US grants waivers before start of Iran sanctions
Nov 03, 2018 (Agencia EFE via COMTEX) —
Washington, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- The administration of President Donald Trump has moved toward its goal of maximum economic pressure against Iran, while granting waivers allowing eight countries to temporarily import Iranian oil without facing United States punishment, according to a report by Dow Jones Newswires made available to EFE on Saturday.
The waivers, to countries that government advisers say include China, Turkey and India, are designed to give them time to switch to other suppliers while sharply reducing or eliminating their purchases of Iranian oil over time.
But with the US economic pressure campaign coming into full force at 12.01 am eastern time Monday, American officials also struggled to plug the holes that have plagued past sanctions plans against Iran.
Unlike the global support for the Obama administration’s penalties, broad opposition to the current US policy, including from European allies, is sure to complicate the task.
And Iran has pledged to resist the sanctions.
Still, the Trump administration is off to a strong start: Iranian oil exports have fallen by more than a million barrels a day since the White House launched its new campaign in May.
That decline represents more than a third of international sales.
Iran’s economy, with oil accounting for 80 percent of tax revenue, is in pain.
Europe’s largest companies have pulled out, and Iranian consumers rushed to exchange their rials, pushing the currency’s value to record lows and sparking a surge in consumer prices.
In March, the International Monetary Fund forecast Iran’s economy would expand by 4 percent in 2018. Now it predicts a two-year recession, with a 3.6 percent contraction next year.
“We have seen a dramatic reduction in oil imports by Iran’s top importers, a