Japan asks United States to ensure sanctions don't hurt Iran trade

Marco Green
October 12, 2018

Responding to questions on reports that India will continue to purchase oil from Iran after November 4, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said this was not helpful.

India's imports in August stood at 523,000 bpd, down by 32 percent compared to July, after the United States increased pressure on Iranian oil customers to significantly scale down purchases and outright stop buying Iranian oil with the us sanctions on Tehran returning in early November.

The US "will take care" of countries which defy its directive to bring their oil imports from Iran to zero by November 4, President Donald Trump has warned, days after India announced that two of its firms have placed orders to import crude from the Gulf nation.

India imported 528,000 bpd of Iranian oil in September, up by 1 percent from August, due to delays of some August cargoes until Indian refiners received the government nod to import Iran's oil on Iranian tankers with Iranian insurance, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing tanker data by shipping and industry sources. A phased reduction is what it has sought, as had been the policy under President Barack Obama before the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015 that lifted the UN-mandated Iran sanctions reinforced by those imposed by the United States.

The Trump administration has given the same message to all countries around the world, and the President has said that the United States is committed to re-enforcing all of its sanctions.

"We believe that countries coming together and recognising the malign influence that Iran has had around the world is important". "The President had addressed it - I believe it was just earlier today - which he was asked about that question about whether or not India would buy oil from Iran after sanctions are reimposed". On Thursday, he said the USA "will take care" of countries which defy the directive.

He had said that India has its own energy requirements which it has to fulfill.

India signed an agreement with Russian Federation last week to sign five S-400 missile defense systems at an estimated cost of $5.4 billion despite appeals from the United States that the S-400s were a "focus area" of secondary sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), a law aimed at punishing Russian Federation for annexing Crimea from Ukraine and interfering in USA elections in 2016. And India will find out.

While Trump's comments did not reveal much despite their ominous portent, Nauert added a new edge to them even saying, "But certainly when we hear about things such as purchasing oil or purchasing of the S-400 systems, it's not helpful.The United States Government just reviews that very carefully".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said since July that the government would consider requests for sanctions relief from a "handful of countries".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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