Iran seeks to secure global trade deals before fresh U.S. sanctions

Iran seeks to secure global trade deals before fresh U.S. sanctions

Last week, Secretary of state Mike Pompeo warned that Iran "sanctions are returning".

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and restored sanctions on Tehran in May.

When the administration announced it was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, it imposed several new sanctions, including ones that will require all countries to eliminate Iranian oil imports by November. A number of regular Japanese importers of Iranian oil do not have immediate plans to load any barrels from Iran in August, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts.

"We are going to very strongly enforce the Iran nuclear sanctions", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday.

A European diplomat who asked not to be identified talking about private discussions said European countries hadn't realistically expected to get sanctions relief from the USA, and neither had their companies.

It was only last week when Washington turned down Europeans' request to exempt companies in Europe from United States sanctions.

Mnuchin said he would meet with counterparts from developed and developing countries on the sidelines of a G20 finance ministers' meeting in Buenos Aires on July 19-22. Major Indian imports from Iran include petroleum and its products, inorganic/organic chemicals, fertilizers, plastic and articles, edible fruit and nuts, glass and glassware, natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones, etc. "We want to be very careful in the wind down around the energy markets to make sure that people have the time".

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Washington threatened European companies doing business with Iran with sanctioning and called on its western allies to stop importing Iranian oil.

Several European countries sought specific waivers from the US sanctions, but French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told French media over the weekend that Washington had rejected France's request for waivers for its companies operating in Iran.

Paris had singled out key areas where it expected either exemptions or extended wind-down periods for French companies, including energy, banking, pharmaceuticals and automotive. Together with European countries, Araghchi said, India could work to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which had seen the freeing of Iran from the multiple layers of sanctions imposed on it for its suspect nuclear programme.

Sinopec would continue to buy Iranian oil on fears that China would impose tariffs on United States oil imports, Asia Times quoted an unnamed company executive as saying. He did not name the country he had not yet consulted.

Pompeo said in an interview with Sky News Arabia "There will be a handful of countries that come to the United States and ask for relief from that".

The Wall Street Journal quoted "several European officials" on July 16 as having said that three European states are about to open new accounts or activate old accounts for the Iranian Central Bank in spite of U.S. sanctions in what it described as "the first concrete sign that Europe could deliver on its promise" to sustain the Iranian nuclear deal.

Since January 2016, the United Nations watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been monitoring Iran's compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the nuclear deal and has consistently verified over a dozen times about the compliance by Iran.

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