The US has granted eight Iranian oil importers temporary waivers from the sanctions set to be imposed upon the country’s energy sector on November 5, a US government official told Bloomberg.
The waivers have been granted in exchange for continued import cuts in order to not drive up oil prices, said the official, who asked not to be identified.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the eight nations will be expected to end Iranian imports entirely but could not possibly eliminate all imports by the November 5 deadline, France 24 reported.
Some of the nations have been identified as US allies such as Italy, India, Japan and South Korea. In addition, both Turkish and Iraqi officials have said that their countries have been granted waivers.
Leading Iranian oil importer China is reportedly still in negotiations with the US regarding the terms of a waiver, but is among the eight nations, two sources familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg.
In a statement issued on November 2, US president Donald Trump said, “Our objective is to force the [Iranian] regime into a clear choice: either abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster.”
The sanctions will include an embargo on Iranian energy trade and the blacklisting of 700 Iranian individuals and entities as well as pressuring the global banking network SWIFT to stop serving Iran’s banking industry.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei disparaged the sanctions stating: “This new US president… has disgraced the remnant of America’s prestige and that of liberal democracy. America’s hard power, that is to say their economic and military power, is declining too.”
“The challenge between the US and Iran has lasted for 40 years so far and the US has made various efforts against us: military, economic and media warfare,” he added.