On Monday, the Trump administration pointed their target at the energy sector of Iran, saying that countries importing Iranian oil would no longer be exempt from sanctions. In a statement released by the White House, they said: “This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue.”
This decision from the White House means that the sanctions waivers for China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey won’t be renewed when they expire, which is expected to happen on May 2. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is apparently one of the people responsible for the decision.
In a formal statement announcing the decision, Pompeo described it as a part of the “pressure campaign” to cut off funding to Iran. This decision was made in the hopes of encouraging Iran to behave like a “normal country,” according to Pompeo.
When Pompeo was speaking about the oil revenue in Iran, he said: “It’s the regime’s number one source of cash.” He continued by saying that “We will no longer grant any exemption [to sanctions for importing Iranian oil] … We’re going to zero across the board.”
According to an official from the State Department, Trump and Pompeo were responsible for putting an end to waivers for importing Iranian oil. Cutting off a country’s major source of income isn’t something that comes without consequence, but as it seems, Iran should be used to restrictions by now.
The restrictions on Tehran’s oil revenue shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, especially considering how strict the penalties are for Iran in the first place. Earlier this month, the Trump administrations labeled the Revolutionary Guard of Iran as a “foreign terrorist organization.”
The administration put the oil-sanction waivers into place after they re-imposed sanctions on Iran after President Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. A part of the reason why the countries were granted the sanctions was to give them enough time to get rid of the Iranian oil that they already have. The sanctions were also introduced to ease any kind of impact the removal of Iran’s production may have on the global energy market.
Officials from the United States have said they don’t expect that there will be an incredible reduction in the supply given by other countries. Among those countries included are the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
On Monday, the White House assured the people that top oil producers, including the U.S., “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market.” Hopefully, everyone will be able to come together to make this happen.
In a statement from the White House, they said: “The Trump Administration and our allies are determined to sustain and expand the maximum economic pressure campaign against Iran to end the regime’s destabilizing activity threatening the United States, our partners and allies, and security in the Middle East.”