 and plans to raise that to about 30 million tons in 2018-2019.

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"You will not be able to reach any of your goals with regard to Iran's oil", Rouhani said, according to IRIB.

"But the people should know with certainty that the government has no fear of American threats".

Iran was India's second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11 but Western sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme relegated it to the seventh spot in the subsequent years.

In June 2018, India and Iran agreed to use the rupee in order to maintain economic engagement.

The US has broadly agreed to grant India a waiver from Iran sanctions after the Indian side chose to cut oil imports from Tehran by about a third in 2018-19, sources familiar with the matter said, adding that an official announcement could be made over the next few days.

Indian officials, in their discussions with U.S. counterparts have pointed out that first, Indian refineries are configured to work Iranian crude, and second, Iran still offers better credit, insurance and freight terms to Indian buyers, which remains a key consideration.

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