India's oil imports from Iran down 57% in April

Jeannie Matthews
May 8, 2019

Iran will reduce some "voluntary" commitments within its nuclear deal with world powers as a response to members' inability to resist USA pressure, but will not withdraw from it, state media on Wednesday quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying.

Last week, the White House said US President Donald Trump "has decided not to reissue" waivers regarding sanctions against countries importing Iranian oil when the waivers expire in early May.

"We do not want Tehran to announce tomorrow actions that would violate the nuclear agreement, because in this case we Europeans would be obliged to reimpose sanctions as per the terms of the agreement", the source said.

"With new sanctions, America wants to slow Iran's nuclear industry, so new talks should be held with nuclear deal members and the IAEA to approve that Iran can enrich fuel to 20 percent and higher", Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of parliament's national security committee, was quoted as saying by ISNA.

In a joint statement on May 4, the European Union and the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany said they were troubled by the USA decision "not to fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects in the framework" of the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

On Friday, the USA acted to force Iran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant.

Last week, reports emerged that the Saudis might pump more oil in June but this does not necessarily mean they would raise crude exports because the increased production would likely go for power generation as the summer begins in the Kingdom.

Iran has in the past jailed allies of former presidents for similar charges.

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Instead of granting the waivers for 180 days, the administration will shorten their term to 90 days, Bloomberg said. Highly enriched uranium can be used to fuel a nuclear weapon.

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The other powers that are still involved in the pact - Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union - have been trying to keep Tehran from abandoning the pact in spite the renewed USA punitive measures.

On the supply side, oil markets remain tense with the United States has tightening sanctions on Iranian oil exports and plans to bulk up its forces in the world's top oil-exporting region.

Iran is examining new ways to sell its oil, Zanganeh said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

He designated Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group and dispatched the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber force to the Gulf as a warning.

Britain, France and Germany have set up a special payments system to let European businesses operate in Iran and avoid United States sanctions, although few firms have been willing to incur Washington's wrath.

The American Petroleum Institute was said to report US stockpiles jumped 6.81 MMbbl last week, much more than government data due Wednesday is forecast to show.

The administration provided eight oil sanctions waivers as it re-imposed sanctions on Iran later Trump pulled the US from the landmark 2015 atomic deal.

The news agency said that Rouhani would invoke sections of the accord under which Iran can cease some or all of its commitments if other parties fail to adhere to their part, notably on ending sanctions.

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