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US boasts three countries have cut Iranian oil shipments to zero

US boasts three countries have cut Iranian oil shipments to zero
Three of the eight importers granted waivers by Washington to buy oil from Iran have now cut their shipments to zero, according to US envoy for the Islamic Republic Brian Hook.

He told reporters on Tuesday that improved global oil market conditions would help reduce Iranian crude exports further.

“In November, we granted eight oil waivers to avoid a spike in the price of oil. I can confirm today three of those importers are now at zero,” Hook said, without identifying the countries.

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“There are better market conditions for us to accelerate our path to zero,” he added. “We are not looking to grant any waivers or exceptions to our sanctions regime.”

According to the official, Washington’s oil sanctions against Tehran have removed about 1.5 million barrels of Iranian oil exports from the market since May 2018.

“This has denied the regime access to well over $10 billion in [oil] revenue – a loss of at least $30 million a day,” he said.

US-based analysts at Eurasia Group said earlier that China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey are likely to be given waivers that could cap Iran’s crude oil exports at about 1.1 million barrels per day. That would remove Italy, Greece and Taiwan from the waivers list.

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A decision on whether to extend the waivers will be made “in due course,” said Hook. “With oil prices actually lower than they were when we announced our sanctions and global production stable, we are on the fast track to zeroing out all purchases of Iranian crude.”

A senior Trump administration official told reporters on Monday that Washington was considering additional sanctions against Iran, which would target areas of its economy that have not been hit before.

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According to Hook, more than 26 rounds of US sanctions against the country have restricted Iran’s cash flow and constrained its ability to operate in the region.

Washington re-imposed sanctions on Tehran after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and several world powers. With a goal of completely halting Iran’s oil exports, Washington granted temporary import waivers to China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to ensure low oil prices and avoid disruption to the global oil market.

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