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02 November 2018, 02:11 | Joann Bryant
US agrees to grant India waiver from Iran sanctions… for the time being
On the one hand, it's unclear how much Iranian oil will really be removed from the market, considering that Iran has already started to switch off transponders on board of some of its cargoes, although ship-tracking data on the tankers that can be tracked shows that Iranian oil exports are falling, but not as steeply as the market and analysts were expecting just a month or two ago. But, as a condition of waiver, Indian oil firms will reduce their imports to 14-15 million tonnes, the source said.
The concessions to Iran are said to include oil waivers to China, South Korea, and India, all of which purchase Iranian crude oil.
The waivers are only temporary, and the US will expect countries that get them to keep cutting Iranian imports in the months ahead, according to the USA administration official, who declined to give details on the volume of oil the nations will be allowed to buy under the exemptions.
The sanctions bring back the punitive measures that were imposed and then lifted by former president Barack Obama who reached an worldwide agreement under which Iran moved to end its nuclear program.
The US plans to re-impose oil-related sanctions on Iran on November 4 to choke the Islamic Republic's biggest source of income and pressure it to renegotiate a new nuclear deal.
"The waivers granted to these eight countries shows that the market needs Iran's oil and it can not be pulled out of the market. I don't know whether these waivers are permanent or temporary", state TV quoted Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Ali Kardor as saying.
Oil is poised for the biggest weekly loss since February on concerns over growing supply at a time when speculation is increasing that US sanctions on Iran won't cut the OPEC producer's exports to zero.
Oil prices LCOc1 rallied this year to a four-year high above $85 per barrel on fears Washington may want to cut Iranian oil exports to zero.
On Tuesday, Brent crude fell by $2.25 a barrel to a low of $75.09 before recovering slightly to around $75.89 as of 8:10pm Nigerian time.
Russian Federation is pumping oil at a post-Soviet high, USA crude output has topped 11 million barrels a day and a Reuters survey of OPEC production shows the group more than made up for any declines in Iranian shipments in October.
While European powers believe the deal has been successful and have sought to preserve trade with Iran, most major companies have chosen to exit the country rather than incur the wrath of U.S. authorities.
The concessions have reportedly sparked outrage among U.S. officials who take a hardline attitude towards Iran, even causing White House National Security Advisor John Bolton to decline to participate in the sanctions rollout on November, 4.
Turkey's Energy Ministry said on Friday it had heard rumors of waivers but added it had not received written notification of any exemption on buying Iran oil after the United States reimposes sanctions on Tehran on 5 November.
- Financial transactions. Starting on Monday, any foreign institution that does business with Iran's central bank or other banks in the country will lose access to the U.S. financial system.
"The U.S. may use waivers to slow-walk implementation, but these will not apply indefinitely", Allen said.
India would continue to buy Iranian oil in the current fiscal year to March but to secure the waiver may agree to further cut purchases, the source said.
Russian Federation has been planning to import oil from Tehran but no major projects have materialized.
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